A Few Surprises as Packers Go Deep With Their Depth Chart
Four days prior to the Green Bay Packers’ first preseason game, the team released their first unofficial depth chart of the 2011 season. The Packers are scheduled to play the Browns on Saturday night in Cleveland.
While the first depth chart is certainly a great starting point for conversation, it’s too early to attach too much importance to it..
The Packers have been in training camp for less than two full weeks and have yet to play a preseason game, so this initial depth chart is subject to plenty of changes. Throughout the course of four preseason games and the practices in-between, the depth chart will almost certainly fluctuate. Don’t expect it to look the same come Sept. 8.
Below is the unofficial depth chart, courtesy of Packers.com. Any interesting notes are listed below the position, and anything listed as “OTHER” is under third string and not in any particular order.
OFFENSIVE DEPTH CHART
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell
RB: Ryan Grant, James Starks, Dimitri Nance, OTHER: Alex Green, Brandon Saine
Vic Ketchman said today in his mailbag that Alex Green might be creeping his way into the running back battle. So, to see him as at fourth string behind Dimitri Nance is somewhat surprising. As we will learn, rookies have a lot to prove.
FB: John Kuhn, Quinn Johnson, Jon Hoese
WR: Greg Jennings, James Jones, Randall Cobb OTHER: Brett Swain, Diondre Borel, Kerry Taylor
WR: Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, Chastin West OTHER: Tori Gurley, Antonio Robinson, Shaky Smithson
Contrary to popular belief, Donald Driver is still slated to be one of the Packers starting wide receivers. Chastin West has had a good camp thus far.
TE: Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree OTHER: D.J. Williams, Ryan Taylor, Spencer Havner
Possibly the biggest surprise of the depth chart is the appearance of Andrew Quarless at No. 2 tight end. He’s battled a bad hip and just recently started practicing, while rookies D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor have been impressive in Quarless’s absence.
LT: Chad Clifton, Marshall Newhouse, Theo Sherman
LG: Derek Sherrod, T.J. Lang, Adrian Battles
Derek Sherrod started training camp working with the ones at left guard, and the unofficial depth chart shows just that. However, this positional battle is far from over. T.J. Lang won’t go down without a fight.
C: Scott Wells, Nick McDonald, Evan Dietrich-Smith OTHER: Sampson Genus
Nick McDonald starts as Scott Wells’ primary backup, leaving the possibility that the Packers cut Evan Dietrich-Smith down the road. McDonald’s versatility could help free up an extra roster spot.
RG: Josh Sitton, Nick McDonald, Caleb Schlauderaff
RT: Bryan Bulaga, Chris Campbell, Ray Dominguez
DEFENSIVE DEPTH CHART
DE: Ryan Pickett, C.J. Wilson, Lawrence Guy
NT: B.J. Raji, Howard Green, Jay Ross OTHER: Chris Donaldson
DE: Mike Neal, Jarius Wynn, Eli Joseph
LOLB: Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Vic So’oto OTHER: Diyral Briggs
LILB: A.J. Hawk, Robert Francois, Cardia Jackson OTHER: K.C. Asiodu
RILB: Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith, Elijah Joseph
The Packers depth behind Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk is one of the main concerns heading into preseason games. If either starter went down, could D.J. Smith or Robert Francois be inserted the lineup and the defense not miss a beat like a year ago?
ROLB: Erik Walden, Frank Zombo, Ricky Elmore OTHER: Jamari Lattimore
Erik Walden takes the early lead in the race to win the outside linebacker job opposite Clay Matthews. He has more to offer from an athletic standpoint, which I think gives him the edge in this competition from the beginning to end.
LCB: Charles Woodson, Pat Lee, Jarrett Bush OTHER: Brandian Ross
RCB: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Josh Gordy OTHER: Davon House
Rookie Davon House starts as a four string cornerback, but for the exception of Derek Sherrod, the opening depth chart hasn’t been kind to rookies. They still have a lot to prove in the eyes of the coaches, starting in Cleveland on Saturday.
SS: Morgan Burnett, Charlie Peprah, M.D. Jennings OTHER: Anthony Bratton
Healed from a torn ACL suffered last season, second-year strong safety Morgan Burnett gets the early nod over Charlie Peprah. Burnett will need to earn it in preseason play, but this is a good sign that the knee is ready to go.
FS: Nick Collins, Anthony Levine, Brandon Underwood
Brandon Underwood is listed as the third string free safety, which, when added with his current knee injury, makes his roster status tenuous at best.
SPECIAL TEAMS DEPTH CHART
K: Mason Crosby
No competition for Mason Crosby—something we all knew, but that Al still hates.
P: Tim Masthay
H: Tim Masthay, Randall Cobb
Isn’t there a little part of every Packers fan that wants to see Randall Cobb as the primary holder?
KR: Alex Green, Randall Cobb, Pat Lee OTHER: Sam Shields
Alex Green has been taking first team kicks, so that isn’t a surprise. Randall Cobb still figures to get a long look there.
PR: Randall Cobb, Shaky Smithson, Diondre Borel OTHER: Pat Lee, Sam Shields
LS: Brett Goode, Evan Dietrich-Smith——————
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2