20

February

Is the Next Jarrett Boykin on the Packers Roster?

Myles White

Could Myles White end up contributing to the Packers next season?

With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb due to hit free agency next offseason, the Packers could be looking to draft a wide receiver in April.

Or maybe they’re confident that they can re-up with Nelson and Cobb and aren’t worried about finding another receiver in the draft.

Or maybe they think they have a capable replacement for Nelson or Cobb already on the roster, and the rest of us just don’t know about him yet.

That last scenario seems by far the least plausible, but you never know. Nobody heard of Jarrett Boykin, but he became a reliable receiver and might step into James Jones’ role in 2014 if Jones signs elsewhere.

Of the Packers four “unknown” wide receivers currently on the roster, which one has the best chance of turning into a player? Here’s what I think:

Myles White
Some were saying White was the fastest receiver in training camp. He was also a hurdling star in high school and was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech. Speed and athleticism isn’t the issue for White. Size is.

White is barely over 180 pounds and probably needs to buff up if he wants to stick around and have a legitimate shot at cracking the lineup. If White gets bigger and improves, he can potentially be a deep outside burner who would be a nice complement to the bigger Jordy Nelson, Jones (if he re-signs), Boykin and Cobb (who likes to work inside).

White was called up off the practice squad for the middle part of the season and didn’t do much in 123 snaps. Of course, he didn’t have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, either. White’s season came to an end early when he tore cartilage in his knee.

Chris Harper
He used to play for the Seahawks so he must be halfway decent, right? Well, maybe.

Harper has the size (228) to be another Boykin-type of receiver — tough to bring down and holds his own blocking. But there must be a reason he was cut by the Seahawks (and later by the 49ers) not long after getting drafted in the fourth round. Bob McGinn ranked Harper 12th in his pre-draft wide receiver rankings and quoted scouts who said Harper catches well in traffic and can play in the red zone.

27

August

Packers Cut Roster to 75 Players

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson made his roster cuts on Tuesday to make the 75-player limit.

The Green Bay Packers announced on Tuesday afternoon that their roster had been reduced to 75 players, per NFL rules. Four players were placed on injured reserve, four were placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform), and one was released. The players removed from the active roster were:

  • T Bryan Bulaga (IR)
  • WR Kevin Dorsey (IR)
  • RB DuJuan Harris (IR)
  • LB Jarvis Reed (IR)
  • S Sean Richardson (PUP)
  • T Derek Sherrod (PUP)
  • T J.C. Tretter (PUP)
  • DE Jerel Worthy (PUP)
  • K Zach Ramirez (released)

This is in addition to the six players already released since Saturday:

  • QB Graham Harrell
  • WR Justin Wilson
  • WR Omarius Hines
  • WR Alex Gillett
  • DL Gilbert Peña
  • RB Angelo Pease
  • K Giorgio Tavecchio

The players placed on injured lists (PUP and IR) were largely expected to end up there. DuJuan Harris was the one surprising move reported earlier this afternoon. Zach Ramirez was somewhat surprising considering his very recent signing; however, Packers beat reporters noted that he only made 6 of 16 field goal attempts during today’s practice. Mason Crosby connected on all 14 of his, suggesting that he might have finally won the preseason battle for good.

One more important note is that players placed on injured reserve today can not be “Designated for Return” later on in the season. This means that Bryan Bulaga and DuJuan Harris are effectively done for the year. Players on the PUP, as always, will have the opportunity to return to practice six weeks into the regular season.

Ted Thompson and the Packers must further reduce the roster to 53 players by the end of business on Saturday, August 31st.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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6

August

Packers Rookie WRs Johnson, Dorsey Running Out Of Time

Johnson and Dorsey

Injuries have forced Dorsey (left) and Johnson (right) to miss valuable time at training camp

With training camp over a week old now, the Green Bay Packers have established front-runners at most positions.  That preseason depth chart can, of course, always change.  Still, with a little over a month from the start of training camp to week one of the regular season, time is short and reps are precious.  This especially holds true  to the young and unproven.

In this year’s draft, the Packers took two wide receivers, Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey, in the seventh round.  Johnson stands 6’2″ and around 215 lbs while Dorsey comes in at 6’1″ and around 207 lbs.  While both were late-round choices, Johnson and Dorsey were garnering some attention heading into the offseason.  Johnson was especially intriguing because of his size and speed.  The word “potential” is grossly over-used in the football world, but still, the “p” word was thrown around by many when referring to Johnson.

Early during the team’s organized team activities in spring, both Johnson and Dorsey suffered injuries that limited their participation.  The team was hopeful that they would heal and be ready for training camp.  So far, neither has participated in a single practice and time is starting to tick away.

When Greg Jennings departed after last season, that left the core of Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb at wide receiver.  That conceivably leaves open at least two roster spots at wide receiver, a very critical position in the Packers’ offensive machine.  Vying for those two spots are nine players.  Among those are incumbent Jarett Boykin, Jeremy Ross, Johnson, Dorsey, Myles White, Tyrone Walker, Alex Gillett, Sederrik Cunningham, and Omarius Hines.

Last season, the Packers seemed to be planning on carrying five receivers into the 2012 season.  They had young hopefuls in that of Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel and there was quite a bit of scuttle that the team may have to carry a sixth receiver if one or both of them had a strong enough showing in training camp.  Down to the last preseason game, both Gurley and Borel were on the bubble along with the little-known Boykin.  Boykin came on strong in that contest and earned himself the sixth receiver slot, sending Gurley and Borel packing.

28

July

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Now that Packers training camp is underway, Surviving Sunday is shifting gears a bit.

Gone is the lengthy opening column where I wax poetic about a topic that may or may not relate to the Packers. Also gone are the non-Packers links to non-sports items and other nonsense.

Starting now, Surviving Sunday will be 100 percent focused on the Packers and all the happenings from the previous week’s training camp practices and exhibition games. With training camp in full gear, the Packers are getting serious about the 2013 NFL season. It’s time for Surviving Sunday to get serious, too.

Aches and pains
Before the first practice even started, there were several Packers standing on the sidelines, injured. Perhaps the Packers need to fire their medical staff and just hire a bunch of people who work at a Fed Ex store and specialize in using bubble wrap to protect delicate items.

Here is the list of the walking wounded: DL/OLB Mike Neal (abdomen), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), T Derek Sherrod (leg), DL Jerel Worthy (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Davon House (illness) and LB Jamari Lattimore (illness).

Neal and Hayward hurt themselves training on their own and were surprise injuries (although, I’m not sure how surprising it should be any more when Neal turns up injured). It sounds like Hayward and Harris should both be out a week or two, but who knows.

Depending how long Harris is out, it could open up the door for Alex Green or James Starks to A) stay on the team and/or B) impress in camp and move up the depth chart.

If those injuries weren’t enough, rookie WRs Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey and Sederrik Cunningham also went down on the first days of practice. Someone needs to make a sacrifice to the football Gods so they show a little mercy on our favorite team. (Update: Sounds like Johnson will be fine.)

Drama and gossip
Aaron Rodgers’ first news conference of camp sounded more like a group of high school kids catching up on the latest gossip than a football media session. Rodgers addressed the Ryan Braun/PED situation — saying “it doesn’t feel great being lied to” — and basically dismissed the recent barbs Greg Jennings sent his way from across the border in Minnesota.

18

July

Ten Packers Training Camp Topics: #7 — Nelson, Jones, Cobb and?

Jarrett Boykin was a pleasant surprise last summer. Is he ready to be the Packers No. 4 receiver?

Jarrett Boykin was a pleasant surprise last summer. Is he ready to be the Packers’ No. 4 receiver?

A year ago, the Packers had a crowded group of wide receivers. A declining Donald Driver was buried on the depth chart behind veterans Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and James Jones, as well as a budding star in Randall Cobb.

But that was then, and this is now. Driver is retired, and Jennings is playing for the Minnesota Vikings and (apparently really excited about) catching passes from Christian Ponder. Last season, Driver barely played and Jennings missed eight games.

But between Jennings and Driver are six career Pro Bowl selections and ten 1,000-yard seasons. So needless to say, the Packers face some unanswered questions at the position headed into the 2013 season.

Nelson, Jones and Cobb will all return.

Of the three, Jones was the only player to play all 16 games last season, but the trio combined for 2,483 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. That accounts for 57.8 percent of Aaron Rodgers’s passing yards and 74.3 percent of his touchdowns in 2012.

Nelson missed four games with a lingering hamstring injury and Cobb missed the regular-season finale. But if all three players can stay healthy for the entire season, there’s very little to be concerned about in regards to the Packers receiving corps.

Without Jennings in the fold, the Packers may not have a true No. 1 receiver. But between Nelson, Jones and Cobb, the Packers may have three legitimate No. 2 receivers. The jury is still out on Cobb at just 22 years old.

But chances are, at some point this season, either Cobb, Jones or Nelson will get hurt and be forced to miss time. And if that’s the case, someone will be called upon to step in and contribute to the offense.

But who?

Last year’s training-camp standout Jarrett Boykin is one possibility. After signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars following the 2012 NFL Draft, Boykin was cut in May. The Packers picked him up, and the undrafted rookie cracked the 53-man roster despite Jennings, Driver, Jones, Nelson and Cobb all but guaranteed roster spots.

The coaching staff felt strongly enough about Boykin’s 2012 preseason that they kept six wide receivers on the roster.

But this summer, Boykin will face stiff competition against Jeremy Ross (who wasn’t in Green Bay last summer) along with a pair of seventh-round picks–Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey.

11

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Myles White, WR Louisiana Tech

Packers UDFA WR Myles White

Packers WR Myles White

Player Information:

  • Myles White, WR Louisiana Tech
  • 6’1”/182 lbs
  • Hometown – Livonia, Michigan

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.42
  • 20 yard: 2.55
  • 10 yard: 1.53
  • Bench: 11
  • Vertical: 37.5″
  • Broad: 121”
  • Shuttle: 4.15
  • 3-cone: 6.90

Introduction:

White was voted Second Team All-Western Athletic Conference (Coaches selection) in 2012. He was the pass receiving sidekick to Quinton Patton in Tech’s high-powered, conference-leading offense.   White caught 56 passes for 718 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. White started his college career at Michigan State, but was involved in several off-field incidents. White decided he needed a change of scenery, so he transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he was sixth in the nation in receptions at the JUCO level. After spending a year there, White accepted Louisiana State’s offer and had a solid two seasons for the Bulldogs.

Video: (adult language warning…)

Analysis:

  • A legitimate deep threat that can accelerate past defensive backs.
  • Seems adept at finding the open spaces in the field.
  • Has very effective moves to pick up extra yards after the catch. Will shake and bake to create some space, then accelerate downfield.
  • Appears to have a fairly slight build. Will need to get stronger to combat NFL press coverage.
  • Initial small area burst is impressive, and backs up his fine 20yd shuttle time.
  • Sometimes catches the ball into his body when he doesn’t need to.
  • Shows very good ball awareness and uses his vertical leaping ability to his advantage.

 

Packers rationale:  Ted Thompson definitely had speed on his mind when he signed White and drafted Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. The Packers are obviously looking to fill one of their open receiver spots with a legitimate deep threat who can extend the field and create open spaces underneath for the dynamic trio of Cobb, Nelson and Jones. White would seem to fit the bill, but I have concerns about his size (Randall Cobb at only 5’10″ weighs 10lbs more than White). If healthy, I expect Charles Johnson to be the guy who wins the speed wide receiver spot (I like his other attributes better), but White is the kind of guy the Packers will gladly keep on the practice squad and put him to work in the weight room.

28

April

Green Bay Packers Final 2013 Draft Board

Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy completed their eight draft together this weekend

Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy completed their eight draft together this weekend

The 2013 NFL Draft is in the books which means the Green Bay Packers have made all of their selections and we know who will be joining the team in training camp come late July.  Our team at ALLGBP.com has done a fantastic job in breaking down each of these players and be sure to check out each and get to know your newest Packer players!

Let’s take a look at this year’s full slate of draft picks:

Round 1

26th, 26th overall – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

Many expected this pick if the Packers were staying put in round one.  Many say Jones was a great value at 26th overall and should start right away.  Helps solidify a position of need.

Round 2

29th, 61st overall (from 49ers) – Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

After several draft analysts had Lacy going to the Packers in round one and even before their pick, Green Bay had to be shocked to see him fall into their laps in round two.  Touted by many as the best running back in this year’s class, Lacy was the fourth back taken after Giovani Bernard (Bengals), Le’Veon Bell (Steelers) and Montee Ball (Broncos).  Clearly the Packers wanted Lacy and he will make an immediate impact to a running game that has lacked punch for the past three seasons.

Round 4

12th, 109th overall (from Saints through Dolphins) – David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado

After trading down a few spots in the fourth round, Thompson opted to add some depth to the Packers offensive line.  Bakhtiari brings all 6’4″, 300 lbs with him to Green Bay and should be given an opportunity to battle with Derek Sherrod (if healthy) and become a starting tackle opposite Bryan Bulaga.  He is versatile, however, and can also play at the guard spot.

25th, 122nd overall – J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell

Tretter was a bit of a surprise pick here, at least to me.  Just 13 picks after selecting Bakhtiari, the Packers drafted another offensive tackle.  A further glace at Tretter shows that he is more likely to translate in the NFL as a guard or possibly even center.  That versatility is what Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy like in a lineman.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more times than any other quarterback since 2008.  Shoring up the offensive front was clearly a priority for Thompson.