Well here we go again, last year I was completely off and I don’t expect to be much different this year. I have however thought a lot about the rationale for creating a NFL roster and I came up with these ideas a couple weeks ago, which I’ll try to use as my baseline rules.
Offense – 24 players
Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell
Rodgers is obviously a lock and I almost think it’s too late for a backup quarterback switch. I know some people have been speculating that the Browns will drop the price for Colt McCoy and Thompson will trade for him, but my assumption is that the Brown’s asking price is way too high at the moment (since as far as I can tell no team has been in serious talks with the Browns), and chances are good Thompson will get outbid by some other team if the price does indeed drop into a competitive offer, so I suspect McCoy goes somewhere else and Harrell remains the backup quarterback.
Running Back (5): James Starks, John Kuhn, Cedric Benson, Alex Green, Brandon Saine
I’ve put Starks still as the lead runner, as I think Benson needs more than one good outing to take the pole position in my opinion; but really that might be a moot point if Starks can’t get on the field. I think Brandon Saine’s spot really depends on the health and performance of Alex Green; if the Packers believe that Green is healthy and productive enough after his ACL injury that he can manage the 3rd down back role by himself (with help from Kuhn), then Saine might be expendable, but personally I think was quietly becoming a very decent pass blocker, which the Packers highly covet. Kuhn rounds out the group as the sole fullback.
Tight Ends (4): Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, DJ Williams, Ryan Taylor
Nothing really interesting with the tight ends, Finley obviously leads the group, with Crabtree, Williams and Taylor all sort of in a mix for the backup position. Each has their own strengths, Crabtree and Taylor can operate as a fullback and Williams is capable of playing the “move” tight end or H-back, and all three contribute on special teams. It will be interesting to see what they do when Andrew Quarless returns (if he does at all, as they may choose to just shut him down for the entire year), my suspicions would be that they add Quarless back by stealing a spot from another position.