After the Packers released five players on Friday, the team's roster consists of 45 offensive players, 36 defensive players, and three special teams players, bringing the total number of players on the active roster to 84. As of 3:00 PM central time on Monday, all NFL teams must bring their rosters down to 75 players, meaning the Packers will have to cut another nine men off the roster by that time. Here's one APC writer's guess on who those nine players will be.
In this exercise, I tried to deduce what Ted Thompson will do, not what he should do. In other words, I attempted to account for which players would be likely to be kept around until the final cut-down day in the hopes that they make the practice squad. I tended to look at undrafted rookies from this year as more likely to make that practice squad than players who were on last year's squad, so that's why you may see fewer of this year's rookies than you might expect.
RB Brandon Saine
Saine has good speed and good hands, but hasn't been able to stay on the field. He seems to me to have some similar skills to Duane Bennett, who I think will get the chance to make it to the practice squad. With Cedric Benson's arrival, Saine could be expendable. The only reason I think he would stick on the roster for now is if his injury is serious enough to warrant placing him on the PUP list to start the season. Even then, with Benson and Green looking solid and Starks potentially in the mix, there's no room for Saine anyway.
WR Shaky Smithson
What has he done this year in camp to warrant remaining on the team? He hasn't practiced in weeks, and there are too many WRs at this point in camp anyway. I have to believe that at least two of them will be cut this weekend. Which brings me to...
WR Diondre Borel
I'll call this my first surprise cut prediction. Borel didn't make much of an impression all camp long, despite an early run of promise in practice. He just hasn't been cutting it in his limited game action. With Gurley starting to show signs that he can contribute on special teams, I think that he, and only he, will get the shot at being a sixth wide receiver.
There are six more names after the jump!
WR Dale Moss
Looking around at the roster, I think a third wideout will lose his job, and I think that Moss is the odd man out among the first-year wideouts. Jarrett Boykin has impressed and I think that Curenski Gilleylen has done more to earn a longer audition than Moss. There's no way the Packers will try to put three rookie wideouts on the practice squad, and Moss is the victim of a numbers game.
TE Ryan Taylor
Taylor has pretty much stunk up the joint in practice and hasn't done himself many favors in the games this preseason. He's clearly behind Tom Crabtree and D.J. Williams in the tight end rotation, and with Andrew Quarless waiting in the wings, I can't see a way that Ted Thompson keeps five tight ends again.
TE DeMarco Cosby
Cosby is a victim of coming into camp late and not really doing anything impressive. Brandon Bostick has seen far more reps, having been through minicamp and some OTAs. Cosby was only signed when Eric Lair went on IR, and was a long shot to make the roster anyway.
DE Phillip Merling
Yeah, remember Merling's name being called at any point this preseason? Neither do I. Moving on.
OLB Vic So'oto
Yes, I am predicting that future Hall of Famer Vic So'oto will be cut by the Green Bay Packers and earn his place in the hall with another organization. Let this be a warning to the next person who anoints a UDFA as the next coming of Clay Matthews (looking at you, Dezman Moses fanboys/girls).
CB Otis Merrill
Yes, I know he had a nice kickoff return against the Browns, but he's not ahead of Hayward, Bush, or Shields, and won't be any time soon. I could see him as a practice squad candidate, but at this point, I don't see any possible way Merrill makes the team.
So to sum up, I'm projecting six cuts on offense, consisting of a running back, three wide receivers, and two tight ends, and one at each level of the defense. What would you do differently, and if you would keep one of these players, who would you cut in their place?
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