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Packers: The Final Roster Preview

Previewing the final 53 man roster.

QBs: (3) Rodgers, Flynn, and Harrell. Review: Super Bowl MVP Rodgers continues to look sharp in the preseason. Backup Flynn is one of the NFL’s best backup.

RBs: (4) Grant, Starks, Green, and Kuhn. Review: With a talented West Coast passing game, the Packers deemphasize the run keeping only three halfbacks and one fullback. RB Grant is a good cut power runner, but Starks looks stronger in traffic. Meanwhile, Green has the biggest upside with more cut, power, and explosive skills. Starks, if he can block, or Green may be the answer on third downs. Talented FB Kuhn is the only fullback staying on roster.

WRs: (6) Driver, Jennings, Nelson, Jones, Cobb, and West. Review: This elite group of veteran receivers will be the backbone of the West Coast offense along with rookie WR/KR Cobb. West is final pick for receiving and special teams work over Gurley.

TEs: (4) Finley, Quarless, Taylor, and Williams. Review: The Packers will keep four (not five) tight ends.  All-pro Finley is the starter with the backups supporting the team in blocking, receiving, and special teams. The talented Quarless resembles Finley. Rookies Williams and Taylor have great upside, but Taylor has moved ahead of Williams for his superior special teams and receiving skills.

OLs: (9): Clifton, Lang, Wells, Sitton, Bulaga, Newhouse, Sherrod, McDonald, and Schlauderaff. Review: By the third week, the five starters including LG Lang was chosen. Veteran Newhouse should be adequate to be backup at both tackle positions. Rookie OL Sherrod is a development project.  Coach favorite McDonald, with his upside, is the backup center with reservations. Rookie Schlauderaff stays as backup guard.

DLs: (6): Pickett, Raji, Neal, Green, Wilson, and Wynn. Review: Raji, Pickett, and Neal (when healthy) will be the starters. Raji and Neal are solid pass rushers and stout against the run. Green and Wilson are solid DL backups. DL Wynn has improved to make the roster.

LBs: (8): Matthews, Hawk, Bishop, Walden, Zombo, Francois, Smith, and So’oto. Review: Beyond veterans Matthews, Hawk, and Bishop, the ROLB starter is Walden. He moved ahead of injured Zombo and disappointing Jones. Zombo will stay on the roster. Jones may be gone replaced by undrafted talent So’oto.  Veteran Francois and gamer rookie Smith are adequate ILB backups.

Secondary: (10): Woodson, Williams, Collins, Burnett, Shields, Bush, House, Peprah, Underwood, and Gordy. Review: Veteran starters Woodson, Williams, and Collins are among the elite NFL players. With reservations, Bush stays for his special teams work. Impressive rookie House and speedy gamer Gordy will compete for dime position. Veterans Burnett and Peprah are solid safeties. Athletic Underwood gets a final chance to prove his worth, although Levine may get it after an impressive preseason camp.

Specialists: (3): Crosby, Masthay, and Goode. Review: Crosby is becoming a clutch solid kicker. Punter Masthay is having a great camp with solid punts and good hang times. Long snapper Goode is simply solid.

Taxi squad: Candidates include Gurley; Guy; Levine; Dietrich-Smith; and Lattimore.

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6 Responses to “Packers: The Final Roster Preview”

  1. John Zoul says:

    I like your picks…

    In the MM & TT era, they’ve been going with 2 QBs and 3 FBs…so, I expect Harrell to go on the Taxi Squad or Flynn to be traded…

    Also, I expect two FBs…Kuhn and Q. Johnson…Hoese-taxi squad…

    LBs…I agree with you, in that Brad Jones, is he injured?…he has played like R. Grant…like his roster spot is assured. Zombo to the PUP-list…so, they keep Cardia Jackson or Lattimore…which ever one doesn’t make the roster is put on the practice squad…Where does our 6th round pick go (Ricky Elmore)? Cut or practice squad?

    OL…like your picks…I’ve found there’s almost always one surprise…

    DBs/Safeties…Underwood is cut…who is the ufa that has picked Rodgers in practice and had a pick in a preseason game? Jennings? Sorry, but, I can’t remember his name. He’s an ufa and I’ll wager he makes the squad. He might make the 53-man roster. Underwood couldn’t cut it as a db and I’ve seen nothing to enthuse me with him at safety…Pat Lee-a bust…he’s gone.

    Normally TT & MM keep at least one man because he’s a stud at special teams…Could it be Gurley or Asiodu? I usually am surprised by two or three final roster spots…3 QBs…I don’t see it. 1 FB? I thought Smithson would make the team as a special teams player/return man…Now I’m doubtful…What about Taylor (number 13)? He’s looked sharp. P-Squad?

    Lastly, my biggest concern is lack of a running game (again, like the past 2 years), the offensive line and Ryan Grant…I also agree with your assessment of Sherrod as a project. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be another first round bust…

    • jclombardi says:

      Good points! I agree about Harrell. Two FBs? Maybe. The tight ends number will be interesting, since regular TE Crabtree has good blocking and special teams skills. I do not agree with keeping him although the team favors him . I agree real issues with final secondary picks. I agree with GBPG Eric that West is better pick over Gurley for special teams focus. Either way, tough choice. Rookies are always a tough group to evaluate. The team wants to keep the best of them for potential. Thus, waivers will be an issue for players not making the cut and trying to get them to taxi squad. Tough tough choices.

  2. Chris K says:

    Ok a few things… First Evan Dietrich-Smith is NOT able to be put onto the p.s.

    Secondly, Brad Jones is NOT going to leave when he’s the only experienced OLB! no way.

    last, i dont think there is a 4th safety worth keeping on this roster…

    • John Zoul says:

      Chris, you were on the money with Brad Jones…last I’ve read, he made the cut. So, we have ten LBs. I think the focus is to have more fast studs on special teams.

      Dietrich-Smith made the roster…and they decided to keep Jennings over Gordy and B. Ross. I was a tad surprised they traded Schlauderaff so quickly…also, would’ve liked to have seen TT keep Dominguez and either West or Gurley. Liked keeping all five TEs…and they preferred Flynn over Harrell…

      I noticed, did I read this correctly, they placed both L. Guy and Smithson on IR…was surprised they didn’t PUP-List Zombo…

      Believe that we’ll see a couple more roster moves in the next 72 hours.

  3. John Zoul says:

    Chris, interesting points…You may be correct about Brad Jones. I think he gets cut. You may also be on the money about no 4th safety…I do not see Underwood making the 53-man roster…Does TT look to the waiver wire?

    What are your thoughts at LB, DBs, TEs, etc. Expect at least one surprise choice for special teams…Asioudu or Gurley? I noticed Swain and Havner were cut today. They’ll both be picked up by other teams…

  4. John Zoul says:

    …Number 39…Brandian Ross is the ufa db who has made a number of big plays…is he on any special teams?…He may be the ufa along with So’oto and possibly Lattimore, who surprise us and make the 53-man roster…

    One area I truly have not looked at are the ufa defensive lineman. Is there anyone who has made a case to make the team? If not, I would think we’d try to place at least two dl on the practice squad…or pick up one or two players off the waiver wire that are d-linemen.

    Any further insight on Lattimore, B. Ross, So’oto, Adiodu, R. Elmore, C. West and Gurley? They all have a shot to make the team. Though it appears Elmore is headed to the practice squad. His transition to OLB from DE has been slower than expected.

    Also, is Brad Jones injured? Has his showing in camp this preseason been lackluster or not? He certainly has shown little in the preseason games. If he’s been injured, pulled hamstring, then I understand. Otherwise, he needs to have a big final preseason game this week or I believe he’s in serious danger of being cut.

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