My 53-Man Packer Roster...For Now.Posted:Sep 2nd, 2015 5:37 pm
OK, why not. I reserve the right to make some changes following the preseason finale. Injuries might alter things as well. But for now, here's how I'd stack the Pack of cards heading into the 2015 season.
Quarterback (3): Nothing of interest here. Rodgers, Tolzien and Hundley are locks and nothing will change, unless Hundley is so wiped out after playing the entire fourth preseason game that he's hospitalized for exhaustion.
Running Back (5): Lacy, Starks, Neal, Kuhn, Ripkowski. I think Thompson will keep both fullbacks, but I won't be shocked if Kuhn ends up getting cut because of an injury elsewhere. Neal may end up being the kickoff returner if Montgomery's health is deemed too important as the #3 receiver. He has flashed enough to earn the third tailback slot. I expect the Pack to put Crockett and Harris on the practice squad.
Wide Receiver (5): Cobb, Adams, Montgomery, Janis, White. The biggest unknown is whether the Pack moves on from Abbrederis. He will be trying to play his way into a job on Thursday night, but Myles White seems so far ahead of him at this point that I can't see the team keeping the fragile ex-Badger as a sixth receiver. I'm still not convinced that Thompson won't add a reliable outside receiver from the cut list, even though that's not his MO. There might be a guy there who's too intriguing to pass up. After Cobb, the team is frighteningly unproven at wide receiver, following the Nelson injury.
Tight End (3): Rodgers, Quarless, Backman. The potential suspension of Quarless may cause the team to hang on to one more, but they may be able to store Perrillo or Henry on the practice squad for now. This is the team's most uninspiring set of players. Here's hoping Rodgers busts out and takes advantages the red zone opportunities that will be there.
Offensive Line (9): Bakhtiari, Sitton, Linsley, Lang, Bulaga, Barclay, Tretter, Walker, Taylor. Despite most of the line dealing with injuries during training camp, this is the strongest unit in years for the Pack. All five starters return, and the injury-prone backups are healthy--for now. Walker appears to have starter potential and Rotheram will likely end up on the practice squad for development.
Defensive Line (6): Daniels, Raji, Guion, Jones, Ringo, Pennell. This is the toughest one to forecast, with suspensions looming for Guion and Jones. I'm projecting the Pack moves on from third round bust Kyri Thornton and Josh Boyd. Pennell has shown his legit ability has a run stuffer but needs work in pass rush, while Ringo is raw and would probably benefit from a year on the practice squad. Ultimately they may feel that have to hang on to Boyd, at least for the first few weeks, to get past the suspensions. But I'll say they roll the dice and go light here early.
Linebackers (10): Inside: Barringon, Bradford, Palmer Ryan. Outside: Matthews, Peppers, Neal, Perry, Mulumba and Elliott. I'm not sure both of these last two will make it, but with Matthews as a swing 'backer playing inside and out, they may feel they have the luxury of keeping both. And with the injury history of Neal and Perry, they almost have to keep the youngsters.
Cornerbacks (6): Shields, Hayward, Hyde, Randall, Rollins, Gunter. It appears Thompson has hit on three corners this spring, with his first two picks and the undrafted Gunter. That means the end of the road for '14 draft pick Goodson. A lot of youth in this unit, but loads of potential as well. Hyde, Randall and Rollins can all play some safety as well, giving Capers lots of moveable parts and the ability to mix things up back there.
Safeties (3): Burnett, Clinton-Dix, Richardson. Chris Banjo is my final cut in this exercise and it's a tough one because he's proven to be a solid special teams guy on a team that desperately needs solid special teams guys. But Richardson was kept for this reason and the young corners should also provide a lift to these units.
Specialists (3): Crosby, Masthay, Goode.
So there you go. Not the most difficult exercise, since the Pack's roster is virtually intact from a year ago. Where do you disagree? Where did I get it wrong? Let's hear it...