Jersey Al: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

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My Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Quarterback (2): Rodgers, Young

There’s no doubt, I’d feel better about the Packers’ chances with Young at QB  over Harrell if Rodgers went down. Do doubt about it. So did the Packers. Coleman hasn’t made as big a jump as expected – back to the practice squad.  (Coleman to the PS)

Running Back (5): Lacy, Franklin, Green, Starks, Kuhn

This was going to be a tough one until Harris went down for the year. Now it’s pretty much a sure thing. I entertained the drop Kuhn thought for awhile myself, but it’s just not something I see Mccarthy wanting to do. With TE Mulligan hurt, that solidifies the need for Kuhn. (Amosa cut)

Wide Receiver (5): Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin, Ross

At the beginning of camp, I was convinced the Packers would keep 6 here to compensate for losing Driver and Jennings, but Boykin has looked really good to me  and Ross is coming on as a receiver. Therefore, I’m comfortable with keeping five on the roster with two on the practice squad in case of injuries. (Johnson & Walker to PS, Myles White cut)

Tight End (5): Finley, Taylor, Mulligan, Bostick, Quarless

I almost had the Packers cutting Ryan Taylor, but his value on special teams is too great. WR convert Bostick has much more upside than Taylor, so the Packers keep him. They attempt to trade DJ Williams for a late round pick but end up cutting him. The fifth round selection has just never translated his college success to the NFL level.  I know I’m probably wrong about Williams, but there’s always a surprise, so this is mine. Stoneburner could probably stick on another team, but not in this TE group. (Williams cut or traded, Stoneburner cut)

Offensive Line (7): Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten,

This jumps out as the best combination of players to keep. Assuming the first five listed are the starters, there will be a backup tackle, and center/guard on the sidelines. If Barclay doesn’t start, he’s a two or three-position guy at the ready. Lane Taylor just misses out but is kept on the Practice Squad as C/G insurance. (Taylor to PS, Gerhart, Hughes, Lewis, Datko cut)

Defensive Line (7): Pickett, Raji, Jones, Wilson, Jolly, Daniels, Neal

From the beginning, I thought this would be the hardest group to make cuts at. Johnny Jolly has been better than anyone could have imagined and can be a a big part of this defense. He’s made this team. While historically only keeping 6 DL with how often they play in sub packages, the Mike Neal hybrid conversion makes it possible for the Packers to keep 7 here and one less at LB.  That does affect special teams with one less linebacker on the team, but something has to give. I’d really like to hold on to Jordan Miller, but no room for both he and Boyd on the PS. (Boyd to PS, Miller cut)

Linebacker (9): Matthews, Perry, Hawk, Jones, Francois, Lattimore, Manning, Barrington, Mulumba

A solid, athletic group of linebackers. Malumba, a top pick in the Canadian Football draft, chose to go with the Packers and it looks to have paid off.  Barrington looks to be a special teams stalwart ans Lattimore will contiue to excel in that area. I’m mostly curious about Terrell Manning and seeing if he can develop into a solid backup that eventually pushes AJ Hawk to the sidelines.  (Palmer to PS, Moses, Savage cut)

Defensive Back (10): Williams, Shields, Hayward, House, Hyde, Burnett, Jennings, McMillian, Banjo, Bush

This group is fairly cut and dried, with the one surprise being the inclusion of Chris Banjo. After being cut by three teams and signed by the Packers at the start of camp, banjo has raised a few eyebrows with his spirited play. Banjo is only 5’10”, but is a solid 207 lbs, more than any other safety in camp except for Morgan Burnett. (Smith & Nixon to PS,  Means, Fulton, cut)

Specialist (3): Goode, Masthay, Crosby

Mamma mia – Crosby again! Ciao Giorgio…

Practice Squad (8): OL Taylor, QB Coleman, LB Palmer, CB James Nixon, WR Walker,  WR Johnson, DL Boyd, S Chaz Powell

{Brief notes}

PUP: Worthy, Tretter, Richardson, Sherrod

{Brief notes}

IR: WR Cunningham, OL Bulaga, WR Dorsey, RB Harris, LB Reed

{Brief notes}

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Savage57

    Nice prediction, but the one difference I would postulate is that there is a reality check at 1265 Lombardi Ave., and TT and MM surrender to the reality that “we’re going to run the ball” isn’t going to happen this season, not behind this line.

    Reduce the RB’s to 4 by having Starks and Green do a best 2 out of 3 “Rock, Paper, Scissors” contest – loser walks.

    Elevate Charles Johnson to the 53 (he won’t clear waivers) and keep 6 WR’s.

    For this team to go anywhere this year, there has to be an acceptance that combined with an improved defense, it is almost solely going to be on AR on the offensive side of the ball and to do that he needs everything he can get.

    In my speculation, WR > RB.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Those are very good thoughts, and ones I seriously considered. Since Franklin isn’t ready, I don’t see MM giving up either Starks or green. Also, one thing I have learned over the last few years of doing this – as fans, we tend to over-value our own players. Every year there have been players go to the practice squad and stay that I thought would not make it there or last. Thus, I’m going with Johnson and Boyd on the PS and let’s see what happens.

      • Savage57

        You got me. I have this tendency to go ga-ga over fast, tall WR’s. Like they used to say in BBall, ‘you can’t teach height’ and in the NFL you can’t teach speed.

        The RB situation you describe makes a lot of sense. I wonder if in terms of potential impact to the team as a whole whether a 5th TE or a 6th WR makes more sense. That said, I also realize MM loves 6’3″ 250 lb. ‘chess pieces’.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Been there, done that: Tori Gurley

      • Lucas

        Who is the last post-4th pre-season game cut that we really missed after they were picked up by another team? Even if a guy is picked up by other teams, I don’t think we’re gonna be burned by it or second-guess the decision. IDK, I can’t think of one, but I’m sure there are a few.

      • lambeauleaper

        Al,how about cutting Ryan Taylor.We should be able to get his special teams production out of one of our young linebackers,that way we could keep either Johnson or Boyd on the 53.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          That’s actually where I started out with the tight ends, but then I changed my mind. He’s just on too many #1 special teams units.

  • packett

    Yeah, your list seems right.

    I think he’ll cut Starks and add Walker to WR. He likes more WRs (I think).

  • GlennNRichmond

    Along with draft day, these are my favorite predictions of the year. I like this list except;
    Banjo (PS instead of Powell)
    Add OT prospect from waiver wire to 53
    I also think that Johnson and Boyd will make through waivers, they’re replacement level prospects at this point

  • majik

    I like the list, but jordan miller and boyd are two players that have really come on down the stretch. Nate Palmer has also been a beast, and i would want him over some of the lbs you mentioned. Is coleman the next harrell that wastes a practice squad spot for years? He has shown NOTHING. I know qbs take time to develop….but holy cow he has been awful.?

    • Oppy

      I really liked Jordan Miller, and he’s more of a NT type, which increases his value to the Packers when you consider Ryan Pickett could hang up the cleats at any time and BJ Raji is in a contract year (and quite frankly, greatly over-rated.)

      I am hoping Miller clears waivers and the Packers place him on the PS.

      I have not seen a whole lot that makes me think Boyd is ready for the NFL. PS for him as well.

      If the Packers were to only retain one of these guys, I’d say keep Miller. I know I’m in the minority, but we have plenty of talented linemen on the edge. We are very thin at the nose. Boyd is a project- not that Miller isn’t, but Boyd looks farther out to me.

      • Chad Toporski

        For some reason I thought Miller was a veteran… Apparently he’s not and is still eligible for the PS. I definitely think the Packers should try to sign him there. I’ll have to change my PS prediction… Miller was clearly the second-string NT throughout camp.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I’d have to disagree on Palmer – I think he’s been a bit of a disappointment, actually

  • majik

    I agree on johnson being on the practice squad…..to put him on the 53would be a joke. He has to get healthy and actually catch a ball in a preseason game. If he is picked up off wavers by somebody. …good luck. You can find tall, fast, and incredibly raw wrs every year late. I like the kid…..but too raw to help this year….especially the first 10 weeks. We need to put the best 53 out there NOW for san fran!!!

  • majik

    I would be more worried about Boyd being yanked off the p-squad than johnson. God i like miller and Boyd. And Palmer. …..i like them on the 53……is there any way???

  • majik

    Cut vince young and have cobb as your #2, and jordy as your #3. If rodgers goes down the season is over anyway…..we would be able to get clowney with the #1 overall pick.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      ok, now you’ve entered bizzaro world…

  • Mandarichbestpickever

    Agree with D.J. Williams just not impressing. Bostic has had less time to learn run blocking, so give him some time.

  • Oppy

    Al,

    looking at your linebackers corps, I’ve got to say it looks like a fine bunch of athletes who all deserve a roster birth.

    Even with the cross-trained Lattimore, Jones, and Francois (OLB/ILB), did you find it difficult to keep what amounts to only 3 true OLB’s in CMII,Perry, and Mulumba (Mike Neal not withstanding), while retaining a whopping 6 ILB’s?

    I had recently posted that I thought Lattimore may not make the cut this season, but apparently he played pretty much lights-out last night, so he’s more than likely in.

    OLB is such an important commodity in this defense, I guess I find it hard to reconcile not keeping a 4th dedicated OLB on the roster, although Neal certainly has played like a ‘true’ OLB thus far.

    Was your thought in keeping so many ILBs that the Packers need a large pool to sift through since they lost both Smith and Bishop and need to sort through who is for real, or simply that they are the best players regardless of position?

    • Chad Toporski

      Strangely enough, Al and I actually have the same list except for our TEs (he has Quarless where I have Williams). So in speaking for myself, I had the exact problem you mentioned about the LBs.

      I wanted to keep Moses as a 4th legitimate OLB, but as you said, the ILB corps is so deep with talent, and they have been getting starter reps on ST. I think Neal will be able to step in as needed; plus, Lattimore might be able to be moved in case of dire emergency.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Oppy, after last night, I’m convinced Neal at OLB is no longer just a sometime thing. He looked good there. As you noted, there are a few guys in that ILB corps that could switch to the outside in case of emergency. I like their ST abilities, so I kept them all…

  • Oppy

    As much as I like Van Roten’s potential at G, if LEWIS doesn’t clear waivers for some reason, we need to absolutely scour for a legit C to add to our list of players.

    I do want to keep Van Roten around, and I could live with him stepping in as an emergency C to get us to the end of regulation if EDS goes down during a game… but I DO NOT want to see Van Roten become our STARTING center AT ALL.

    We need to have someone who is competent at snapping the ball available should we lose EDS for more than a few quarters of play. Van Roten has demonstrated lousy snapping mechanics thus far. He’s a G.. Not a C.

    Try to retain LEWIS on the PS… Please!!

  • ICCYFAN

    When TT took over and started drafting almost exclusively college LOT’s, I thought it made sense – they should be the best athletes on a college OL and capable of converting to one of the interior positions at the NFL level. Unfortunately, after cycling thru a number of them, we’ve learned these guys can pass block in a serviceable manner but not one of them can run block! Watching other top teams draft college centers (Pouncey) and OG (Iupati) and getting immediate impact in the run game makes me wonder if we shouldn’t deviate from our long-time strategy? I was pulling for OG Lane Taylor to have a good showing…

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I’ve been thinking about this a lot myself. Of course, the reasoning is you want the athletic guys for the ZBS – the merits of which is a whole other debate.

  • mike

    i would put dorsey on the ps and drop chaz only because dorsey was drafted and i think tt sees something in him if he can get healthy but the rest is right on

    • redlights

      Mike,mike,mike!!

      I think Dorsey was IR’d earlier this week.

      Agree on keeping Lewis handy for long term center replacement, if necessary.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        yes he was.

  • Stroh

    Just curious Al. What do you think is more important on the PS, potential or slightly higher immediate ability? The way I see it the PS is for long term developmental purposes. As such, I don’t see a reason for Walker on the PS. Sure he’s slightly better now than a few other players, but being slow and small means his upside is rather limited. I think a guy like Brandon Smith, w/ his excellent size, athletic ability and potential to develop is ideal for the PS.

    If you don’t want 2 CB on the PS, I would put Smith on PS, let Nixon go and add an OL (Lewis) or TE (Stoneburner).

    Walkers a nice story, who’s put his best foot forward and had a pretty good camp, but I just don’t see where he fits.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I had Smith on my PS until late last night. Decided I had to have a safety on there, so I added Powell and moved him out.

      In general, I take long term potential and possible team needs into account. With the skill positions, I usually go for the developmental guys, since there are plenty of RBs and WRs on the street that are just a lucky break away from making a team’s roster.That’s not generally the case for the big uglies. I tend to keep linemen that can play multiple positions and are capable of playing right away if needed. Having said all of that, I don’t have hard/fast rules about it.

      I kept Nixon because I was told that Joe Whitt likes him a ton and thinks he could play right now, if needed. So I wasn’t going to give that up. Smith had a nightmare of a night, so I found it hard to keep defending him – might be TOO much of a project. We’ll see.

      • Stroh

        I would agree about the OL on the PS. Prefer to have 2 of them if they only go w/ 7 on the roster. One if they go w/ 8.

        Hadn’t heard about Whitt liking Nixon a lot, and he has good upside too. Guess I’m just really intrigued by Smiths ability and would hate to lose him and see him succeed elsewhere. Can’t say I feel that way about Nixon. Smith had a bad nite but his potential is immense IMO.