With the Packers having to cut their roster down to 53 by tomorrow, here is a look at who will likely make the team.
QB (2/1) - Rodgers, Flynn, Harrell*
Rodgers should be an NFL MVP candidate, and Flynn had a solid preseason and training camp. Harrell showed some potential and makes it onto the practice squad.
RB (3/1) - Grant, Jackson, Lumpkin, Porter*, Starks (PUP)
Grant was seventh in the NFL in rushing last year and is the clear No. 1. Also, Jackson has a nice job on their downs, specifically blocking. Lumpkin makes the roster, mainly because of injuries to Porter and Starks. Although, he is definitely expendable and if the Packers see a better option on another team, look for them to make a move. Porter showed some things during training camp and makes the practice squad. Starks is on the PUP; however, he will most likely get cut eventually.
FB (3/0) - Hall, Kuhn, Johnson
The Packers surprise again by keeping all three. Hall is most likely the starter and both he and Kuhn provide special teams value. Kuhn also can play halfback and is a good receiver in the backfield. Quinn Johnson, meanwhile, is a bulldozer who could eventually become a Pro Bowler.
WR (5/0) - Jennings, Driver, Jones, Nelson, Swain
The first four are definitely locks. The fifth spot was up in the air, as Swain was coming off of an injury and Jason Chery had that 75 yard punt return. After Swain’s nice game against the Chiefs though, it’s likely that he will retain his fifth receiver spot.
TE (4/0) - Finley, Lee, Havner, Quarless
Finley should be a Pro Bowler this year and is a sure thing. Havner, meanwhile, provides great flexibility as a TE, LB, and special team’s player. It wasn’t long ago that Donald Lee was the starting TE. Although those days are numbered, Lee is still a solid veteran. He could however be trade bait if the Packers want to strengthen a weaker position. I see Andrew Quarless as a guy similar to Jermichael Finley- tall, lanky TE who is raw coming out of college; however, two or three years from now, he could be what Jermichael is now.
OL (9/1) - Clifton, Tauscher, Colledge, Wells, Bulaga, Sitton, Lang, Spitz, Barbre, Newhouse*
Clifton and Tauscher will start at OT with Colledge and Sitton at OG, and Wells at C. Then first round pick Bryan Bulaga and versatile TJ Lang are also locks. Spitz makes it because of his experience and versatility for playing center and guard. However, there have been rumors he could be traded. Barbre is the last to make it at tackle and guard; although, Dietrich-Smith could make it in his place. Newhouse has shown some potential and should make the practice squad.
DL (6/1) - Pickett, Jenkins, Raji, Neal, Wynn, Harrell, Wilson*, Jolly (Year Suspension)
The starters and Neal are all safe. Wynn bests out Wilson for a spot on the 53, but Wilson makes the practice squad. Harrell barely makes the 53 and could get cut during the season if he doesn’t produce or could get waived in favor of someone on another team’s cut list.
LB (8/1) - Matthews, Barnett, Hawk, Jones, Chillar, Bishop, Poppinga, Zombo, Obiozor*
The starters are definites, as well as Chillar and Bishop. Poppinga is most likely going to make it and Zombo with his consistency and reliability in the preseason wins the final spot. Obiozor has been a contributor on special teams and makes the practice squad.
DB (10/0) - Woodson, Williams, Collins, Burnett, Shields, Underwood, Lee, Martin, Bush, Blackmon, Harris (PUP), Bigby (PUP)
Reigning Defensive MVP Charles Woodson is a lock along with Williams, Collins, and Burnett. Sam Shields has done a nice job as a nickel corner and likely won the job. Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee also made some plays this offseason and will be counted on in Harris’ absence.
Martin and Bush are the backup safeties and have both been key special teamers. Blackmon gets the final roster spot as a backup safety and returner. Harris and Bigby should both be back midway through the season and the Packers will have some decisions to make, but right now these spots are intact.
Specialists (3/0) – Crosby, Masthay, Goode
Crosby was a lock. Brett Goode is just about a lock as backup snapper Evan Dietrich seemed to have some trouble snapping the ball correctly. Masthay wins out a close punting battle with Chris Bryan.
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