The Packers just finished their final preseason game against the Chiefs, and now it's time for Ted Thompson to finalize the Packers' roster by cutting it down to 53, which will be revealed tomorrow. My predictions for the final roster are as follows:
QB(2)- Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn
PS- Graham Harrell
Rodgers and Flynn have their roster spots locked up, but there are questions on whether Graham Harrell can earn a roster spot.
I don't see it happening for him. He'll probably be placed on the practice squad, and the Packers should be able to sneak him there without him being claimed.
RB(2)- Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson
PS- Kregg Lumpkin
Grant and Jackson are locks to make the roster, but Kregg Lumpkin is on the bubble. Quinn Porter was placed on IR, and James Starks was placed on PUP after the 75 roster limit deadline, so Lumpkin has a better chance of making the roster.
But the Packers can most likely sneak him on to the practice squad, and John Kuhn is reportedly able to fill in as a third-string running back, and Thompson will want to make room for other positions.
FB(3)- John Kuhn, Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson
Kuhn continues to be a valuable short-yard situation rusher and a good blocker, and Hall recovered a botched return for a touchdown against the Colts, so his value on special teams can't be ignored.
Johnson is improving as a blocker, so the Packers will somehow make room for him.
WR(5)- Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Brett Swain
PS- Jason Chery
Jennings and Driver are locks as they're the starters, and Jones and Nelson are the definite third and fourth receivers, but the fifth receiver position is a close battle between Swain, Charles Dillon, Patrick Williams, and Jason Chery.
Swain, Dillon, and Williams all looked brilliant against the Chiefs, and Chery produces value as a return specialist, but he botched a return ball.
I think Swain will get the fifth spot because he showed his potential as a receiver, and he can also play special teams.
Chery will earn a practice squad spot due to his potential as a return man, and he hasn't done too much to get attention from other teams, so he should make it there without being claimed.
TE(4)- Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Spencer Havner, Andrew Quarless
PS- Tom Crabtree
This may be the toughest position for Thompson to decide on when he finalizes the roster.
Finley's a lock as the starter. Lee will most likely be kept due to his veteran leadership, and he's the best blocker of all the tight ends on the team, and he'll start if Finley goes down.
Havner is on the bubble, but he'll probably be kept because of his red-zone ability and his versatility.
Quarless definitely won't make it to the practice squad, and he's had a solid preseason, so he'll definitely get a roster spot. Thompson stays loyal to his draft picks.
Crabtree has shown potential as a blocker, but he hasn't been a big name, so he'll make it to the practice squad.
OL(9)- Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Daryn Colledge, Josh Sitton, Marshall Newhouse, Scott Wells, Jason Spitz
PS- Chris Campbell
Clifton, Colledge, Wells, Sitton, and Tauscher are all locks as the starters, and Bulaga is a lock as the top backup to both Clifton and Colledge.
Newhouse will probably make the roster due to Thompson's loyalty to draft picks, and he can't be snuck on to the practice squad.
Lang and Spitz will be kept for their versatility and Lang will be the backup at right tackle. Spitz will back up Wells at center and can also play guard, but there are rumors floating around that he'll be traded.
Breno Giacomini is in the trade discussions as well. I don't see him taking a roster spot since he hasn't performed well enough in the preseason, but a trade could very well happen.
Allen Barbre has shown no sign of improvement, so he won't get a roster spot. Campbell has impressed in the preseason and should be able to be snuck on to the practice squad.
DL(7)- Cullen Jenkins, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Neal, Justin Harrell, C.J. Wilson, Jarius Wynn
PS- Anthony Toribio
Jenkins, Raji, and Pickett are the starters, so they're locks, and Neal has been playing extremely well in the preseason, so he'll make a quality backup and future starter.
Harrell is on every Packers fan's mind. He's known as the biggest bust that Thompson has drafted, but it's had more to do with injuries, and now he's healthier than ever, so he'll be given one more chance.
Wilson and Wynn are both on the bubble, but they'll both be kept based on their potential and being draft picks. Toribio will be snuck on to the practice squad as Raji's backup.
LB(8)- Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Frank Zombo, Brady Poppinga, Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, Desmond Bishop
PS- Cyril Obiozor, Robert Francois
Matthews, Jones, Barnett, and Hawk are the starters. Zombo has surprised after being undrafted.
Chillar is a lock as the top backup at inside linebacker, and Bishop is valuable on special teams. Poppinga is on the bubble, but Thompson seems to like him, so he'll be kept.
Obiozor is being outplayed by Zombo but had a sack in the preseason, so he'll likely be kept on the practice squad.
Francois did well at pressuring the QB, so he'll also earn a practice squad spot.
CB(6)- Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Brandon Underwood, Sam Shields, Pat Lee, Jarrett Bush
Harris was placed on the PUP list, so that makes Williams the starter opposite Woodson. Shields has had a great preseason as a cornerback and may take the nickel job. He's also a project as a return man due to his electric speed.
Underwood and Lee will be kept as the backups, and Thompson has faith in them as he didn't draft a cornerback.
Unfortunately for Packers fans, Bush had an interception last night, and since Harris is on the PUP list, there's room for him, and he can also play safety.
Bush's roster spot will be Thompson's annual roster surprise.
S(4)- Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Derrick Martin, Will Blackmon
Atari Bigby was placed on the PUP list along with Harris, so Burnett will start in his place. Martin is a special teams ace, so he's not going anywhere.
Blackmon is the return man, but if his injury problem persists, he could be cut later on in the season.
ST(3)- Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode
The punter position battle has been close, but Masthay gets the edge due to a better punting average and is a better holder for Crosby.
What do you think of this roster? Leave your comments and discuss. I'm also listening if you have any writing tips.