The Packers Three Most Important Practice Squad Players

In less than a week the Green Bay Packers will see the field for the first time since January. The 53 man roster has been constructed and the team has begun the process of preparing for Minnesota. But hidden in this is the practice squad players. At the moment the Packers have a full 16 man practice squad, filled with multiple positions but more importantly, some players the Packers will be depending upon throughout this season. Some of these players are here in case of injury or poor performance, but some have been kept specifically to contribute right away. This list will be detailing the three players the team will be depending upon the most in both regards.  

3. Running Back, Patrick Taylor
Starting off at three is running back Patrick Taylor, a third year undrafted free agent out of Memphis. The Packers at the moment only have two running backs on the active roster, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. This means they will be relying upon practice squad talent to fill in at the third back position, at least until Kylin Hill can return from the PUP list. Patrick Talor is a quality runner, having shown some of his skills in 2021. While Taylor was signed in 2020, he missed his entire rookie season due to injury. In his 2021 campaign Taylor appeared in 9 games, rushing for 89 yards and 1 touchdown off of 23 attempts. He is widely seen as a good runner of the football, but offers very little in the way of a third down back for the team. I would expect him to be called up in weeks where the team plans on running the football more over going a more pass happy route. 

2. Running Back, Tyler Goodson
In addition to Taylor the Packers have kept Tyler Goodson, a rookie free agent out of Iowa this season. Goodson was seen in the draft community as a potential day three pick in the draft. While he offers slightly less as a runner, he is a quality receiver out of the backfield, an incredibly important asset in the modern NFL. At Iowa Goodson ran for 2,551 yards and 18 touchdowns over his three seasons with the team. He also managed 70 catches for 565 yards and a touchdown. Now I know these aren’t eye popping receiving stats but when you watched him play you saw his ability to run routes and even split out wide at times. It’s clear the team values his skills as a receiver as he made the team’s practice squad. Now while he offers a skillset as a receiver, as a runner Goodson is not very good. He lacks any form of physicality and is a very indecisive runner. He would often dance around the offensive line, not hitting a hole when it was cleared for him by the line. This is something the team is hoping can develop with Goodson. In the process of his development though the team will be relying on him, as a RB3, presumably on weeks where the team expects to be throwing the ball more. Keeping an eye on which of the backs between him and Taylor gets elevated while Hill is out will be an intriguing area to watch. 

1. Kicker, Ramiz Ahmed
The inclusion of Kicker Ramiz Ahmed on this list may come as a shock to some, but you will remember this list is the most important players, not necessarily the ones that will be playing immediately. Ahmed was signed by the Packers on August 14th, entering later in camp. Originally he was an undrafted free agent for Chicago in 2020, before going on to play for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL this year. Mason Crosby has recently returned from injury, which is a concern in and of itself, but you will remember he had an abysmal season last year and is currently 38 years old. At the moment the team is banking on Crosby returning to form and being a quality kicker for them. But if he isn’t, the team has a developmental and potential replacement in Ahmed. As he is on the practice squad he will be able to work with the rest of the special teams, developing chemistry with both the long snapper and holder. This would give him a leg up in terms of competing with other players should the team decide to move on from Crosby. Even if the team sticks with Crosby all season, Ahmed could develop and provide a future kicker for the team, allowing them to not spend more money or draft picks on a new kicker. 

While the Packers certainly have all of their starters and important depth pieces on their 53 man roster, the team’s practice squad will provide a valuable asset in developmental pieces and contributing players throughout the season. While I do not believe the team will find another Rasul Douglas on the practice squad, I do expect them to find some depth pieces and contributors throughout the season, especially at running back where the team will need a third contributor for at least the first four weeks of the season.

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