I printed up a copy of the Green Bay Packers roster last Saturday, the 14th of June. After looking through the 90-man list I came up with a few information odds and ends that might interest their die-hard fans who don’t want to comb through and spend their time accumulating such mundane numbers. I confess I am a detail geek, which is part of having an anal personality. So let’s get on with it.
Did you realize:
The current roster contains only 6 players who are 30 or older. A few more will turn 30 between now and the end of the season, but not many my friends.
There are only 2 players with double digit years of playing experience on the roster. JULIUS PEPPERS, who you will get used to as DR PEPPERS in my writings, is entering his 13th NFL season, and AARON RODGERS who is about to start season 10. My how the time does fly. I certainly realized RODGERS sat some seasons while getting ready to replace FAVRE, but a 10-year vet already?! No wonder I feel old most days. As another aside it should be noted that RODGERS is still only 30, turning 31 late in the upcoming season.
In keeping with the age/experience theme I will also note that of the 90 current roster members, 27 are Rookies and 26 are entering their second NFL seasons. I should point out that I consider these 1-year vet listings as second year guys, because that’s how long most have been out of college. That means that 53 out of 90 players (59%) have been in the League less than 2 years.
Most of the above numbers are far from the NFL average for age and experience, especially on a perennial Play-Off team like the PACKERS. During the TED THOMPSON regime the roster has been one of the 5 youngest teams around every season, once the SHERMAN era roster purge was completed. They have ranked youngest overall on multiple occasions.
As any good PACKERS fan realizes, the team also prides itself on acquiring and keeping their own players. No change in that regard this year. I count 71 of the 90 players on the present roster as having been originally signed or drafted by the PACK. MATT FLYNN/QB was their draft pick, went away and came back, so he counts. And a few current players like AARON ADAMS/OT, CHRIS BANJO/S, JARRETT BOYKIN/WR and others never played a down for another team, but did originally sign elsewhere. They aren’t even included in this count.
So as always, it means the pressure to succeed in each year’s Draft process is critical to sustaining the success of the football team in Green Bay. Accordingly, the development of this year’s Rookie class of 27 is critical for the team to keep building its talent base. I certainly don’t claim to be the know-it-all talent evaluator, but since I am writing this piece I will give you my player rankings of PACKERS Rookies as we headed into the 2014 DRAFT. I only ranked the Top 300 prospects, so their other Rookies who weren’t on my list will not be included in the list below. But I am sure some of them will make the team and contribute, since I have no doubt the collective talent IQ of the Green Bay scouting group exceeds mine, at least by a little bit.
PP Rank 19HASEAN CLINTON-DIX/SDraft Pick R1/21
PP Rank 53DAVANTE ADAMS/WRDraft Pick R2/53
PP Rank 81ADRIAN HUBBARD/DEDraft Pick URFA
PP Rank 122CARL BRADFORD/LBDraft Pick R4/121
PP Rank 139JARED ABBREDERIS/WRDraft Pick R5/176
PP Rank 207KHYRI THORNTON/DLDraft Pick R3/85
PP Rank 233JEFF JANIS/WRDraft Pick R7/236
PP Rank 236RICHARD RODGERS/TEDraft Pick R3/98
PP Rank 248DIMITRI GOODSON/CBDraft Pick R6/197
PP Rank 285RAIJON NEAL/RBDraft Pick URFA
PP Rank 292MIKE PENNEL/DTDraft Pick URFA
PP Rank 300a COLT LYERLA/TEDraft Pick URFAI had LEYERLA off my Draft Board because of off-field issues, thus the 300a.
Having only 47 players n the current roster with only 1 year in the League or being Rookies would make a lot of NFL fans nervous about their team’s prospects. But most PACKERS fans have gotten used to the THOMPSON school of roster building (and Salary Cap control) due to winning season after winning season during his regime. Here’s betting that when the Training Camp dust settles and the final roster is announced the PACKERS will once again have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL.
Chief Scout/Associate Editor