To prepare for training camp, we will be breaking down every player on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster in more detail, looking at contract terms and 2013 statistics, before we make our prediction for which players will make the 53-man roster at the end of training camp.
This marks our final consolidated predictions post for the pre-training camp phase of the Green Bay Packers' offseason. After we narrowed down the roster to 53 men, each of the five of us also predicted the eight players who would be added to the Practice Squad. We proceeded under the assumption that no player would be picked up by another NFL team, although that possibility absolutely exists. Likewise, we are assuming that the group will consist only of players who are currently on the 90-man roster (which is also not guaranteed).
Here are our picks for the eight Practice Squad players at the start of the season.
Chase Rettig - quarterback
Rettig received three votes on the practice squad, despite two of those individuals also projecting that the Packers would keep three quarterbacks on the active roster. He's a developmental project, but with some consistent tutoring and a consistent offensive scheme he could grow into a serviceable backup.
Jeff Janis - wide receiver
Janis' physical tools are not in question, and there's a possibility that he could be poached by another team before he makes it onto the practice squad. We said the same things about Charles Johnson a year ago, though, and he was on the Packers' practice squad to start the season. He lost out on the sixth receiver spot to Chris Harper by a 4-to-1 vote, but we expect him to remain with the team in some capacity this season.
John Fullington - offensive line
Fullington's versatility is one of the reasons he was a nearly-unanimous pick for a spot. He's played every guard and tackle position in college and he's got a big 6'5" frame that could use some bulk. This is probably the ideal situation for him - spending a season in the program learning the Packers' offense and improving his technique, with an eye on making the team in 2015.
Mike Pennel - nose tackle
Though he's buried behind several players on the depth chart for now and finished college at a smaller school, we think Pennel's natural ability will show through in training camp, at least enough to get him a spot here. There are just too many bodies ahead of him right now, but it's not difficult to imagine him as a long-term project at nose tackle.
Adrian Hubbard - outside linebacker
Hubbard was one of the toughest cuts for us this year, and we recognize the possibility that his size will make him appealing to other 3-4 defenses across the NFL. Still, he needs to translate his athleticism into production in the preseason if he is to make the team ahead of players like Andy Mulumba or Nate Palmer, who have the advantage of spending a year in the Packers' system. We didn't think he'll do it to start the year, but with the way injuries have hit the outside linebacker spot recently, he would probably be the first choice to step up if somebody goes down with something serious.
Joe Thomas - inside linebacker
Of the three rookie inside backers, Thomas played against the weakest competition at FCS South Carolina State. Still, we picked him over Jake Doughty from Utah State and Shaun Lewis from Oklahoma State to earn a spot here.
Demetri Goodson - cornerback
If Goodson is indeed released, as we projected with much consternation, we expect the Packers to try to retain him for a year to help him work on his technique and come back strong in 2015.
Tanner Miller - safety
We were split almost evenly between Miller and Charles Clay for the final spot, but Miller won out by a 3-2 vote. It was a decision between speed and size, and in this case the physical Miller was the pick. He does have a more lengthy and impressive resume at the position than Clay, and probably needs less work on his technique than Clay, so he would be more likely to contribute on the active roster early in case of an injury.
There you have it - our final set of predictions for the Packers' roster. Let us know what you think about this group, and stay tuned as we break down each individual's predictions later on this morning.