28

August

Marques Eversoll: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson has some tough decisions to make by Friday.

With the final cuts just around the corner, here are my initial predictions for how things may play out. There are a couple surprises, but overall, I think much of the roster is pretty much decided other than maybe two or three spots.

Although I assumed the Packers would keep six wide receivers all offseason, I simply no longer think that’s the case. Both Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel have been injured for part of training camp, and neither has made the same splash they made last summer at this time. I think they’ll both be let go, and the Packers will look to a different young wide receiver to stash on the practice squad.

Other than that, there aren’t too many surprises. So here goes…

Quarterback (2): Rodgers, Harrell

Although I don’t believe Graham Harrell is a No. 2 quarterback in the NFL right now, I think it’s more likely than not that the Packers will keep the position as is–with Harrell as Rodgers’s top backup. If a late-round pick could pry Colt McCoy away from the Cleveland Browns, Thompson would likely consider making that move. And despite Vince Young being an convenient punch-line for football fans, who would you rather have if you had to win a game without Rodgers: Young or Harrell? I’d take Young, and it’s not even remotely close. It’s highly unlikely that Thompson would bring in Young as a free agent, but then again, Ted hasn’t been typical “Ted” this offseason.

Running Back (5): Benson, Green, Saine, Starks, Kuhn

My oh my, how things have changed for James Starks. After choosing not to bring back veteran Ryan Grant, it appeared the Packers were set to put all their chips in on Starks. But fast forward to August, and Starks is the most likely of the four running backs to be cut. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Packers cut Starks, but I’m not confident enough to make it one of my predictions. I see Cedric Benson as the clear-cut feature back in Green Bay, I’m a believer in Alex Green, and I like Brandon Saine’s versatility. So if there’s one back the Pack will cut, it’s Starks. Kuhn will be the only full back on the roster.

Wide Receiver (5): G. Jennings, Nelson, Cobb, J. Jones, Driver

3

September

Green Bay Packers 2010 FINAL Roster Predictions – 9/3/10

Final Green Bay Packers roster predictions for 2010.  Now that the Green Bay Packers have completed the preseason, here is my best guess at predicting the 53-man roster they will enter the regular season with. Anything you see in RED are additions and/or changes from my preliminary predictions before the Chiefs game.

Quarterbacks – 2

Aaron Rodgers           yes

Matt Flynn                   yes

Graham Harrell          cut – PS (will probably be claimed)

The only question here is, will Harrell last on the practice squad? Having had Brian Brohm picked up off their practice squad last season, Harrell is another QB with a good college football resume. It’s very possible  another team would take a chance on him. Would the Packers be tempted to do what most NFL teams do and keep 3 QBs on their roster? I’ll vote no.

Running Backs – 5

Ryan Grant                  yes

Brandon Jackson       yes

Kregg Lumpkin           yes

Quinn Porter                IR

James Starks                PUP

John Kuhn                    yes

Korey Hall                    cut / trade

Quinn Johnson          yes

The Packers were either showcasing Quinn Johnson for a trade in the Chiefs game or giving him every opportunity to convince them to keep him. He played well. I think MM has plans to be protecting a lot of 4th quarter leads this season, running off the clock with a power run game of Ryan Grant behind Quinn Johnson.  Johnson stays, unless he draws a much better trade offer than Hall.

In a way, I’m relieved that things worked out the way they did for James Starks and Quinn Porter. These are two guys I believe will have success down the road, but could use a year in the gym and a chance to  study Mike McCarthy’s  system with no pressure. Thinking about the future, I didn’t want to lose either of these guys. As for the fullbacks, the 3FB experiment of last season is probably done. Kuhn has shown his versatility and value to the team, so it’s between Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson. I don’t think the Packers are ready to give up on Johnson after only 1 year in the league. Hall is steady at many things, but unspectacular at any. I see the Packers shopping him for a draft pick, as his special teams plays could have value to another team. If there are no takers, he is gone.