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It Looks Like Mike Pennel will Start

Mike Pennel

The Green Bay Packers have their season-opening depth chart out and if we are to believe it, then it looks like they’ll be turning to second-year player Mike Pennel at defensive end.

Pennel is listed as a starter ahead of Josh Boyd and Bruce Gaston.

The position Pennel has moved into was slated to be manned by Letroy Guion, but he’ll be suspended for the first three games of the season.

Nonetheless, this has been a pretty rapid rise for Pennel. He made the Packers as an undrafted rookie in 2014, appeared in 13 games and recorded eight tackles.

This year, it appears Pennel will have an expanded role on defense.

It will be interesting when defensive end Datone Jones returns from his one-game suspension. Our guess is nothing will change. Jones was a starter in 2014, but had next to no production. The former first-round pick played more with the third-team defense this preseason than he did with the first-team.

There were a couple other interesting notes about the depth chart.

The Packers are still listing Clay Matthews as an outside linebacker, even though everyone expects him to play inside. Nick Perry is listed as Matthews’ backup outside, so he appears to be the presumptive starter if/when Matthews lines up inside.

On offense, the Packers already have James Jones listed ahead of Jeff Janis at receiver. Jones is listed as Davante Adams’ backup and rookie Ty Montgomery is listed as Randall Cobb’s.

It’s debatable which guy will be the Packers’ No. 3.

Despite a roster with a few question marks, the Packers are still seven-point favorites over the Chicago Bears in week 1.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Howard September 9, 2015

    Have liked Pennel since training camp last year. Pennel was not ready last year to be a starter. Pennel is the ideal size for a 3-4 DE. Pennel should be the starter over Boyd and Jones based on his production in preseason.

  2. jtmax September 9, 2015

    I like Pennel also. He showed more in limited PT than any body else besides Mike Daniels and he’s bigger than anybody else. We need bigger bodies to stuff running backs. We will see Jones in for redzone. He’s good in tight spaces and has sure hands.

  3. Abe Frohman September 9, 2015

    Pennel and Jones are two completely different body types. Jones smells more like a situational pass rusher than an every down lineman.

    1. Phatgzus September 9, 2015

      Pretty sure he meant James Jones-ability in tight spaces and sure hands aren’t really common talking points regarding d-linemen.

  4. Justin T September 9, 2015

    Still have to say I love the James Jones signing. He obviously isn’t the most athletic WR out there but his chemistry with Rodgers makes up for it. The ability to catch back shoulder throws and perfect timed routes is what Rodgers lives for. Go pack go