The Final 53 With Last Five Cuts

By Billy Needham

Ted Thompson and company have some very big decisions coming before final cuts are due September 3. He has a championship caliber roster, which currently stands at 86, so 33 guys are going to get the ax very soon. The team lost eight players (Colledge, Bigby, Jackson, Jenkins, Lee, Wilheim, Spitz, and Briggs) from the actual Super Bowl roster, and several other players that were on the roster earlier in 2010 (Hall, A. Smith, Barnett, Chillar, Harrell, Tauscher, Poppinga, Bell and D. Martin). With no outside free agent signings, that leaves plenty of roster spots for draft picks (10) and undrafted guys. This is how is see the final 53, and the last five players cut……

QB (3) Rodgers, Flynn, and Harrell – usually keep two, have to keep Harrell too or they will lose him to another team, he will be top backup next year, vital!

RB (4) Grant, Starks, Kuhn, and Green – Going out on a limb here, dumping all the extra FBs, but Nance is really big with the coaches. I am very torn with the RB decision,
Q. Johnson is a one trick pony, and TT values diversity, but has kept him two years now. Saine is practice squad material.

WR (6) Jennings, Driver, Nelson, Jones, Cobb, and Gurley – Top five are locks, but last spot came to West and Gurley. They both have had their good moments throughout camp, and West had his great game against Arizona, but Gurley has fantastic size (6’4 and 215) and the decision maker is that Gurley plays special teams. In college, Gurley was on kickoff return, the gunner on punt team, and rushed to block the punt. After blocking a punt this week in practice, he may have too much value to cut. If he blocks one punt during the season and proves reliable on the coverage units, he will be well worth the roster spot. Hopefully West makes practice squad.

TE (5) Finley, Williams, Quarless, Taylor and Crabtree – Just like WR, we are stacked at the TE position. We have two good to decent blockers in Crabtree/Taylor and two good to great receiving TEs in Quarless/Williams and one stud, Finley. I think keeping five has more to do with next year, as in the Pack are afraid they will not retain Finley so they cannot lose a growing threat (Quarless). In keeping only one FB, I think Taylor and Crabtree will motion into backfield alot this season.

OL (9) Clifton, Lang, Wells, Sitton, Bulaga, Sherrod, Newhouse, Schlauderaff, and McDonald – The top five are picked, Newhouse has probably beaten Sherrod for top left tackle, Sherrod second LG, McDonald second Center, Schlauderaff 2nd RG, and either Sherrod or Newhouse at second RT. Dietrich-Smith just missed, Dominguez to practice squad.

DL (6) Pickett, Raji, Green, Neal, Wilson, Wynn – Same six expected to make it, Guy should be practice squad, All these guys swap between DE and NT, they are so interchangeable, it makes depth easy. I definitely have my injury concerns though (Neal always, Pickett on and off over the last two seasons)

LB (8) Matthews, Hawk, Bishop, Walden, Francois, D.J. Smith, B. Jones, and someone not on roster – These last two drafts without drafting a OLB may come back to bite the Pack. Our starting four are picked, the final decided by injury (Zombo’s broken scapula) so Walden gets the job eventhough he has not played the run well. I am not worried about pass rushing yet, Capers has done little blitzing with the starters. Francois and Smith are the ILB backups. Jones and __________ will be the top OLB backups with situational roles. I thought DE would be the free agent TT brings but after losing Frank Zombo, OLB has the priority. UPDATE: Well that free agent may not be necessary, Coach Greene came out last night and is adamant that Zombo will be on the roster this year. Zombo’s injury has an estimated 6-8 week rehab so mid-October is about the earliest we could see him back in action, but I would think right around the bye week would be more realistic because that shoulder has everything to do with tackling, getting off blocks, etc. Here is to a speedy recovery for the young LB!

Secondary (9) Woodson, Williams, Shields, Collins, Burnett, House, Peprah, Bush, and Gordy – The top three CBs are a given, with House, Bush and Gordy fighting for the dime spot. Collins and Burnett are the top two safeties, with Peprah backing up both spots, and Bush the 4th. Underwood was close with his ability to play both CB/S. Woodson could probably fill in at safety if injuries became a problem.

Specialists (3) Crosby, Masthay, and Goode – Crosby is back with a fat new contract, Masthay is punting like Craig Hentrich, and Goode has his spot locked. If you do not know who Brett Goode is, Google him or something, that is a good thing!

There is our 53 man roster, minus the free agent coming in early Spetember. There are several players I hope we can stash on the practice squad, like C. West, B. Saine,

L. Guy, C. Jackson, A. Levine, J. Lattimore, R. Dominguez. Hopefully TT calls me before he makes his final decisions so we can both agree to disagree!

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9 Responses to “The Final 53 With Last Five Cuts”

  1. John Zoul says:

    I like your picks…I’m typically wrong by three…I prefer West over Gurley…Prefer keeping Quinn Johnson and cutting Quarless (too many dropped passes)…Other, over the top choices (25% or lower probabilities):
    1. Flynn gets traded and we keep just two QB’s on the roster
    2. Driver gets traded or cut and we keep both Gurley and West
    3. Dietrich-Smith makes the squad and we try to practice squad Schlauderaff

    I especially like your picks at DB/Safety…

    Who was the special teamer we signed two weeks (or less) ago? He may make the squad…I notice neither of us picked Havner…he still has a shot…and I believe Guy gets put on the PUP-list…

    • Billy Needham says:

      The West/Gurley competition has been good, but it is crazy to think, these guys would be competing for a WR2 or WR3 on some teams (Panthers, Cardinals, Bengals). I still feel Gurley’s special teams and size gets him a post.
      I do not think cutting a second year TE in Quarless would be smart, here is a scenario: Finley has a dynamite year, commands some astronomical contract, we lose him after this year, D.J. Williams has really planed off from a hot start at the beginning of camp, so if Williams does not evolve like we all hope, we are without a receving TE. That is a lot to swallow, but could happen.
      Harrell’s progress could very well make Flynn trade bait, but worst case, we lose him after this season, we should get a 3rd or 4th round pick via compensatory picks depending on his PT. I do noit know what they could get now, not worth it in my opinion.
      I think Driver is a lock, still has pep in step, and Dietrich-Smith lost spot to undrafted rookie McDonald last season, do not know why he would fair better this season.
      Havner is gone, too much youth and talent with him, really looking forward to Ryan Taylor, eventhough I was ticked when they drafted him.

      • John Zoul says:

        You are most likely on the money…especially concerning Dietrich-Smith…

        Ryan Taylor and D.J. Williams right now are better receiving tight ends than Quarless. Taylor looked excellent again tonight. Williams did drop a ball tonight, but, it was thrown behind him. I didn’t see Havner play. Is he injured? If not, he is gone. Finley is a stud hoss.

        Ryan Taylor returned a couple of kicks and looked impressive…also on special teams and receiving. He’s a much more complete player, right now (in my humble opinion), than Quarless.

        Gurley made a couple of nice plays. West was invisible. Driver had a nice catch…The odds are strongly in your favor concerning Driver. I would dislike losing either West or Gurley, though. Whichever one is put on the practice squad will be snapped-up quickly I’m afraid…

        Did Brett Swain play? If he did, I did not notice him.

        I frankly saw nothing of substance from Nance…

        Lee and Underwood again were not impressive.

        I prefer Harrell over Flynn. He played well excepting an over thrown ball which was picked. Trade Flynn now. We should be able to get a 3rd or 4th rounder for him (Oakland?)…

        • Billy Needham says:

          I doubt Oakland, they just got Pryor and have Campbell, Al Davis likes his “athletic” QBs. I would think Miami is more of a chance, because they did not want to give up a 2nd round pick for Orton, but maybe a 3rd or 4th for Flynn???

          • John Zoul says:

            Some of the cuts are coming out to the media, mainly through player agents. I just saw on ESPN that Brandon Underwood was cut and that Hoese was also released.

            The final number of QBs (2 or 3), TEs (4 or 5), FBs (1 or 2), WRs (5-6), and the final cuts at DB, DL and LB should all be interesting.

            Last thoughts…I now see P. Lee, who I’ve been disappointed in, appears to have made the squad. I believe Gurley or West make the squad, all five TEs, Flynn is traded, Lattimore and So’oto (clearly) make the cut, Zombo is PUP-listed…Q. Johnson is cut…and Dietrich-Smith, Newhouse, and Dominguez make the 53-man roster…Some very difficult decisions at DB…as I believe B. Ross, Gordy, and Jennings all played well. D. House has missed some practice time…He should make the squad. I believe only one of previous three make the 53-man roster…What a shame, I like all three.

            Also, I’ve stuck my neck out, saying Driver might be cut…It’s a 20% or so probability. He’s been a great player for us…he’ll be 37 in just a few months…and by the way, I love his attitude…but, his numbers slipped last year…There will be a few surprises…% P.M. comes in nine minutes…

  2. John Zoul says:

    I just read a list of cuts, a few surprises:
    1. G. Harrell (obviously, they are not trading Flynn just yet, practice squad?)
    2. T. Gurley (I thought he’d make the cut or C. West, practice squad?)
    3. Driver is not on the list
    4. C. West (I’m disappointed, practice squad?)
    5. B. Ross (solid back-up, starting potential in the nickel, p. squad?)
    6. Schlauderaff (practice squad?)
    7. K. Taylor
    8. D. Borel
    9. S. Genus
    10.J. Ross
    11.A. Levine (practice squad)
    12.N. McDonald
    13.S. Smithson

  3. John Zoul says:

    Schlauderaff was traded this afternoon to the NY Jets!

    • John Zoul says:

      14. Q. Johnson traded to the Titans
      15. L. Guy
      16. Nance
      17. Bratton
      18. Campbell
      19. Dominguez (I truly thought he’d made the squad as a back-up guard)
      20. Donaldson
      21. J. Gordy
      22. Hoese
      23. C. Jackson
      24. E. Joseph
      25. A. Levine
      26. Ricky Elmore

      It seems like I’m missing one cut or trade…

      Ted Thompson is not done…don’t be surprised if there’s another trade or two.

  4. John Zoul says:

    Brad Jones made the roster…Saine I believe was cut…

    I made a note of several players that I hope clear waivers…so, they can be on our practice squad…

    1. Harrell (QB)
    2. Dominguez (G)
    3. Gurley (WR)
    5. C. West (WR)
    6. B. Ross (DB)
    7. J. Gordy (DB)
    Number 8 is anyone’s guess…probably a D-Lineman

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