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Analysis: Down to 53; Look Who Made The Roster

The Green Bay Packers roster was at 75 players and they had to get down to 53, so 18 players were released and 4 placed on injured reserve.

I'll start by looking at the players who won the final spots:

  • WR Brett Swain. Maybe it helped him that he played some cornerback in the final preseason game. He was a star during practices, but he didn't have too many receptions during the preseason games. He did look good on punt returns. He was a 7th round pick last season and spent all of 2008 on the practice squad, so they've been watching him a lot over the past two years. He was the beneficiary of a poor preseason from WR Ruvell Martin.
  • CB Will Blackmon. He's played well as a punt returner, but never outstanding as a cornerback. His latest injury might have been the end for him, but apparently he'll be back soon, they won't find a better punt returner, and need depth in the secondary.
  • FB John Kuhn, FB Korey Hall, and FB Quinn Johnson. These three were watched for weeks because it seemed unlikely they'd keep three fullbacks. Instead of making a tough decision, they decided to keep all three.
  • CB Brandon Underwood. The 6th round pick wasn't outstanding this preseason, but they saw enough potential in the lanky 6'1" defender to keep him around. 
  • S Aaron Rouse. After an injury filled 2008, and another injury this preseason, his roster spot seemed in danger. But he is another lanky defender (6'4") who GM Ted Thompson favors, so he keeps his spot too. Apparently his injury isn't too serious otherwise he should have been put on I.R.
  • TE Spencer Havner. After spending last season on the practice squad, I hadn't given him much of a chance this preseason, but his blocking is great and he's got good hands. It helps that he can play LB too, but he's better at TE. It also helped that three other TEs were placed on I.R. at various times this preseason to thin out his competition.
  • LB Brad Jones. The 7th round pick has played great this preseason, although I thought he would be squeezed out by the numbers. Instead they kept nine LBs, 10 if you include Havner. His pass rushing ability was a real eye opener.
  • C Evan Dietrich-Smith. I had no idea the undrafted rookie would earn a spot. He's the biggest surprise.