29

March

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 10-1

In part three of this series ranking Green Bay’s roster, we look at the top ten list for Green Bay Packers players. You can find parts one and two here:

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 67-30

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 29-11

10. DE Cullen Jenkins: His injury woes sometimes overshadow how good of a football player he is, but Jenkins is one of the better 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL.

Equally solid against the pass and the run, Jenkins has the versatility to play several positions along the defensive line. This past season, he played both defensive end and on the inside during passing downs, and was effective in both situations.

That package of talents will make Jenkins a wanted man once free agency starts. At 30 years old however, the Packers might not be willing to pay Jenkins what it takes to keep him in Green Bay.

9. TE Jermichael Finley: In a matter of two short years, Finley transformed himself from a immature rookie to the NFL’s most feared tight end.

While injuries have kept him from completing a full season, no tight end can make claim to the athletic package that Finley possesses. That skill set could see him shoot up this list in the coming years.

He needs to stay healthy and put together a complete season, but the sky is the limit for Finley in the Packers’ offense.

8. S Nick Collins: His pick-six in the Super Bowl put him momentarily in the spotlight, but Collins is one of the NFL’s most underrated safeties.

While not a monster around the line of scrimmage like Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, Collins does his best work manning the back of Green Bay’s defense. In that role, Collins has 17 interceptions over the past three seasons and could probably have 5-10 more if he had better hands.

Overall, his range and play recognition have gotten better every season he’s been in the league.

7. NT B.J. Raji: For the better part of his first year and a half in the NFL, Raji wasn’t living up to his 9th overall selection in 2009. An ankle injury during his rookie season was one of the primary causes for his early struggles.

27

March

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 67-30

As is the case for nearly ever Super Bowl champion, the Green Bay Packers assembled a deep and talented roster for their 2010-2011 championship season.

However, unlike most champions, the Packers had to do it the unlucky way.

15 players—many important contributors—landed on season-ending injured reserve, and Green Bay had to call on the bottom of GM Ted Thompson’s emergency board for players to even field a full roster.

In the first of three articles ranking the Packers’ roster, you’ll find many of those players that no one expected to contribute.

Don’t let the rankings fool you, however. During the Packers’ Super Bowl season, every player on this roster was important to achieving the final goal.

Here are players 67 through 30. (Note: Players who ended on the practice squad are not included, but those who ended on the injured reserve are.) This will be followed up by players 29-11 and then finally, the top 10 players on the Packers roster.

67. CB Josh Bell: Landed on the injured reserve in mid-August with a knee injury and probably won’t be back next season. He might forever be known as the guy who gave up the game-winner to Mike Wallace and the Steelers in 2009.

66. CB Josh Gordy: Activated from the practice squad for the final nine games of the season but never saw the field. The Packers like Gordy however, and he’ll get another look as a project player and is probable to make the practice squad.

65. LB Diryal Briggs: Brought in towards the end of October and contributed a handful of special teams tackles. Briggs is only 25, but chances are he gets flushed out by the return of several IR linebackers this summer.

64. G/C Evan Dietrich-Smith: Was brought back after being cut in training camp on Dec. 31 and served as Scott Wells’ backup for the final stretch. While he never saw the field, he’ll get a chance in camp to win a spot.

63. CB Brandon Underwood: The Packers have high hopes for him but he’s yet to realize any potential. That, along with his recent legal troubles, will make Underwood fight for a spot on this team moving forward.

62. LB Matt Wilhelm: Was added along with Briggs at the end of October as a true street free agent. Wilhelm was also guilty of the facemask that all but gave the Falcons a Week 13 win, and won’t be back next season.