In part two of this three part series ranking Green Bay’s roster, we look at the middle group of Packers. You can find part one here: Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 67-30
Without players 29-11, the Packers simply don’t win the Super Bowl and probably have a hard time cracking .500.
29. QB Matt Flynn: A former seventh round pick, Flynn has progressed into a solid backup with a possible starting future. Of course, that won’t be in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers in town, but he should be on the roster in 2011.
28. DE Mike Neal: Last year’s second round pick proved he has talent with his early defensive showing. An injury cost him the rest of his season, but the future is bright for Neal as Cullen Jenkins probable replacement.
27. FB John Kuhn: Once an afterthought, Kuhn turned himself into a local hero with his inspired play out of the backfield. Chances are the free agent fullback will be back in Green Bay next season.
26. S Morgan Burnett: The rookie safety showed some flashes during his brief four game stint before getting injured. Burnett will need to battle Peprah for the starting spot, but he has to be the early favorite to take it back next year.
25. RB Brandon Jackson: While he failed as the lead back when Grant went down, Jackson is still underrated as a third down back. It’s doubtful that any team will see him as a 300-carry option and he should be back in Green Bay.
24. WR James Jones: He’s never been a star in the Packers offense, but Jones plays a part and usually plays it well. His big drops are a concern, but Green Bay should be interested in re-signing the talented receiver.
23. G Daryn Colledge: Of the Packers five starting offensive linemen in 2010, Colledge was arguably the worst of the bunch. And while he’s been a reliable starter at left guard, it’s probable that he won’t be back next season.
22. LB Nick Barnett: Lost for the season for the second time in three years, injuries have become an issue for the former Pro Bowler. A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop have jumped Barnett on the depth chart as well, and he might have played his last game for the Packers.
21. CB Sam Shields: An undrafted free agent pickup in 2010, Shields burst onto the scene as a playmaking third corner. With more experience at the position, the sky is the limit for his potential.
20. WR Donald Driver: Injuries and age finally started to creep up on Driver during the 2010 season. He posted his lowest totals since 2001, but he could still play a big factor in the Packers offense next year.
19. C Scott Wells: Vastly underrated, Wells anchors the Packers offensive line with smarts and toughness. He’s getting older, but don’t expect anyone but Wells to be the center next season.
18. WR Jordy Nelson: Much like James Jones, Nelson has never been the focal point of the Packers offense. Even so, he has the best chance to both replace the production of Jones and take away looks from an aging Donald Driver.
17. RB James Starks: We only have a small sample size, but Starks gave the Packers a glimpse of what they have with his strong playoff run. He’ll compete with Grant for carries, but he has a high ceiling if healthy.
16. OT Bryan Bulaga: Wasn’t expected to be the regular starter at either tackle position, but the injury to Mark Tauscher gave him a chance. Bulaga had his early struggles, but he looks like a 10-year starter at either left or right tackle.
15. DE Ryan Pickett: Lost in the Packers defensive accomplishments last season was Pickett’s successful switch from nose tackle to defensive end. He is starting to get older, but his 330-pound frame has some good seasons left in it.
14. LB Desmond Bishop: After Barnett’s injury, Bishop finally emerged as a player the Packers could count on to start full-time. He teams well with A.J. Hawk, and he earned his contract extension in January.
13. RB Ryan Grant: His value to the Packers was finally evident once he was lost for the season in Week 1. At just 28 years old, Grant has plenty of mileage left and forms a solid duo with Starks.
12. OT Chad Clifton: Despite his age, Clifton had a terrific end to the 2010 season. He won’t be among the Packers best players for much longer, but he’s currently a solid option at left tackle.
11. LB A.J. Hawk: He may never live up to his No. 5 overall draft status, but he is a steady and consistent performer. The Packers paid him to stick around and be their defensive play-caller for the foreseeable future.——————
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2