FanPost

The 90 Man Roster By The Numbers: Defense

The vast majority of roster turnover has already happened. There might be a few players not yet on the roster who squeeze out one of the 90, but by & large, this is the group who will face cuts down to 80 on the 28th of August & the final cutdown to 53 on the 2nd of September. The following is an early projection at who makes the roster.
Players with a 75% chance or better of making the 53
Players with a 75% chance or better of making the roster, but may not count against the 53 to start the season

Players with a 25-75% chance of making the 53
Players with a 25% chance or less of making the 53

See the full list & depth chart after the jump.

DL (12): 6
BJ Raji
Ryan Pickett
Jerel Worthy
Mike Daniels

Anthony Hargrove
Mike Neal
Lawrence Guy
Phillip Merling
Daniel Muir
CJ Wilson
Jarius Wynn
Johnny Jones

Hargrove & Neal's suspensions may delay difficult decisions about who makes the roster on the defensive line. Even so, there's 4 [edit: now 5] guys competing for two spots. Muir has the versatility of playing both DE & NT. Guy was stashed on IR last year. Wilson & Wynn have never been much more than serviceable.

OLB (8): 4 or 5
Clay Matthews
Nick Perry

Brad Jones
Frank Zombo
Erik Walden
Vic So'oto
Jamari Lattimore
Dezman Moses

Jones, Zombo & Walden have all started opposite Clay Matthews, but none have looked anything more than adequate. So'oto flashed in last year's final preseason game (against mostly Chiefs' starters), and Lattimore contributed on special teams. Jones has shown an ability to play inside, and as we all know, versatility is a plus, but he not a lock. It should be interesting to see how this plays out.

ILB (5): 4 or 5
AJ Hawk
Desmond Bishop
DJ Smith
Terrell Manning
Rob Francois

Francois played above expectations when forced into duty due to injury, but he's caught in a numbers squeeze. Jones could potentially shift inside & Sean Richardson, the safety, may also come into play as a coverage ILB, further steepening the hill Francois must climb.

CB (9): 6 or 7
Charles Woodson
Tramon Williams
Casey Hayward
Sam Shields
Davon House
Jarrett Bush

Brandian Ross
Otis Merrill
Dion Turner

Depending on the play of the middle-tier guys, Woodson may be converted to a safety. There's a lot of talent here, hopefully guys live up to their potential.

S (6): 3 or 4
Morgan Burnett
Jerron McMillian
Charlie Peprah

MD Jennings
Sean Richardson
Anthony Levine

McMillian will be making the transition from FCS to the NFL, hopefully as well as Nick Collins did. There should be spirited competition in the lower half of the depth chart.

I have:
20 players in the "most likely" category, with as many as 5 possibly not counting against the 53 to begin the regular season
13 players in the middle category
5 players in the "long-shot" category

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