30

August

Thomas Hobbes: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Good luck to Ted Thompson as he whittles down the current Packers roster to 53 players.

Thank god I’m not this guy…

First off, as with every year that I do this, I would like to say upfront I have no idea what I’m doing.  I don’t pretend to able to prognosticate 53-man rosters any more than I can delve in the mind of Ted Thompson.  That being said, this is still a fun yearly exercise and I’m sure we’ll all have a good laugh at my expense about this next week.  Anyways, I wrote an article last year about the 10 points of making a 53 man roster and I’ve tried to follow my own advice.

 

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

The Packers typically keep 2 quarterbacks on the roster with a 3rd on the practice squad, and with Graham Harrell cut and no longer practice squad eligible, Vince Young becomes the de facto backup.  I’d say it’s a 50-50 split as to whether they keep Coleman on the practice squad; my take is his quick demotion after Family Night signified that he didn’t show enough to warrant further development, and if the Packers were truly trying to “hide away” Coleman’s talent’s they would have kept Harrell for the last preseason game to bury Coleman’s playing time.  But barring any other surprise options they might have to wait for the draft to find their next developmental quarterback.

Running Back (4): Eddie Lacy, Alex Green, John Kuhn, Johnathan Franklin

Lacy is obviously now the starting running back with DuJuan Harris on IR, and the rest of the stable is rather murky.  Green probably gets the first chance to be Lacy’s backup even though he’s probably more of a 3rd down back as the Packers aren’t going to drop a high draft pick that quickly and he has the alibi that knee apparently never healed enough to make him a viable runner last year.  Kuhn stays due to his acumen in special teams, pass protection and security blanket for Rodgers.  Franklin rounds out the group mostly because of his draft status at this point, he hasn’t adjusted to the NFL as quickly as the other rookies, but he might be a decent option later in the season as he gains more experience.  Starks in my opinion has been the odd man out this whole offseason, after Franklin was drafted Starks was the runner placed on the trading block over Green and Starks was the last running back in during the “dress rehearsal” 3rd preseason game and didn’t log a rushing attempt.   

30

August

Jersey Al: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Ted Thompson looking for wide receivers

Wait, how many wide receivers am I keeping?

My Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Quarterback (2): Rodgers, Young

There’s no doubt, I’d feel better about the Packers’ chances with Young at QB  over Harrell if Rodgers went down. Do doubt about it. So did the Packers. Coleman hasn’t made as big a jump as expected – back to the practice squad.  (Coleman to the PS)

Running Back (5): Lacy, Franklin, Green, Starks, Kuhn

This was going to be a tough one until Harris went down for the year. Now it’s pretty much a sure thing. I entertained the drop Kuhn thought for awhile myself, but it’s just not something I see Mccarthy wanting to do. With TE Mulligan hurt, that solidifies the need for Kuhn. (Amosa cut)

Wide Receiver (5): Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin, Ross

At the beginning of camp, I was convinced the Packers would keep 6 here to compensate for losing Driver and Jennings, but Boykin has looked really good to me  and Ross is coming on as a receiver. Therefore, I’m comfortable with keeping five on the roster with two on the practice squad in case of injuries. (Johnson & Walker to PS, Myles White cut)

Tight End (5): Finley, Taylor, Mulligan, Bostick, Quarless

I almost had the Packers cutting Ryan Taylor, but his value on special teams is too great. WR convert Bostick has much more upside than Taylor, so the Packers keep him. They attempt to trade DJ Williams for a late round pick but end up cutting him. The fifth round selection has just never translated his college success to the NFL level.  I know I’m probably wrong about Williams, but there’s always a surprise, so this is mine. Stoneburner could probably stick on another team, but not in this TE group. (Williams cut or traded, Stoneburner cut)

Offensive Line (7): Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten,

This jumps out as the best combination of players to keep. Assuming the first five listed are the starters, there will be a backup tackle, and center/guard on the sidelines. If Barclay doesn’t start, he’s a two or three-position guy at the ready. Lane Taylor just misses out but is kept on the Practice Squad as C/G insurance. (Taylor to PS, Gerhart, Hughes, Lewis, Datko cut)

Defensive Line (7): Pickett, Raji, Jones, Wilson, Jolly, Daniels, Neal

29

August

Jason Perone: My Initial Packers 53-Man Roster Predictions

2013 Packers 53 man roster cuts

Thompson and McCarthy have a lot of meeting to do over the next week to trim the Packers’ roster to 53 players

The Green Bay Packers will face some tough decision after this week’s final preseason game and to determine what the final roster will look like.  That will fall largely on General Manager Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

It’s possible that one of these young players could flash in the preseason finale and jump ahead on the depth chart, but as of today, let’s take a look at who I see on the team’s final 53-man roster.

Quarterback (2): Rodgers, Young

With Graham Harrell out of the equation already and with Coleman not taking the step forward that the Packers had hoped, they go with the experienced Young behind Rodgers.

Running Back (5): Lacy, Starks, Green, Franklin, Kuhn

With DuJuan Harris headed to season-ending injured reserve, that opens the door for both Green and Starks to stay.  Lacy is a lock to be the team’s starting back.  Franklin adds some depth in the return game while he continues to integrate into the offense.  And Kuhn’s pass blocking and savvy is too valuable to let go just yet.

Wide Receiver (5): Cobb, Nelson, J. Jones, Boykin, Ross

Cobb, Nelson and Jones were locks from day one.  Boykin has shown very well during the preseason and locked up his roster spot early.  Ross can also flash in the return game and edges out Walker.  With a few injuries to both Nelson and Cobb in recent seasons, depth at this key position is a priority.

Tight End (5): Finley, Quarless, Taylor, Mulligan, Stoneburner

DJ Williams has done nothing to establish himself amongst the above and it’s time to cut the cord.  Same with Bostick.  Stoneburner is very green and probably not ready to contribute much on offense, but he has the pedigree that the Packers like in a tight end.  It’s a bit of a gamble with all but Finley playing on special teams so the team has to hope they can all stay healthy.  

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

We all know who the starters are.  With rookie JC Tretter and veteran Bryan Bulaga both out to start the season, Newhouse is too valuable as an experienced backup to let him go.  Van Roten backs up EDS at center but is very green.  Taylor has shown some “nasty” this preseason, something the offensive line can use more of with their physical opponents.

28

August

Chad Toporski: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

McCarthy Face

How the heck am I gonna get this roster down to 53?

As I’ve perused the Packers Blogosphere and its associate comments sections, I have noticed something rather interesting. There are two types of fans when it comes to roster predictions: (1) those who list whom they want on the roster, and (2) those who predict whom Ted Thompson will keep.

These are two very different processes, because in the former, we are relying on our own sense of football knowledge. We usually have a limited perception of players, because most of our first-hand experience comes from exhibition games and not live training camp practices. (The exceptions are the veterans, whom we’ve seen in past regular seasons.)

In the latter, we are trying to synthesize preseason games with media reports from practice and our general knowledge of how Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy work. We’re not looking at who we like (though that does admittedly alter our perceptions), but rather who the Packers like. One great example of this is tight end D.J. Williams. Despite broad frustration from the fan base in regard to his performance deficiencies, the Packers seem determined to keep him on the roster. He’s been given a lion’s share of reps, and a lot of them have come with the first team offense. (Of course, one could argue they’re trying to “sell” him to another team.)

With all of that in mind, this is how I think the roster will shake out according to Thompson and McCarthy. I can’t say that my own subjectivity won’t factor into the equation, but I’ll do my best to keep it at bay. Enjoy.

Quarterback (2): Rodgers, Young

The writing was on the wall when Graham Harrell was cut. Young is the de facto backup.

Running Back (5): Lacy, Franklin, Green, Starks, Kuhn

With Harris on IR, Starks will fill in the fifth roster spot. There’s really no one left, and they’re going to need four running backs to make it through the season. Kuhn is a no-brainer for how much the Packers value him, despite some contempt from fans.

Wide Receiver (5): Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin, Ross

Ross did enough on returns the past couple weeks to win the fifth wide receiver job; meanwhile, Walker didn’t do quite enough as a wide receiver despite his earlier flashes. The top four of Nelson, Cobb, Jones, and Boykin are guarantees.

18

July

Green Bay Packers What If Roster Scenarios

What if Micah Hyde can do what Jarrett Bush does, only better? Does Bush get cut?

Are you ready to really scramble the Packers portion of your brain?

Let’s go over a few “What If” Packers roster scenarios. Your head will begin spinning in 3, 2, 1…

What if a RB/FB emerges as a really good pass blocker?
Then John Kuhn — due to make $1.6 million this season — might be out of a job. Besides being the only reliable blocking back, what else does Kuhn bring to the team besides a recognizable fan chant whenever he touches the ball? He’s not a reliable option for picking up short-yardage first downs. He’s not a run blocker. He’s got decent hands, but it’s not like his receiving would be sorely missed. I know he’s tight with the quarterback, and cutting a reliable pass-blocking back in this offense would be risky, even if another back emerges as a blocker in preseason. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kuhn gone if Mike McCarthy is confident in having someone else out there on third downs to protect Aaron Rodgers.

What if Johnny Jolly has a great training camp and preseason?
The Packers kept six defensive lineman on the opening day roster last season. The six did not include Mike Neal, who was suspended for the first four games. Neal, Josh Boyd, Datone Jones, C.J. Wilson, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Mike Daniels are probably frontrunners to secure spots this season. Jerel Worthy will likely start on the physically unable to perform list and may eventually move to injured reserve. If — and it’s a big if — Jolly is too good to cut, could Daniels go? He had a few moments in 2012, but seems too small to become a major impact player. Other than Daniels — and even he seems pretty safe — I don’t know who else would go to make room for Jolly. I guess the most likely scenario if Jolly is good is keeping eight defensive lineman and stashing Worthy on the PUP. You could probably get an extra roster spot by going with five wide receivers and eight linebackers after opening with six and nine, respectively, in 2012. The bottom line is this: Jolly is going to have to be damn good to make the team. And if he is, it’s going to lead to a lot of other roster dominos falling.

14

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Packers training camp is only a few weeks away, which means it’s time to get excited.

And worry.

Any good fan worries. It’s normal. You get excited about all the possibilities of the upcoming season, but you also can’t help but fret over certain worst-case scenarios that could play out and ruin the season.

Some people might call this worrying “negativity.” Those people are wrong. They worry just as much as you, and their way of coping is by criticizing others who worry openly.

What’s your biggest worry about the Packers as training camp gets closer?

I suppose Aaron Rodgers’ good fortune running out and missing multiple games with an injury is always a concern, but I tend to not worry about injuries so much because you literally have no ideal from year to year what a team’s injury luck might be.

For me, I worry about impact players in the middle of the Packers defense. A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Morgan Burnett and either Jerron McMillian or M.D. Jennings will likely be roaming the middle of the field for the Packers on defense.

Do any of those players strike fear into opposing offenses?

It’s nice to have an impact player up the middle to wallop somebody and force a fumble or range across the field and make a pick to change the momentum of the game or make up for shortcomings in other area’s of the defense.

Hawk definitely isn’t that type player. We’re not sure yet about Jones, but I don’t have my hopes up. Burnett is a good player, but hasn’t yet ascended to playmaker status. McMillian and Jennings are unknowns, but again, I wouldn’t get my hopes up — especially about Jennings who is really small.

So, there’s your does of negativity for the day. Or what some people call negativity and I call worrying like any normal fan would.

I do think the Packers defense will be better, but I’d be a lot more confident if their players up the middle had at least one proven playmaker. Hopefully Jones, Burnett or McMillian/Jennings ascends this season and makes all my worrying for not.

Packers News, Notes and Links

17

June

2013 Green Bay Packers: An Early Look At The Depth Chart

Green Bay Packers huddle

Who are your 2013 Green Bay Packers?

With the off-season activities now officially over with, we now turn our attention to the upcoming training camp and preseason.  The big question is:  What will the 2013 Green Bay Packers look like?

I’m taking a look at each position and listing who I think are the likely starters, as of today.  Training camp always tends to change that list quite a bit so this is obviously as of today, as it stands, and without having really seen many of these guys play.

Quarterback

Starter:  Aaron Rodgers

Backup: BJ Coleman

Bubble: Graham Harrell, Matt Brown

Quick hits: Rodgers is the league’s highest-paid player and let’s not forget he’s pretty good at what he does.  No question there and so the biggest debate is whether Coleman can leapfrog Harrell and will the team carry three active quarterbacks?  My thought is that if Coleman wins the backup spot, they will likely cut Harrell.  Illinois State’s Matt Brown could be a good candidate to land on the practice squad, much like Coleman did last season.

Running Back/Fullback

Starter:  DuJuan Harris

Backup:  Alex Green, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin

Bubble: John Kuhn, James Starks, Angelo Pease, Jonathan Amosa

Quick hits: Harris came on and was effective late in the season for the Packers.  He didn’t participate in much of the team’s offseason due to having a cyst removed near his lung.  He is expected to be ready for training camp.  Green will get every opportunity to remain a part of the team’s plans but will face very fierce competition from rookies Lacy and Franklin.  Still, I see the team keeping all four.  James Starks is likely all but out of Green Bay after being largely ineffective during his three-season stint with the team.  And we may have seen the last of John Kuhn, which will make the team’s decisions at this position easier.

Wide Receiver

Starters: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb

Backups:  Jarrett Boykin, Charles Johnson

Bubble:  Jeremy Ross, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Terrell Sinkfield, Myles White, Tyrone Walker, Sederrick Cunningham