Analysis: Down to 53; Look Who Missed The Roster

I started out by looking at who made the 53 man roster for the Green Bay Packers. But all the talk is about who didn't make the team. It's a big list, with 18 players released and 4 players placed on I.R., but there are three big surprises. I'll be going through the players on I.R. after the jump. Also, it's time to speculate who will make the practice squad.

  • QB Brian Brohm. It's not everyday a team releases the player who was the No. 57 overall pick less than two years ago. I'm a big fan, I think he's getting better and has a chance to be a good QB, but I can understand why he's out. He doesn't make good decisions and he has trouble throwing the ball deep. He really needs more reps; he'd be a perfect candidate for the old NFL Europe. And I can understand why they weren't able to trade him because his stats during the 2008-2009 preseasons have been bad. Also, GM Ted Thompson probably prefers carrying only two QBs on the roster. He might slip through and find his way back on the practice squad. I couldn't find any legitimate rumor of another team being interested in him.
  • RB Tyrell Sutton. Mike McCarthy prefers big backs. RB Ryan Grant and RB DeShawn Wynn are big backs. Sutton, at 5'7", is not. His only competition was truly RB Brandon Jackson, and it appears Jackson is a better blocker and receiver. Expect to see Sutton sign with another team very soon.
  • S Anthony Smith. The former 3rd round pick of the Steelers was a low cost free agent signing. He received no signing bonus, so there shouldn't be a salary cap hit for his release. He's had an outstanding preseason, although he did mix in a couple 15 yard penalties. Then they trade for CB/S Derrick Martin, who seems to be a very similar player, although he can actually play cornerback. I thought Smith had the job as the top backup safety all locked up.
  • WR Jake Allen. He was on the practice squad last season, but it wasn't enough to get him a good look this preseason. I rarely saw him on the field. He could return to the practice squad once again.
  • CB Trevor Ford. He was just awful in the game against Tennessee. He wasn't physical at the line and he couldn't keep up with the receivers in coverage. He's the least surprising cut.
  • OL Andrew Hartline. He had a good preseason, but he just couldn't beat out OL T.J. Lang or C Evan Dietrich-Smith. Although it probably helped Dietrich-Smith that he can play center too. He could return on the practice squad, but it will depend on who else was released around the NFL.
  • WR Kole Heckendorf. He had a good preseason and it should be enough to get him onto the practice squad.
  • LB Danny Lansanah. Another 2008 practice squad alum. He's a good player and a big hitter, but there are just too many good inside linebackers currently on the roster. He's another 2009 practice squad possibility.
  • RB Kregg Lumpkin. The running back everyone expected to be released. I'm still surprised he made the team last season. I'm pretty sure he's not eligible for the practice squad.
  • DE Alfred Malone. Rinse and repeat: another 2008 practice squad alum who had a good preseason and could make it on the 2009 practice squad.
  • WR Ruvell Martin. He should have made the team again this season, but he had some preseason miscues. He just didn't offer anything as a receiver that they couldn't get from WR Brett Swain. But while Swain actually showed some promise as a punt returner and as a cornerback (seriously, he wasn't that bad in the Tennesee game), Martin blew his opportunity as a holder and a punt returner (fumbled a punt return at Tennessee). He doesn't seem like a guy who will draw much interest from another team.
  • OL Jamon Meredith. The 5th round pick had a rocky college career in South Carolina, but the talent has always been there. He played almost exclusively at left tackle this preseason, and it seemed like he's a great run blocker. I'm really surprised they kept Dietrich-Smith over him.
  • NT Dean Muhtadi. He's under 300 lbs. but he always played at nose tackle. He never seemed like a good fit, but he could be signed for the practice squad.
  • LB Cyril Obiozor. The undrafted, college defensive end, was always a project, and he got caught in a numbers crunch. Just too many good linebackers in camp. He was probably battling 7th round LB Brad Jones for a spot, and Jones outplayed him. He's another practice squad possibility.
  • CB Joe Porter. Rinse and repeat: another 2008 practice squad alum who had a good preseason and could make it on the 2009 practice squad.
  • OL Dane Randolph. The undrafted lineman from Maryland was always a long shot, and he only played 3rd string right tackle this preseason. He's not bad, but there's just no room for him.
  • DE Ronald Talley. He made a couple plays this preseason, but he got beat out by DE Jarius Wynn, who made a lot of good plays. 
  • NT Anthony Toribio. He spent a lot of time in opponent's backfields this preseason and I was hoping he grabbed one of the final roster spots. He should be playing somewhere in the NFL, but he might slip through the cracks.
Injured Reserve:
  • DE Justin Harrell. The frequently injured one is the least surprising addition to the I.R. Although this gives him another season to try and rehab, I don't expect he'll ever play for the Packers again.
  • CB Pat Lee. This sucks. He missed most of the preseason with a back injury, he finally gets healthy for the final preseason game, and he hyperextends his knee. He looked good at cornerback against Tennessee, and he made a great kick off return (on which he hyperextended his knee). With several injured players already in the secondary, they couldn't afford to stash him on the 53 man roster and wait a few weeks for him to return.
  • TE Evan Moore. He didn't seem hurt in the Tennessee game. He sure didn't play well this preseason (multiple penalties, at least one fumble) so I was expecting his release.
  • S Charlie Peprah. He played only on special teams in 2007 and 2008, but the coaches apparently like him anyway. He might have been able to return, but as I mentioned with Pat Lee above, they really can't wait.
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