This is a look at what is ahead. The deadline to trim the roster to 53 comes at 5pm CDT this Saturday. The roster is brimming with talent, so I don't envy the personnel department this time of year; they've got to tell some competent players to turn in their playbooks. That's the harsh business that is the NFL. Which 53 players will begin the quest of repeating as Super Bowl Champions? Let's take a look, shall we?

QB: (2 or 3)
Aaron Rodgers (Lock)
Matt Flynn (Lock)
Graham Harrell
(Questionable, PS?)

QB is set at the top, and with Flynn more than likely leaving next year, Harrell will be groomed to be the possible #2. Tough roster decisions across the board might force Harrell out. [edit] Harrell is out.

RB: (3)
Ryan Grant (Lock)
James Starks (Lock)
Alex Green (Lock)
Dmitri Nance (Doubtful)
Brandon Saine (Out, PS?)

This is the easiest positional decision on the roster. Nance has been decent this preseason, but he wouldn't be on the roster if not for Ryan Grant's injury last year. Sorry fellas, but Ryan Grant is not getting cut.

FB: (1 or 2)
John Kuhn (Lock)
Quinn Johnson
Jon Hoese (Out)

Yes, all Quinn Johnson does is block. He's a FB, though, that's kinda their job. The Packers might want to use the roster spot for a TE, and use him in a H-Back type role to cover for the loss in the run-blocking of Johnson. If Johnson is cut, look for Hoese on the PS.

WR: (5 or 6)
Greg Jennings (Lock)
Donald Driver (Lock)
James Jones (Lock)
Jordy Nelson (Lock)
Randall Cobb (Lock)
Tori Gurley (Doubtful, PS?)
Chastin West (Doubtful, PS?)
Diondre Borel (Out, PS?)
Shaky Smithson (Out, PS?)
Kerry Taylor (Out)

The only decision here is if you want to keep 6 WRs, given all the talent there is at the bottom of the roster, and let a guy like Gurley or West shine on ST, and catch a few balls here & there. I'm thinking there's too much talent up & down this roster for a 6th WR. Perhaps a trade?

TE: (4 or 5)
Jermichael Finley (Lock)
Tom Crabtree (Lock)
Andrew Quarless (Lock)
DJ Williams (Probable)
Ryan Taylor (Probable)

They want Taylor to be practicing on this team, so if they cut him, they're pretty sure they can get him to the Practice Squad. Another option here would be to trade one of these guys to a team with TE needs. Too much talent to cut, too many TEs to keep. Sounds like a solution to me.

OL: (8 or 9)
Josh Sitton (Lock)
Scott Wells (Lock)
Bryan Bulaga (Lock)
Chad Clifton (Lock)
TJ Lang (Lock)
Derek Sherrod (Lock)
Marshall Newhouse (Lock)
Evan Dietrich-Smith (Probable)
Nick McDonald (Doubtful)
Caleb Schlauderaff (Doubtful, PS?)
Ray Dominguez (Doubtful, PS?)
Chris Campbell (Doubtful)
Sampson Genus (Cut, PS?)

With the two primary back-ups Sherrod & Newhouse's natural position being T, you figure if only 1 or 2 more OL are kept, they will both be interior linemen. McDonald looked like the primary back-up at C, but the snapping blunder against the Chiefs may have pushed EDS up the depth chart. Schlauderaff hasn't done much to secure a roster spot (though I haven't seen the practices), he seems like a candidate for the PS.

DL: (6)
BJ Raji (Lock)
Ryan Pickett (Lock)
Mike Neal (Lock)
Howard Green (Lock)
CJ Wilson (Lock)
Jarius Wynn (Probable)
Lawrence Guy (Doubtful, IR? PS?)
Curtis Young (Out)
Elisha Joseph (Out)
Jay Ross (Out)

Another relatively easy decision for TT, the veteran guys looked like veterans & the rookies looked like rookies.

LB: (8 or 9)
Clay Matthews (Lock)
AJ Hawk (Lock)
Desmond Bishop (Lock)
Erik Walden (Lock)
DJ Smith (Lock)
Robert Francois (Lock)
Frank Zombo (Lock)
Vic So'oto (Probable)
Jamari Lattimore (Questionable, PS?)
Brad Jones (Questionable)
Ricky Elmore
(Doubtful, PS?)
Elijah Joseph (Out, PS?)
Cardia Jackson (Out)

So'oto made sure he didn't have to sweat the cut-downs, after a stellar performance against mostly starters in the final game of the preseason. Brad Jones has shown next to nothing this preseason, and what was unthinkable to me just a few weeks ago (his release) now almost seems to be a certainty. Maybe if they keep 9 (due to Zombo's injury) he'll stick, but with the depth at other positions, that's far from a sure thing.

DB: (9 or 10)
Charles Woodson (Lock)
Tramon Williams
Nick Collins
Morgan Burnett (Lock)
Sam Shields
Charlie Peprah
Davon House
(Probable, IR?)
Jarrett Bush
Pat Lee
Josh Gordy
(Questionable, PS?)
Anthony Levine
(Questionable, PS?)
MD Jennings (Questionable, PS?)
Brandain Ross (Doubtful, PS?)
Brandon Underwood (Doubtful)
Anthony Bratton (Out)

House has looked pretty good when he's been on the field, but he hasn't been on the field much, due to injuries. TT may IR him (even if his injuries aren't that serious) just to save the roster space. Bush likely makes the team due to his special teams play, and most certainly not his coverage skills. Pat Lee's performance last night made cutting him a bit of a harder decision. Gordy looked good earlier in the preseason, but hasn't done too much since.

ST: (3)
Mason Crosby (Lock)
Tim Masthay (Lock)
Brett Goode (Out)

I was thinking we could cut Goode & use McDonald on long snaps.
Wait, no, why don't we keep this Brett?

I think the bare minimum roster looks like this:
2 QB+3 RB+1 FB+5 WR+4 TE+8 OL=23
6 DL+8 LB+9 DB=23
3 ST
The leaves 4 spots you can "flex" to whatever position you want whether it be:
2nd FB, 5th TE, 9th+10th OL, 9+10th LB, 10th DB

My guess is 2 FB, 5 TE, 9 LB, 10th DB, due to the OL kept being very versatile. We'll probably throw 1 or 2 of those guys on the PS if we do only go with 8.

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