As the first cut down day looms and the third preseason game is about to start I think it is a great time to take a look at what we believe the final roster will look like. I took into account everything I have read and seen over the offseason and first part of training camp to figure out each position. As always Ted will probably throw us a curveball but hopefully this is a pretty accurate idea. I list first team first and so on and such. The number is what I assume to be the amount that we will keep. Feel free to comment criticize or debate in the comments below. As always GO PACK.
The starter is obvious unless you live under a rock; Rodgers. Something about him being really good or something makes him the starter. On to the real debate of this position the back up. I am going to give the nod to Vince Young. Why? Well we all know what we have in Graham a QB that understands the system but doesn't have any tools to make it work for him. I thought BJ would step up and take this but he didn't and another year on the practice squad is looming. I like the idea of Vince as the back up. Gives us an interesting look in practice but also heaven forbid if Rodgers is out for a snap I don't think Vince fumbles on the 1 yard line. Lets still all pray that Rodgers keeps his Favre Iron Man Streak alive and misses nothing.
Projected: Rodgers, Young. PS Coleman Cut Harrell
Running Back 4
Is anyone else excited for 4 yards and a cloud of dust? After not finding a guy to replace the productive Grant (back to back 1200 yard seasons) Ted went out and found a great guy and stole him late in the second round, Eddie Lacy. For those keeping track Ted has done that a couple times now (Cobb). Combing Eddie with late season emergence of Harris should give the packers a great thunder and mini thunder backfield. Lacy is a grinder that will wear teams out. and for as small as Harris is he seems to pack a massive amount of muscle. Of the others on the Roster I am going to give Franklin the benefit of being a rookie and Starks the chance because he looks like a workhorse when he is healthy. I believe Pease is headed for the PS and Green gets cut. I think the real tough choice comes down to Green and Starks and with what I have heard all TC it seems Starks will win out.
Projected: Lacy, Harris, Franklin, Starks. PS: Pease Cut: Green
Kuhn keeps his job but his time in Green Bay is winding down. The only reason I don't have a backup is any of the tight ends can step in, in an emergency. Amosa was brought in to keep Kuhn fresh. I haven't seen much from him all TC that would suggest a spot on the team.
Projected: Kuhn Cut: Amosa
Tight End 4
With the departures of the big 5 days (Jennings and Driver) the Tight Ends will be asked this year to step up and preform. We have all been waiting for Finley to become the next great one and this is his last chance. The coaches have faith in him, Rodgers has faith in him, and he will never have more opportunity than this year. Quarless is an intriguing guy. Way Back before he got hurt he was becoming the teams best blocking Tight End, along with having Finley like size and skills. Now a long time removed from his devastating knee injury is he able to become that guy again? I think so. DJ Williams seems to be doing everything possible to not win a job. Yet DJ also posses some great receiving ability and is a willing blocker, and with the future of Finley in doubt and Quarless coming off injury I believe DJ will find his way on the roster once again. That leaves us with 4 interesting options. Stoneburner, Bostick, Mulligan and Taylor. The first two are more receiving types while Mulligan is a blocker and Taylor is a ST standout. I think we only keep one of these and I am going to give it to Taylor. He was making waves early in camp catching anything near him but has cooled off lately. Honestly he doesn't have to catch a single ball all year just block and tackle. I think Mulligan misses out after getting hurt during the Rams game. Stoneburner needs more development and I like him just don't see a spot. Bostick finds his way onto the PS again and maybe a roster spot next year.
Projected: Finley, Quarless, Williams, Taylor. PS: Bostick Cut: Mulligan, Stoneburner
Wide Receiver 5
No position has had more lose of leadership than the Wide Receivers. With both Driver and Jennings leaving most teams would be crippled after those losses. The Packers just bring the next guys up. Nelson and Jones had already supplemented Driver and Jennings last year and are entering the primes of their careers. Both are big physical receivers that are able to get behind a defense. Staying healthy is a must. Cobb became the big play guy last year and this year hopefully becomes the superstar. The biceps injury is worrying but Cobb has unreal ball skills and is a weapon on the field. After the big three comes Boykin. An unknown last year surprised us by making it onto the final 53 and has become a more comfortable member of the group. Should see increased opportunities as he will become the successor to Jones if Jones leaves after this year. After him its a whole lot of meh fighting for 1 maybe 2 spots. I loved the draft picks of Dorsey and Johnson but having been hurt all TC I see the two of them heading for the PS. Walker has shined and looks like a player but I don't see him on the final 53 and I don't think he will sneak onto the PS as someone else will pick him up. That leaves Ross as the last guy with a legitimate chance at the 53. He doesn't bring a lot to the field as a receiver. He needs to run better routes and gain separation. But what he does bring is outstanding return ability. I would have rather Franklin take over the return role but since he hasn't I see us keeping Ross for the KR duties alone basically. The other guys in camp are a bunch of bodies although Myles White and Alex Gillett intrigue me. Either of them could get on the PS if Dorsey Johnson are scooped up.
Projected: Nelson, Jones, Cobb, Boykin, Ross. PS: Johnson, Dorsey. Cut: Walker, White, Gillett, Hines, Wilson
The OLine has been the talk throughout the offseason with the big switch aimed at improving protection and the running game. It more or less became a moot point with injuries as the only two playing different are Sitton and Lang. Barclay should and will end up being the RT and along with Bakhtiari should give us a solid, young and intriguing pair of bookends. Both him and Bakhtiari look like Mark and Chad respectively and if they can be half as good it will save us from having screwed up on two first round picks, Bulaga and Sherrod. Now I am not saying Bulaga and Sherrod are busts but I think we all thought that they would be starting by now and both are injuried. Bulaga is great when healthy but if the bookend B's play great I don't know what his future with the team is. I would love to see Sherrod healthy for no other reason than I hate career ending injuries. The interior is also young and looks set. Sitton is the stud of the line. Lang is a mauler that is improving. And EDS is a solid center. Van Roten is the top back up inside but if any major injury happened I could see Barclay sliding in and Newhouse manning a tackle spot. Van Roten has a lot of EDS in him and looks like a clown. Newhouse has experience and is solid but struggles in run game and against good competition. Gerhert, Taylor, Lewis, and Hughes haven't shown much with the second team line but we were saying the same thing last year with Barclay. At the end of the day I think Datko finds his was on the PS and the rest are cut.
Projected LtoR Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay. Top tackle backup Newhouse. Top Inside Backup GVR. PS" Datko Cut Gerhert, Taylor, Lewis and Hughes. PUP Sherrod IR Bulaga
Johnny Jolly, What else is there to say? What a story. I am happy for him and I hope he comes all the way back to his 09 form because he was on the verge of breaking out. This is a make or break year for Raji. I still think no matter what he gets resigned because god doesn't make 350lb men that can move like him but his play will determine the dollar amount. I believe this is the last year of Picket. It has been a fun ride but I think age will catch him in the next 2 years and we almost always go young. But we get one last shot to have him ride off into the sunset with us. Neal is being used all over the place and I think will breakout this year. Jones is the first round pick and looks like a rock solid choice. Him Neal Raji on a line together will be fun to watch. Daniels, Wilson and Boyd will be the main backups. Daniels has a great motor and gives good push. Wilson is a good player against the run and I don't mind him starting if needed. Boyd looks like the replacement for Pickett. The other guys in camp haven't shown me enough to make the team.
Projected starters in base against run 3-4 Jolly, Pickett, Raji. Starters in nickel against pass 2-4 Raji Jones. Backups: Wilson Neal Boyd Daniels. Cut Miller Pena IR Worthy
Matthews is the star and no need to talk about how awesome he is. Perry showed great burst and I think we would all love to see him hit every QB like he hit Luck. Neal is going to get time here but I counted him on the DLine. Moses has experience but seems to be having a Shields like sophomore slump. Mulumba has shown flashes in TC and Preseason. Palmer will make the team because you can never not have enough fresh bodies to rush the passer. Reed and Savage get cut. Depth here is thin which is why I think the cross training of Neal has occurred.
Projected" Matthews, Perry, Moses, Mulumba, Palmer Cut: Reed, Savage.
Jones played his way into a new contracted and allowed us to cut Bishop who is currently having a hard time making the Vikings. Hawk shows up makes his tackles calls the plays and goes home. Lots of fans hate him. If he would have been drafted in the 5th round we would think he was a steal. Instead it was 5th overall and he doesn't make any splash plays. I say leave the splash to others on the team and have Hawk come to work do his job and go home. Behind them is Francois who is a ST standout and is showing flashes in preseason. Lattimore is another ST standout with great range but is small for the position. Manning is the most intriguing but hasn't done anything to stand out like other preseason HOF Bishop? Barrington has shown ability and might unseat others but I think he will spend this year on the PS. In the end we keep 5 and hope the injuries don't stack up again. Can only count on two things from this group that Hawk will be hated and that Hawk will show up to work.
Projected: Hawk, Jones, Lattimore, Manning, Francois. PS Barrington
The deepest position on the team. I feel like our number 4 and 5 corners would be other teams 1 and 2. Williams needs to regain 2010 form to stay beyond this season. Shields is in a contract year and I think will be the first on the team to sign an extension. Has blazing speed and once he was taught to tackle last year became the best in the secondary at doing it. Hayward is a playmaker with a nose for the ball. Excels inside at slot corner. House is a physical corner that will find a role on this team. He is big enough for the big receivers and displays good trail technique. The surprise is Hyde. He is a kid that jumps off the screen with his intangibles. Finds the football and tackles well. He will find a way to be on the field every Sunday. Bush makes the team as the 4th safety, ST ace. He works hard and with 5 very good corners in front of him should never see the field covering a WR one on one. The others are Nixon, Means and Smith. Each one has intriguing qualities but not enough to make the 53 also only 1 will maybe make PS and I will go with Nixon.
Projected: Williams, Shields, Hayward, Hyde, House, Bush. PS Nixon Cut Means, Smith
Burnett got paid and for good reason. He is a fast rising star on the defense. McMillian I think wins the other starting job but with the depth in the secondary He will rotate a lot with Jennings as well. None of the others have stood out to make me want them to stick around. Has Richardson practiced? I have heard nothing about him. Powell doesn't look ready to contribute and Banjo and Fulton were camp bodies.
Projected: Burnett, McMillan, Jennings. Cut Powell, Richardson, Banjo, Fulton.
Tim Masthay. Hits a good ball pins it deep makes the team better.
Goode Snaps are always prefect
Ahh, the big ST question. I will give it to Crosby. He has worked hard and has gotten out of his funk. He has a big leg and the potential to hit long kicks all year. I don't trust GT to kick a 50 yard field goal in the winter not that it will be left or right but will it go far enough. And for the people wanting another teams cast off. If they weren't good enough for that team I don't think the will be good enough here. Crosby will go on to have a good career and we will put his struggles behind us. I feel if it hadn't been for Troy Aikman and his constant talk during games people would have hardly realized Crosby's struggles. I felt like at times Crosby had stolen Troy's lunch money or something.
Hyde gets the call. Ross has a hard time overcoming his to fumbles on Punts last year. Every now and then Cobb goes back and gets a punt.
Ross. Has good ability at KR much better than his PR. Again Cobb gets one or two a month.
Coleman, Pease, Bostick, Johnson, Dorsey, Datko, Barrington, Nixon.
For those of you keeping track that is 53 on the roster and 8 on the PS. Feel free to tell me where I am wrong. I know there is lots of grammar issues and errors. I tried my best. Hope you liked the write up.
Go Pack Go