As the Green Bay Packers Training Camp unfolds, I am going to do my best to track the players along the depth chart. While things will certainly change over the course of the preseason, this gives us an idea of how the coaches are valuing the players.
Please note that this is not a projection, but rather a snapshot ranking based on observations of training camp practices. Those players seen on the first team units are obviously in the running for starting jobs, while those on second team units are still working their way up the ladder. And as we should all know by know, special teams roles will continue to play a part in how each player is valued.
Notes are provided after each position to help you understand why players were ranked as they are. Most of my information comes from the beat writers who have been watching practice, using their Twitter feeds and articles as references. Players in green have risen in the rankings since the last list, while players in red have fallen.
- If some Packers fans had their way, Harrell’s name would be replaced by McCoy.
- This big ado this week was the addition of veteran RB Cedric Benson. It’s unclear how he’s going to rank among the group, but with Starks out for a few weeks due to turf toe, Benson gets at least the number two spot right now. He’ll definitely challenge Green for the “starting” role.
- Saine will need about another week to nurse a hamstring injury, but I think the Packers still rank him above the two rookies.
- With Kuhn and Hoese both injured, Cooper was the only FB on the game day roster against the Browns. Kuhn was back at practice, though, on Sunday and remains the de facto starter.
* Quarless, Andrew
* Lair, Eric
- Finley returned to practice Sunday after missing both preseason games with a quad injury.
- With the addition of Benson came the placement of Lair on Injured Reserve (IR).
- Williams seems to be securing his spot ahead of Taylor. He is a lot more reliable in the passing game.
- Greg Jennings was finally back at practice Sunday after dealing with a concussion suffered before Family Night.
- Boykin had a big game against the Browns, racking up 63 yards on 5 receptions. We have yet to see if/how that affects his reps in practice, but for now it’s safe to say he’s on his way up.
- In a similar situation is Brewer, who took some snaps at returning kicks. I want to hear more before I bump him up farther.
- Smithson has fallen far since his flashes at camp last season. Being injured isn’t helping his case at all in such a deep group, either.
- Draheim is nipping at the heels of Genus as a C/G option along the offensive line, though Genus remains ahead in the race.
Van Roten, Greg
* Brooks, Jaymes
- Barclay and Wells played as the No. 2 guards against Cleveland and held the same roles in practice Sunday.
- Genus and Draheim have been seen in a rotation at the RG spot.
- Showing potential, the consensus about Van Roten is that he’s going to be targeted for the practice squad.
- As a “bubble player,” Dominguez is losing a lot of valuable time with an injury.
* Sherrod, Derek
* McCabe, Mike
- Datko moved back to the backup left tackle position after showing improvement in camp.
- The Packers like the versatility of the veteran Wells, who can play both Guard and Tackle. It may not be long before he unseats the suddenly infamous Herb Taylor. He played as the third string LT against the Browns.
- At the suggestion by Oppy, I’ve added the Nose Tackle position to take into account the multiple fronts that the Packers use.
* Jones, Johnny
- The future doesn’t look bright for the still-injured Jones. Best case scenario for him is probably injured reserve.
+ Neal, Mike
+ Hargrove, Anthony
- Wynn is really being challenged by the new veteran and rookie depth this preseason. Unfortunately for him, he isn’t rising above it.
- Francois really exploded on special teams against Cleveland. He and Lattimore are serving as the back-ups to Hawk and Smith right now. Manning has been quiet all camp.
- Bishop had his hamstring surgery, but no determinations on his status this season have been made yet.
+ Walden, Erik
* Zombo, Frank
- Jones will continue to stick around as a reliable back-up, but hasn’t made the push to be much more than that.
- So’oto continues to remain humbled after falling back to earth this training camp.
- Shields returned to practice on Sunday, but we’ll have to wait and see where he stands after some time back on the field.
- Hayward didn’t do enough to take the job away from Bush yet, who was practicing with the No. 1 unit on Sunday.
- Ross is the newest guy to watch at cornerback. Not ready to push him up the list yet, though.
- McMillian is closing in on Jennings’ spot, but hasn’t surpassed him yet. McCarthy said his game against Cleveland was his best day as a Packer. This could turn out to be a long-fought battle.
- Richardson could be a dark horse in this race. While he won’t be a starter, he could make a push for the team in place of Levine.
* Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Injured Reserve (IR)
+ Will Serve Suspensions to Start Season
Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporskiFollow @ChadToporski
6 thoughts on “Packers 2012 Training Camp Depth Chart: Week 4”
It will be fun to watch how Cedric Benson performs on thursday.
The more I think about it, the more Benson’s signing seems to be more about Green than about Starks..(Well, I guess, about both of them.)
The Packers have been so careful with Green’s reps, I wonder if they signed Benson as an extra insurance policy to maintain a low snap-count for Green through mid-season. It’s becoming clear Starks has issues staying on the field, and if the Packers feel Green’s recovery will be jeopardized if he is pushed too hard, too early, it would make sense to sign a RB who is known to be a durable work horse. Starks as the #1 RB almost guarantees Green would have to take more snaps than the Packers would like during the season at some point.
Great point Oppy
I think Cedric is going to tear it up like primetime. This is the boost his career has needed. He is now playing on a superbowl caliber team…
Is Manning going to make this team? I read a lot of promising things about him before training camp, and had high expectations for him.
if he doesn’t show any splash by the last preseason game, I don’t know if the Packers can afford to keep him on the active roster, even if they believe he has long-term upside over other players.
They could try to stash him on P.S., but enough personnel men in the NFL like him, I’d wager he’d get plucked if some team had to IR a key back-up ILB.
Who knows? Hopefully he’s just feeling his way through the defense and it will click in time for us to see what we’ve got.
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