10 Rookies Make Packers “First 53;” Harrell, Gurley Among Cuts

What does it stay about a Super Bowl champ that is willing to open the season with rookies making up nearly 20 percent of the roster? Ted Thompson elected to keep seven of his ten draft picks and three undrafted rookies on his initial 53 man roster. Clearly he was impressed with the immediate impact many of them can make on special teams.

Randall Cobb, Alex Green and DJ Williams all have a chance to become core offensive players within a tear or two and a couple of the linebackers, DJ Smith and Vic So’oto have shined during games.

But the last couple of guys on the roster probably won’t sleep real soundly the next couple of nights. With just eight offensive linemen, the Pack could easily add another after scanning the waiver wire. That could spell curtains for one of the undrafted guys, Jennings or Lattimore.

Probably the biggest surprise was the release of QB Graham Harrell, who showed development in his last start and looked like the heir apparent as the understudy to Aaron Rodgers. But since the Pack didn’t plan on activating him on game days, they decided it was more important to load up on linebackers and tight ends. We’ll find out in the next day or two whether someone picks up Harrell, or if he lands on the Packers’ practice squad.

I thought the Pack would go against history and keep six wide receivers but ultimately they thought the five tight ends provided more versatility. Undrafted Tori Gurley, at 6’4″ and with a crazy wingspan that helped him block five punts during the preseason, couldn’t crack the team’s deep receiving corps. My hunch is he will be scooped up by another team (the Vikings perhaps?), otherwise the Pack would welcome him onto the practice squad. The same holds true for fellow receiver Chastin West.

The current roster looks like this: two QBs, 4 RBs, 5 WRs, 5 TEs, 8 OL, 6 DL, 10 LBs and 10 DBs, with three specialists. Wouldn’t shock me to see one LB (Lattimore or Jones) replaced with an offensive lineman if the braintrust finds one to their liking.

Now that a lot of tough decisions have been made, the team can focus on Drew Brees and the Saints. The opener is just days away. Really looking forward to being at Lambeau on Thursday night. It’s going to be crazy loud when the champs come out of the tunnel. Ihave goosebumps already.

Thompson found takers for two guys he was going to cut anyway. Fullback Quinn Johnson was shipped to Tennessee and rookie guard Caleb Schlauerdaff was dealt to the Jets, both for conditional draft picks. Just last season Thompson kept three fullbacks; this year Kuhn is the last man standing, though tight end Tom Crabtree could fill in in a pinch.

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13 Responses to 10 Rookies Make Packers “First 53;” Harrell, Gurley Among Cuts

  1. SchenySchen says:

    Looks like the Packers are making a concerted effort to have better special teams this season. TT always talks about players contributing in multiple ways. I will be shocked if our kick coverage (and returns for that matter) are not significantly improved. Really excited that So’oto made it. I assume the braintrust is hoping that with injuries behind him, Pat Lee will become the player they drafted. Really hope they pick up another Olineman, and think that another stout Defensive End could be helpful. Got to think that Jones is the odd man out at LB if they add. No reason to give someone like Lattimore hope if they were planning to dump him anyway. Excited for the season. GoPack!

  2. SchenySchen says:

    Also, considering we have let go of a number of late round draft picks as well as most of the UFA’s, I wish TT had packaged his late rounds into higher quality picks, rather than his usual high-quantity. We’ll see what the actual roster looks like after the waiver wire action is completed. GoPack!

  3. gbp13gbp13 says:

    Its hard to second guess Mr. Thompson however I DONT understand keeping Lee over Gordy…. The only reason Lee was able to “make” any plays was bc he was either beaten badly or someone else actually made the plays while he was following up…… Still not a huge fan of 5 te’s when we do need o-line help…….. Over all another great rookie crop…

  4. lynndickeyfan says:

    I was hoping to keep Gurley around, especially if TT wanted a difference on Special teams. I thought he could have made a real difference in Field goals made. I really have a feeling average start position was going to be around the 20 no matter what with the new rules. So I’m really hoping they can keep Gurley around. He’d be likely to be activated sooner or later. Can’t wait for Thursday!

  5. Al says:

    Gordy got beat twice for touchdowns in the Chiefs game. If he had been able to break up the plays, he might still be here. I’m not a big Pat Lee fan either. But he’s been around longer and did hold up in the second half of the Super Bowl.

  6. larry says:

    Schenny schen, thanks for agreeing with me, i told u that back in the draft also. we had to many guys coming back, get rid of all the 5 th, 6th and 7th round picks and move up. for quality. it’s hard to argue with tt, but he is wrong on this. now we lose Gurly, what a shame, Dave, the queens better not get him. he is cheap and young. 6′ 4″ with hands and speed what the hell are they looking for ? he will never stay on practice squad. i hope i’m wrong but u all know that doesn’t happen very often, ha, ha, look back at my picks i know my packers. just finished watching the replay of the bowl, i watched alot of colledge, he was a amazing in that game, never missed a block and helped clifton alot. i think we are going to miss him for awile, until lang gets his confidence. go world champions, 24-20 thursday. go pack

  7. SchenySchen says:

    You keep Lee over Gordy because he knows the defense better and while a liability at times in coverage, he is better in run support than Gordy. He won’t cost you much more because he is your #4/5 DB. Not a significant signing. — Gurley back on the practice squad. Yes he could be good on special teams but who do you de-activate on Sunday to make room for him? He’s not better than any of the other receivers, can’t return like Cobb and can’t block better than any of the TE’s/LB’s that are on the return teams. The chances of blocking a punt/fg are slim and therefore are not more important than the cohesion of blockers on the return which can shift the field in your favor. GoPack!

  8. Justin from Milwaukee says:

    I wish that they would have kept another lineman instead of 5 TEs for depth although it seems like keeping Crabtree could be considered a “hybrid” TE/Fullback. Sorry to see Gurley go but the Packers have a lot of depth at wideout. I guess that the thinking on Harrell is that if they have to go to a third QB their season is dead already anyway. Definitely creates a hole next year when Flynn departs.

  9. SchenySchen says:

    Harrell is on the practice squad again. No team is going to sign him, unless they saw enough to make him their #2 which any team would be hard-pressed to do. Remember that teams can only sign other teams PS players if they put them on their active 53 man roster. Harrell will be safe for the season and then will be the #2 for GB next year after another season in MM’s QB camp. GoPack!

  10. schenySchen says:

    Davey, why does PA try so hard to “hate” the Packers? Doesn’t he know how phony it sounds? His clear man-crush on Wayne Larravie is proof positive for me…….your thoughts? goPack!

  11. South Side Guy says:

    I believe TT and MM keeping the 10 new guys were made to address our glaring weakness of last year that I have streessed in earlier posts. And that is especially kick coverage…..seems like a minor issue but if you look back at all the close games lost last year it was mainly because of poor kick coverage. Also I am really concerned this year about Clifton at left OT. With a passing league and Rodgers at the top of his game the left tackle is the most important player on offense after the QB. Like our practice squad players. Excited for Thursday’s game. GO PACK GO !!

  12. SchenySchen says:

    OSSG, I have a sneaking suspicion that Newhouse or Sherrod will be finishing the season at LT. Newhouse looks better now but by midseason, after he has caught up to NFL speed, Sherrod will be ready. The genius of putting Sherrod at LG during preseason is tha t the defender is on you quicker than tackle. When he officially goes back to tackle in games, it will take the defender longer to get to him, thus slowing down the game for him. GoPack!

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