30

August

Marques Eversoll: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Making the final cuts is one of the toughest parts of Ted Thompson's job.

Making the final cuts is one of the toughest parts of Ted Thompson’s job.

It’s been a competitive summer in Green Bay at a number of positions.

After being unemployed a few weeks ago, Vince Young seems to have a firm grasp on the No. 2 quarterback job, and the offensive line is beginning to take form despite the injury bug sinking its teeth into Bryan Bulaga’s knee. Still, several key roster battles have gone down to the wire as the Packers look to trim their roster to 53.

James Starks is all but gone…or at least he was until DuJuan Harris injured his knee. But what’s the deal at wide receiver? Will Chris Banjo crack the 53-man roster?

Read on and find all the answers you’re looking for.

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

Young won the No. 2 job with a solid performance against the Seahawks. Prior to training camp, I suggested Graham Harrell would be a pleasant surprise this summer – I was wrong.

Running Back (5): Eddie Lacy, Alex Green, Johnathan Franklin, James Starks, John Kuhn

James Starks backs into a roster spot, due mostly to DuJuan Harris’ season-ending knee injury. Trading Starks is possible, but it takes two to tango…or something like that.

Wide Receiver (5): Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

Cobb, Nelson and Jones are clearly the top three, Boykin is the No. 4 and Jeremy Ross is the frontrunner for the No. 5 spot. With several practice-squad candidates on the roster, I don’t see the upside of keeping six receivers.

Tight End (4): Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Matthew Mulligan, Ryan Taylor

Realistically, every tight end on the roster has made a case to crack the 53-man roster. Mulligan’s injury hurts his chances, but either way, I think the D.J. Williams Experiment is expiring. Brandon Bostick is a wild card; he could make the team, practice squad, get cut or traded.

Offensive Line (8): Bakhtiari, Sitton, Dietrich-Smith, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten, Taylor

After the top five, the loser of the right tackle competition (Newhouse) and Van Roten look like the top two reserves. With Derek Sherrod and J.C. Tretter out with injuries, the Packers will likely keep eight linemen to start the season. Undrafted rookie Lane Taylor has been a pleasant surprise this summer, and I think he makes the team. Don’t rule out a late trade for some O-Line help, either.

Defensive Line (7): B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Datone Jones, Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly

Six spots (Raji, Pickett, Datone, Neal, Wilson, Daniels) look like sure things. Jolly has steadily improved throughout camp, highlighted by his monster game against the Rams. A few weeks ago, I really didn’t think he’d make the team, but now I do. Hooray for feel-good stories and things to talk about.

Linebacker (10): Matthews, Hawk, Brad Jones, Perry, Barrington, Mulumba, Lattimore, Francois, Manning, Moses

This is a tough position to project; the team could keep as few as eight or as many as ten linebackers. Dezman Moses has had an unimpressive summer marred with injuries, but without him, the team would have a converted defensive end in Mike Neal and an undrafted, raw rookie in Andy Mulumba. Moses has been a ghost this summer but was a pleasant surprise a year ago, and I think the team may give him another year. And, his name. It ain’t Desmond. It’s Dezman. Dezman Moses.

Defensive Back (9): Shields, Williams, Hayward, House, Hyde, Burnett, McMillian, Jennings, Banjo

At safety, the Packers have a budding star in Burnett, and a pair of young safeties that are guaranteed to make the team. Chris Banjo has a legitimate chance as well, and if it comes down to him and Jarrett Bush, then I think the Packers end up going with 

Specialist (3): Tim Masthay, Mason Crosby, Brett Goode

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ain’t got nothin’ on this Big Three. And yes, that is Mason Crosby’s name.

Practice Squad (8): WR Tyrone Walker, WR Charles Johnson, QB B.J. Coleman, OLB Nate Palmer, TE Jake Stoneburner, DE Josh Boyd, OL Patrick Lewis, CB Brandon Smith

Walker and Johnson are stashed on the practice squad, and with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb battling injuries this summer, one or both of the rookies could be called upon at some point this season. Assuming they don’t make the 53-man roster, I think four guys (Walker, Johnson, Coleman and Stoneburner) are locks for the practice squad. The same can be said about draft picks Nate Palmer and Josh Boyd, assuming they don’t sign with another team. Brandon Smith had an awful night at Kansas City, but I think he’s got some raw talent. Another year (+) in the system could be exactly what he needs.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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9 Responses to “Marques Eversoll: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction”

  1. Archie says:

    Nate Palmer is a lock for Final 53.

    Randall Cobb will back-up AROD. May as well, neither VY nor BJ is going to win a game in the NFL. seriously, I’m expecting teh Pack to dump VY and pick up a cut QB, maybe BJ Daniels from SF. What’s better than one BJ? Two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      While I agree it would be a nice idea to have Cobb as the backup QB and honestly you have a good argument that Cobb might win as many games as Young or Coleman one thing you need to consider is that they need at least 1 more quarterback to run the second team offense during practice. You can’t have Cobb back there because he’s on the 1st team offense. The PS QB will probably run the scout team so you can’t ask him to play with the backups either.

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    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Nate Palmer may very well make the 53-man roster, but in no way is he a lock. Far from it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Zac says:

      you say “neither VY nor BJ is going to win a game in the NFL”

      Young has won 31 games in the NFL fyi fwiw.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. WIM says:

    did you ever think you could possibly wonder whether they might have cut Harrell too soon. Well I did, after watching Vince Young unable to hit the broad side of a barn.

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  3. aaronqb says:

    Here’s my guess:

    QB (2): Rodgers, Young
    RB (5): Lacy, Green, Starks, Franklin, Kuhn
    WR (5): Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin, Ross
    TE (4): Finley, Mulligan, Taylor, Bostik
    OL (7): Sitton, Bakhtiari, Dietrich-Smith,, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten (Van Roten maybe replaced by someone from the waiver wire)

    DL (8): Raji, Jones, Pickett, Wilson, Neal, Daniels, Jolly, Boyd
    LB (9): Matthews, Jones, Hawk, Perry, Francois, Mulumba, Barrington, Manning, Palmer
    DB (10): Williams, Shields, Burnett, Jennings, McMillian, House, Hyde, Hayward, Banjo, Bush

    ST (3): Masthay, Crosby, Goode

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  4. lambeauleaper says:

    My feeling is why do we keep Ryan Taylor just to play special teams? We should be able to get his production there from one of our young line backers,like Barrington,Mulumba,or Manning

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  5. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    please keep 9 lBs and keep bush or another DB. Get rid of moses, i had hopes for him but he is not showing anything. Bush is the teams best special teamer, he should get a spot and I would alsmot call him a lock.

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  6. Icebowler says:

    After Young spends the next two weeks as the scout team pistol read-option QB in practice, I wouldn’t be shocked if they replaced him with Harrell starting week three.

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