With training camp approaching, fans most cherished prognosticating event, second only to mock drafts is predicting the final 53-man roster. Our own Adam Czech and Chad Toporski have each done their own analysis of the 53-man rosters and I’m sure the entire AllGreenBayPackers staff will be making predictions further down the road, but instead of doing one this early myself, I’ve decided to write so general rules that I think you should follow when making your own 53-man rosters
Rule 1 – Drafted players almost always make the team: Over his 8 year tenure as the Packers GM, Ted Thompson has only cut 8 drafted rookies by the end of training camp (technically DE Lawrence Guy was also cut last year, but ended up on the IR list, so the Packers still hold his rights and he is part of this year’s training camp so I don’t consider him a true cut). That’s roughly 1 draftee cut per year, so with the Packers taking 8 players in this year’s draft, expect to keep at least 6 or 7 of them on roster. Also keep that in mind that when trying to add Diondre Biorel, Tori Gurley or Dezman Moses to the roster, drafted players almost always get preferential treatment unless an undrafted rookie has played lights out.
Rule 2 – Focus on special teams: It’s pretty easy to put down Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley on the roster, but the further down you go on the depth chart the murkier it becomes. Consider what backups and 3rd string guys are really on the team for: to develop and in the mean time play on special teams. Players who can play on special teams and play well have a significantly higher chance to stick on the roster than players who can’t play special teams. In the last 2 years three undrafted rookie free agent linebackers (Frank Zombo, Jamari Lattimore and Vic So’oto) made the team, at least initially due to their special teams ability. Also one of the big reasons why 2011 1st round pick Derek Sherrod spent most of the season on the inactive list (before getting sent to IR) was because Marshall Newhouse won the backup tackle spot and tackles are pretty terrible at special teams (not his fault, what makes him good as a tackle makes him bad as a special teamer).