29

August

Thomas Hobbes: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Well here we go again, last year I was completely off and I don’t expect to be much different this year.  I have however thought a lot about the rationale for creating a NFL roster and I came up with these ideas a couple weeks ago, which I’ll try to use as my baseline rules.

Offense – 24 players

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell

Rodgers is obviously a lock and I almost think it’s too late for a backup quarterback switch.  I know some people have been speculating that the Browns will drop the price for Colt McCoy and Thompson will trade for him, but my assumption is that the Brown’s asking price is way too high at the moment (since as far as I can tell no team has been in serious talks with the Browns), and chances are good Thompson will get outbid by some other team if the price does indeed drop into a competitive offer, so I suspect McCoy goes somewhere else and Harrell remains the backup quarterback.

Running Back (5): James Starks, John Kuhn, Cedric Benson, Alex Green, Brandon Saine

I’ve put Starks still as the lead runner, as I think Benson needs more than one good outing to take the pole position in my opinion; but really that might be a moot point if Starks can’t get on the field.  I think Brandon Saine’s spot really depends on the health and performance of Alex Green; if the Packers believe that Green is healthy and productive enough after his ACL injury that he can manage the 3rd down back role by himself (with help from Kuhn), then Saine might be expendable, but personally I think was quietly becoming a very decent pass blocker, which the Packers highly covet.  Kuhn rounds out the group as the sole fullback.

Tight Ends (4): Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, DJ Williams, Ryan Taylor

Nothing really interesting with the tight ends, Finley obviously leads the group, with Crabtree, Williams and Taylor all sort of in a mix for the backup position.  Each has their own strengths, Crabtree and Taylor can operate as a fullback and Williams is capable of playing the “move” tight end or H-back, and all three contribute on special teams.  It will be interesting to see what they do when Andrew Quarless returns (if he does at all, as they may choose to just shut him down for the entire year), my suspicions would be that they add Quarless back by stealing a spot from another position.

15

March

2011 Packers Yearbook: Player You Would Cut Right Now (If You Were Ted Thompson)

2011 Packers Yearbook: Player You Would Cut Right Now (If You Were Ted Thompson)

(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)

Adam: Ray Dominguez. Hey, the Packers were 15-1. Why would I want to cut any of the regulars that contributed to a great season. I’ll cut Dominguez because he was signed late and never played.

Al: Chad Clifton. Cliffy’s been a solid performer and a good soldier, but he’s been fighting a breaking-down body for a few years now. Counting on him would be a huge mistake and the Packers could use the cap room and roster spot. It’s time for Newhouse and/or Sherrod to claim the job.

Chad: Sadly, I would have to release Donald Driver. We’ve all been through this discussion multiple times now, so it’s no shock to say that he’s in his waning years and would just be taking up a roster spot from a younger player on the rise. I would make the move now instead of in training camp so that Driver has the ability to sign and get comfortable with a new team.

Kris: Pat Lee.  Do I really need to show the tape from the regular season finale against the Lions? Don’t make me do it. I SWEAR! I’LL DO IT!!!  To be fair, I’m not basing this on one game either.  Lee has been a punchline for awhile.  Time to go bye bye.

Michael: I agree with Chad’s assessment and would have to cut Donald Driver. With a nice stable of talent at the wide receiver position and practice squad player Tori Gurley set to make the leap into the 53-man roster, there just isn’t any more room for the 37-year old wide receiver. As Chad already mentioned, cutting Driver sooner rather than later makes a lot of sense and would be a classy move to allow Driver every opportunity to find a good fit for his new team.

31

August

Zach Kruse: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

The Green Bay Packers made their first round of cuts this week, releasing receiver Brett Swain, tight end Spencer Havner and tackle Theo Sherman on Monday then sending receiver Antonio Robinson, linebacker K.C. Asiodu and guard Adrian Battles packing Tuesday. That trimmed the Packers roster to 80 men before Tuesday’s league-mandated deadline.

Those were the easy cuts.

On Saturday, Packers GM Ted Thompson will have to decide which 53 players he starts the 2011 with and the 27 he doesn’t. It’s one of the most difficult days for his profession. Thompson has to cut some good football players. I, for one, certainly don’t envy the job he has to do over the course of this week.

Here’s my predictions for the Packers 53-man roster, which come before the team’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following that game on Thursday, I’ll make my final choices for who I think should be on the final 53.

OFFENSE (26)

Quarterbacks (3):  Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell

Harrell hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire, but the Packers understand his worth. You have to like the way he rebounded against the Colts and led them back. Right now, he is too risky to send to the practice squad again. In a year’s time, Harrell could be Rodgers’ backup.

Running Backs (5): Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green, John Kuhn, Quinn Johnson

Grant guaranteed his roster spot by restructuring his contract, but there might have been pressure on him had that not happened. He’s been hesitant in the preseason with limited carries…Starks and Green are clearly the future at the position…Keeping two fullbacks was a tough call, but I don’t see how the Packers go from keeping three in back-to-back seasons to just one this year. Packers coach Mike McCarthy runs as many offensive sub-packages as any play caller in the NFL, and they need Johnson to block when the Packers go big.

Receivers (5): Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb

One of the hardest decisions was keeping just five receivers on this team. Both Chastin West and Tori Gurley have shown enough to make most NFL teams, but not this one. I don’t think the Packers can sacrifice another roster position for a sixth receiver unless they really feel Cobb’s knee isn’t ready to go for a few weeks into the regular season.