2013 Green Bay Packers: An Early Look At The Depth Chart

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Who are your 2013 Green Bay Packers?

With the off-season activities now officially over with, we now turn our attention to the upcoming training camp and preseason.  The big question is:  What will the 2013 Green Bay Packers look like?

I’m taking a look at each position and listing who I think are the likely starters, as of today.  Training camp always tends to change that list quite a bit so this is obviously as of today, as it stands, and without having really seen many of these guys play.


Starter:  Aaron Rodgers

Backup: BJ Coleman

Bubble: Graham Harrell, Matt Brown

Quick hits: Rodgers is the league’s highest-paid player and let’s not forget he’s pretty good at what he does.  No question there and so the biggest debate is whether Coleman can leapfrog Harrell and will the team carry three active quarterbacks?  My thought is that if Coleman wins the backup spot, they will likely cut Harrell.  Illinois State’s Matt Brown could be a good candidate to land on the practice squad, much like Coleman did last season.

Running Back/Fullback

Starter:  DuJuan Harris

Backup:  Alex Green, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin

Bubble: John Kuhn, James Starks, Angelo Pease, Jonathan Amosa

Quick hits: Harris came on and was effective late in the season for the Packers.  He didn’t participate in much of the team’s offseason due to having a cyst removed near his lung.  He is expected to be ready for training camp.  Green will get every opportunity to remain a part of the team’s plans but will face very fierce competition from rookies Lacy and Franklin.  Still, I see the team keeping all four.  James Starks is likely all but out of Green Bay after being largely ineffective during his three-season stint with the team.  And we may have seen the last of John Kuhn, which will make the team’s decisions at this position easier.

Wide Receiver

Starters: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb

Backups:  Jarrett Boykin, Charles Johnson

Bubble:  Jeremy Ross, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Terrell Sinkfield, Myles White, Tyrone Walker, Sederrick Cunningham

Quick hits:  With at least one spot up for grabs and eight players competing for it, this will be one of the more closely-watched battles in camp.  Only Ross has any NFL experience and he was also used in the kick return game.  His biggest competition (pun intended) is likely to come from Johnson.  Johnson missed nearly all of the offseason so his health is a question.  If healthy, many are expecting him to stay in the conversation as one of the team’s wideouts.  Dorsey will likely end up on the practice squad if he can remain healthy.  As for the others, only time will tell but they don’t appear to be in the team’s immediate plans.

Tight End

Starter: Jermichael Finley

Backup:  Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor

Bubble:  DJ Williams, Matthew Mulligan, Brandon Bostick, Jake Stoneburner

Quick hits:  Finley is in the last year of his contract in Green Bay and many expect that this is his last season in Green & Gold.  Still, it’s a contract year and he will want to make a good showing to garner more interest for his services beyond this season.  His talent is too much to pass up and he played well at the end of last season so he’s the clear-cut starter.  Quarless is finally healthy and the team likes him a lot.  Taylor has been a big contributor on special teams and will be back.  Williams has not been able to get on the field and has been ineffective when he has.  Mulligan figures to provide some depth and contribute on special teams.  Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy likes to keep his tight ends so both Williams and Mulligan may be locks.  Still, they will have to fight to crack the roster and show the team that they have another good stable of talent at the position.  Bostick spent last season on the team’s practice squad and will try to make an impression in camp.  He will have his work cut out for him and will be challenged by Stoneburner.  I expect one on the practice squad with the other likely to be let go.

Offensive Line

Starters:  Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, TJ Lang, Don Barclay

Backups:  Marshall Newhouse, David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor

Bubble:  JC Tretter, Derek Sherrod, Andrew Datko, Greg Van Roten, Kevin Hughes, Patrick Lewis, Garth Gerhart

Quick hits:  The starters, minus Barclay, are pretty clear.  I expect Barclay to win the starting right tackle spot.  Newhouse is a solid backup and Bakhtiari will need to show readiness during the preseason.  Both Tretter and Sherrod are listed as bubble players as they are dealing with injuries.  Sherrod’s readiness is still in question and he could begin the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.  Tretter suffered a broken ankle during a non-contact drill at the beginning of OTA’s and will likely miss at least the first half, if not all, of his rookie season.  Taylor is my pick to make some noise and push hard to crack the roster.  If not, practice squad and they may part ways with Datko.

Defensive Line

Starters:  BJ Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Neal

Backup:  CJ Wilson, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Josh Boyd

Bubble:  Johnny Jolly, Jerel Worthy, Jordan Miller, Gilbert Pena

Quick hits:  Raji and Pickett will settle in at tackle and end and which one ends up where is still unsure.   Neal is at the other end.   Top rookie Jones and also Wilson will push Neal for the other starting end spot.  The team will want to get Jones on the field and so they will use a rotation during most games.  Jolly is a great story, but now he must go to work.  He faces a major uphill battle to stick on this year’s team.  Worthy may miss this season simply because his ACL injury came at the tail end of last season.  Boyd is likely safe, having been a fifth round pick.

Outside Linebacker

Starters:  Clay Matthews, Nick Perry

Backup:  Dezman Moses, Nate Palmer

Bubble: Andy Mulumba, Jarvis Reed, Donte Savage

Quick hits:  Matthews and Perry are the unquestioned starters.  Moses provides quality depth and Palmer is expected to be in the team’s plans this year after Packers General Manager Ted Thompson traded up for him in the sixth round of the draft.  Mulumba was an undrafted free agent and was a high choice in the recent Canadian Football League’s draft.  He could become last year’s equivalent to Dezman Moses and push hard for a roster spot.

Inside Linebacker

Starters:  AJ Hawk, Brad Jones

Backup:  Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore, Robert Francois

Bubble:  Desmond Bishop, Sam Barrington

Quick hits:  Probably the biggest story out of mini camp and OTA’s is what the team will do with Bishop.  He is reportedly going to have to restructure his contract or he will be released.  That doesn’t sound like a guy who figures prominently in the team’s plans this season.  Manning is finally healthy and needs to take a step forward.  Lattimore and Francois are valuable on special teams and for depth.  Barrington was the team’s last draft pick and will face tough odds to stick.


Starters:  Casey Hayward (nickel), Tramon Williams, Sam Shields

Backup:  Davon House, Micah Hyde, Jarrett Bush

Bubble:  Loyce Means, James Nixon, Brandon Smith

Quick hits:  The Packers play a ton of nickel so for all intents and purposes, Hayward is a starter.  Williams is on watch after two very subpar seasons following a stellar 2010.  Shields elevated his game last season and may be playing for a new deal this year.  House will be breathing down the neck of any of those three who may struggle.  Bush is the team’s top special teams ace but could get bumped if one of the bubble guys comes out of nowhere.


Starters:  Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillian

Backups:  MD Jennings, Sean Richardson

Bubble:  Chaz Powell, David Fulton

Quick hits:  This group seems pretty set.  I expect McMillian to be the starter opposite Burnett in the 3-4 scheme.  Richardson needs to stay healthy or he could be gone sooner than later.  That would leave the team thin with Jennings being the only quality depth so far.

Special Teams

Starters:  Mason Crosby (PK), Brett Goode (LS), Tim Masthay (P)

Bubble:  Giorgio Tavecchio (PK)

Quick hits:  Crosby is the focal point here and is the only incumbent facing apparent competition.  We haven’t heard much about Tavecchio so far, so it sounds like it’s the status quo heading into the season.


As I mentioned earlier, we will see changes to these lists as training camp starts, injuries happen and preseason games are played.  For now, chime in with your thoughts and comments, as always.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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20 thoughts on “2013 Green Bay Packers: An Early Look At The Depth Chart

  1. Nice Jason, I agree on just about everything, especially Johnson at WR. I think if this guy if healthy, (what is wrong with him?)is going to be the super sleeper of the Packers draft. But I think they keep Ross for kicks and punt returns. I also think Jolly makes the roster and is NFL comeback player of the year, but then I have a special place in my heart for those who are in recovery. I certainly hope Sherrod isn’t cut, at least not yet but maybe he’ll never come back from it, what a shame. I think Kuhn is gone. I love Kuhn but he’s just not that sure ire guy to pick up a yard any more. Lacy will be that guy. I think they DJ Williams, and Mulligan too. One of those guys will take Kuhns spot IMO.

    1. Kuhn will be kept for Sept playing against the hard teams and will suffer “something” by october before PUP decisions are needed. Sherrod will start on PUP and be activated in October when aother OL is hurt.

      Mulligan is best blocking TE and is a lock.

  2. ORT is the most important starting position on offense up for grabs.

    1)Newhouse – has never run blocked well.
    2)Barclay – Is he a G or a T?
    3)Bakihtari – Can he be ready to start Game 1?
    4)Sherrod – Looking at 2014?
    5)Datko – I think he has a great shot at winning this job if he’s 100%.

  3. I’d put Ross ahead of Johnson at this point, thinking Johnson could be a practice team. Oline is the area most “up-in-the-air”, alot of things could happen there.

    1. Johnson, due to injuries, has had only one practice so far. I don’t believe Dorsey has practiced at all for some reason and Boykin has missed two weeks due to injuries. The Pack is short at WR! That’s why they picked-up Terrell Sinkfield. I’ve seen him play with Northern Iowa. I think he has a legitimate chance of making the team. Not only is he fast but he has good hands and runs good routes. At 6′-0″ and 198 lbs., he is durable and has no history of injuries. That should be important with the Packers.

  4. Harrell has no long term future so if Coleman has a chance, you have got to go with him.

    Alex Green would be an upgrade over John Kuhn.

    Another logjam at TE. I think Mulligan stays. Time for DJ Williams to step up.

    OL – Who will start at RT?

    WR – Jarrett Boykin seems like a great find. Jeremy Ross looked the part as a returner last year. Has good size/speed.

    DE – Worthy goes to PUP. Replaced by Datone Jones. Neal may compete with Raji on other side. Wilson has chance to play one more year in rotation with Jones. Jolly will be hard pressed to make this team.

    NT – Pickett & Boyd are locks. Raji may rotate inside as well.

    ASIDE: I see TT using high draft picks on DL players for the next several years to replace Raji & Pickett and rebuild DL. Fat guys with short arms are not what anybody is looking for in today’s NFL. Neal, Worthy, Jones, Daniels & Boyd is a good start but there is much more to come.

    OLB – looks set as you have ’em.

    ILB – is a mess. When moving forward Hawk is easy to block. When chasing takes at least 10 yards to collar anybody. Can’t cove. Jones was a pleasant surprise last year but is not the tough guy tackler Bishop was. Has quickness/speed to cover guys.

    CB – Coaches are 100% committed to TW so I guess he stays even if he plays like Hawk. Shields looked great last year. As did Heyward. House is the guy they must get on the field. I don’t think they have a 5th CB that is starter quality.

    S – Burnett should continue his ascent. Jennings is OK but team would be helped by a breakout from J McMillian. I liked Richardson but his neck injury may hamper him.

  5. Mostly agree. Some things to watch:

    FB Kuhn may stick for the first few weeks due to blitz pick-up. Let’s see how fast the rookies learn

    TE I think Mulligan can make it with the new wave preference for run blocking.

    WR Ross gets pushed as a returner by Franklin and/or somebody new (at WR or CB). Taylor is on the bubble because he doesn’t really do much except ST, which can be replaced.

    OL Barclay right now is the primary back-up on the right side at both T and G. If he starts at RT they may cut Newhouse and Datko makes the roster (Its him against Taylor.) All of that especially if Sherrod is still hurt.

    CB One of the undrafted CBs can make it based on ST (especially returning). Bush slides to safety replacing Richardson who has that neck issue.

    1. TE: Mulligan is a lock because he helps the OL. He is better blocker than anyone we have or had last year.

      PUP: Expect Newhouse, Richardson, Worthy & Jolly to be on the PUP to begin season.

      Trade during pre-season: Taylor, Ross, Datko to Miami for a 4th round pick.

  6. Agree for the most part. I’m pretty sure Mulligan will stick because of his blocking skills and the fact that he was brought in as a FA. I’m also sure Sherrod will be back. They’ll not be eager to cut a recent 1st rounder without giving him plenty of opportunities to get healthy and develop. I’m not so sure Barclay is the savior at RT yet. He exceeded expectations last year, but the bar was pretty low and he still wasn’t a very good tackle. He didn’t have the same responsibilities as Newhouse at LT. People need to forget what their expectations were and compare players in a vacuum and based on what they presently contribute. It’s a similar situation with TWill. People forget that he is often matched up against the opponent’s best receiver. He can still contribute, especially if Shields ascends to the role of #1 corner and Williams gets easier assignments. If only McMillian and Jennings could be combined into one player. One show promise against the run while the other does well in coverage. Each is a solid #2 safety in any case.

  7. Training camp hasn’t even started yet. Isn’t it a bit early to be predicting the final roster? There are many interesting story lines to be played out in July/August including:

    1) backup QB
    2) starting RT
    3) WR competition for the 4, 5, and maybe 6 slots
    4) starting CBs
    5) does Kuhn keep his job for another year?
    6) who beyond Finley will make the team as a TE
    7) who wins the backup OL jobs
    8) how will the RB rotation work itself out?
    9) will Datone Jones (or anyone else) start as a rookie?

    1. By virtue of this website’s title alone, most anything Packers-related is worth a discussion. Did you also see the mention that this is the roster, as I see it, now? I realize there is lots of time left before camp. In a way, your points above are touched on. Probably more to come but by virtue of the good comments and thoughts so far, this was worthwhile.

  8. I don’t see Barclay beating New house. Bishop must be hurt. Not only that but The pack must be high on someone who is only a minor factor now. Hawk is plain terrible. I am so sick of the he knows the signals stuff. I believe Rb will be lacy Franklin and green. JONEs will start on the D line guaranteed. House will make team because they are done with shields long term. As we saw in super bowl ad can be had. Ray Lewis said Kapernick is a one read guy. Perry and Jones are the keys to. The season if they can generate pressure pack make another run @ 16-0

    1. I agree bout Newhouse/Barclay. I don’t see Barclay over Newhouse either. He did well enough but I dont see starting OT in him. Would like to see him compete w Lang at OG actually tho I don’t see him winning that competition either. Hope between Newhouse Datko and possibly Sherrod we find our other OT. Still liked the players in last year’s positions tho.

  9. Rodgers, Coleman.
    LACY, Franklin, Harris, Green.
    Newhouse, DATKO,Bakhtiari.
    Neal, JOLLY,Wilson,Daniels,Boyd.
    Datko and Jolly, Mulamba make team

    Worthy,Sherrod to injured reserve.

  10. To bad Collins and Bishop had serious injuries, in the prime of their careers, and are no longer with the team. If they were still on the team and if jones and perry contribute strongly, this would be a dominant Super Bowl D.

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