Earlier this morning, we brought you our analysis of the seven outside linebackers currently on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster. Now it is time to whittle those seven down to the few who will be making an impact for the team during the regular season. Unlike a few other positions, there are only a pair of cuts to be made here.
Projected number on roster: FIVE
Clay Matthews, Nick Perry
This is a no-brainer. With Matthews and Perry locked into the starting spots, the two of them are of course locks for the roster barring a tragic injury to start the season. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing what Perry can do with more time adjusting to the outside linebacker position - his hit on Andrew Luck in Week 5 of last season still is a glaring reminder of what he can do when everything clicks (regardless of the legitimacy of the penalty that was called on that play).
Dezman Moses, Nate Palmer, Andy Mulumba
We project that Moses will make the team, in part because of his physical skills and in part because of his year of experience as a Packer. Palmer was the other unanimous choice, both due to his draft position, the lack of depth at the position, and the faith that the team showed in him by drafting him well above his projected slot. Mulumba finds his way onto our projections as well because of the scarcity of the players at the position and two writers' guesses that he will earn a spot with some flashy plays during the preseason and some solid work on special teams.
Off the Roster
Donte Savage, Jarvis Reed
Unfortunately, two undrafted rookies see their time as Packers come to an end in our estimation. Equally as unfortunate is the fact that they are unlikely to find spots on the practice squad, as too many other players at other positions have reasons to be kept around. Savage may yet find his way onto the practice squad or the roster of another NFL team running a 3-4 defense, but with only one writer finding a place for him on the roster, he just was not able to work his way onto the team in our estimation. Reed simply has not proven himself against top competition and has a farther way to go.
Coming up tomorrow: Jason addresses the inside linebacker position.