Packers Stock Report: Roster Bubble Edition

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Jamari Lattimore
Packers LB Jamari Lattimore is rising.

It’s time to bring back the Packers stock report.

I’m back in my blogging chair after spending three booze-fueled days and nights in Madison, Wis. I gained about 10 pounds and reduced the functionality of my liver by about 7 percent. A typical weekend in Madison.

The only way to get my body back to where it was pre-Madison is to type a couple hundred words about the Packers. For the first Packers stock report of the 2012 season, I’m going to focus on players who entered training camp on the roster bubble. There will be plenty of stock reports dedicated to guys like Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson during the season, but for now, let’s focus on the guys who may or may not make the team.

Rising

Dezman Moses
The buzz about Moses grew louder during OTAs and he’s lived up to that hype during training camp. Perhaps hype is a poor word choice. I don’t think anyone is expecting Moses to come in and be an All-Pro. But he looks like a wild-card type of player, someone that could show flashes of brilliance and deliver production from a roster spot that you originally didn’t think would yield much of anything. Whichever word you want to use, Moses is definitely rising.

Donald Driver
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. I thought you said this stock report was only going to be about players on the roster bubble.” Why yes, I did say that. And Driver was definitely on the bubble before camp. I have no doubts about that. I also have no doubts that Driver has played well enough to secure a spot on the Packers roster. That makes him rising in my book.

Jamari Lattimore
We haven’t heard all that much about Lattimore, but in the film I’ve watched of his preseason, I like what I see out of him in pass coverage. I like D.J. Smith, but I can see him getting overwhelmed in pass coverage. Lattimore gets good depth on his drops and looks fluid when running in coverage down the middle of the field.

Steady

There is no steady category when we’re talking about players that may or may not make the team. You’re either rising (making the team), or falling (on your way out the door).

Falling

Tori Gurley
And we had such high hopes. This made so much sense when I wrote it a couple months ago. Not any more. Gurley was injured early in camp and has looked a little too slow when he’s been healthy. It’s a small sample size, but I’ve seen nothing to convince me that Gurley deserves a spot at WR over Driver.

Diondre Borel
Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. With Gurley out, Borel had a chance to shine in the Packers first preseason game. Instead he fumbled early and has never got back on track. I’d be curious to see if Borel could develop if given a couple of years on an active roster. Curious enough to keep him over Driver? No.

Vic So’oto
It was a good run while it lasted, Vic. We enjoyed the way you burst onto the scene last offseason and we enjoyed figuring out how to pronounce your weird name. But I think your run is over. Moses is the new rising undrafted LB and you never gave the Packers much of a reason to keep you around after you turned so many heads last preseason. Maybe the Packers can sneak you onto the practice squad and you’ll get another shot, but I doubt it. Best of luck to you, Vic. We wanted to call out your name on Sundays, but it just didn’t work out.

(Dis)Honorable Mention

Graham Harrell
Harrell has been bad. Very bad. Bad enough to give up a draft pick for some other washed up retread second-string QB? No. Unless it’s a conditional 7th-rounder, I’m fine if the Packers stick with Harrell instead of giving up a potential future asset for a player that likely never will be much of an asset. And if anyone brings up Vince Young’s name in the comments section, you will be sentenced to life in commenter prison with no possibility of parole.

(I put Harrell in his own category because I wanted to only use the falling category only for players who I think will be cut.)

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • aaronqb

    I agree with everything except on Driver. I don’t think it makes sense to spend a roster spot on a 5th WR who is at the end of his career and does not play special teams. I’m not saying anyone is that much better right now. But Driver is likely to tail off as the year goes on, while a younger guy is likely to rise (and play special teams).

    I might also include Don Barclay and Sean Richardson in the rising category. They both have a decent chance to make the team and were not on the radar when camp started.

    • Adam Czech

      I agreed with you 100 percent before the preseason, Aaron. But I haven’t seen enough to be convinced that Gurley and Borel will develop during the season. My mind has been changed.

      I try to limit each category to three players. I went with Moses, Driver and Lattimore as risers because I’m 99.9 percent sure they’ll make the team after being on the bubble. Barclay and Richardson have had good camps, but I’m not as convinced that they’ll end up on the final roster.

      • aaronqb

        I’m not sold on Gurley or Borel either. Maybe Boykin or someone on another NFL roster is the right guy.

        My point on Driver is I don’t think it makes sense for the #5 receiver (despite the reps in training camp, I think both Cobb and Jones are ahead of him in the pecking order come regular season) to be an aging guy. This roster slot should be used for a developing receiver and someone who can play on special teams.

      • Sven

        In regards to Driver. I really agreed with you earlier this summer, but now I think he is a very wise choice to keep on the roster. Here’s why:

        Driver can come into a game “cold” (without previous game reps) and catch a tough ball in a tight spot, and hang on through a tough hit. We dont need a reciever that will catch 6 balls a week the four other recievers can do that so can the tight ends. We need a guy who can come in and be clutch.

        Driver is still that guy and until there is another guy who can take over that role, hes our guy and we should be glad of it.

        I think the reason we have the best receivers in the NFL is due mostly to Diver’s charactor and leadership.

        • Pete Kliman

          We can never have enough good rec. in this O. Also sends a message to the players that the Packers are dedicated to the veteran players that work hard and fairly with them. Driver reworked his contract to remain a Packer.

  • Ron LC

    Adam, love the look your providing here. A unique way of saying who is and isn’t playing to 53 man potential.

    No-hands Borel and who kidnapped Gurley havenot helped themselves at all.

    Datko not only is dealing with his shoulder/arm but now has consussion issues. I’d include him in “Falling”.

    I agree with the previous post that Barclay has openned a few eyes of late.

  • Ed

    Harrell is less than we hoped; if he does not significantly improve he will see one year as a backup and be replaced by Coleman, who’se only issue seems to be needing to learn the offense.

    Driver is presently the #3, not the #5 WR, at least judgibng by the nukber of snaps with the starting offense each receiver has (there was an article on jsonline th other day with the details). That should be different by the *end* of this season, but that’s the way it is now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see driver back on the ‘hands’ team for onsides kicks.

    With the ounger O-linemen having isues, i wonder if they are rushing Sherrod back. Hope that is not the case.

    Would love your take on the other D-line guys; it looks to me like Muir and Merling are fighting for a spot.

  • Bearmeat

    Vince Young. There, I said his name – but he’s not wise enough to play for another NFL team. Including the Packers.

    Are you REALLY going to ban me?

    ;D

  • http://none TomTD

    Harrell just does not have “it”. He has been playing against 2’s and 3’s in the preseason, and even with poor pass blocking by OL backups, he should still be able to do much better.

    Sage Rosenthal, Scott Tolzein-and a couple others should come available at the next cut-

    Recall that during Rogers first season here as starter, Pack went with two rookie backup QB’s-so maybe they keep three this year for the first part of the season, until they find someone else.

  • Mr. Bacon

    I am not so sure Vic So’oto is going to get cut. He might not get any OLB snaps but TE and OLB are heavily needed on Special Teams. You know that little section of the team that keeps getting blasted, more so than the Defense.

    Backups and Emergency players are needed, and Vic has shown he is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team. It might not mean much in the end, but a WR willing to play CB or TE as a FB, shows that they are willing to make the team because they simply want to play.

    Same for Gurley or Borel, or a WR. There will be a time this season for a 6th WR. They might never receive a snap, but they will be needed for Special Teams. Either Gurley stays or we simply take prospect WR to the Practice Squad.

    I won’t say we will lose a WR for the season, but I fully expect one of them to have a Hamstring issue because I just have a odd feeling it will happen.

    Harrell will improve over this year, because I am not sure if Harrell was even doing scout team work last year because that would be Flynn’s job. I would assume all 3rd String QB’s work on strength and mechanics, so this will be Harrell’s first real year doing real work.