Best/worst case scenarios for Packer defensive tackles

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IAugust 9, 2008
In our continuing series, today we take a look at the best and worst case scenarios for this year's Green Bay Packer defensive tackles:

  • Ryan Pickett -- Pickett is one of the most underrated players in the entire NFL. He absolutely clogs up the middle of the field making it hard for opponents to run up the gut. His ability to keep blockers off the linebackers is top notch. And his hustle to make plays all over the field despite his size goes unnoticed by the national media. Best case, Pickett starts to get some recognition for his outstanding play as he has an All-Pro season. Worst case, his current hamstring issues linger and he becomes just another guy.
  • Johnny Jolly -- Jolly's upcoming court date in Texas hangs over the head of the Packers. If he's convicted, he stands to get a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Best case scenario, Jolly somehow avoids suspension and becomes a solid starter that fills the void left by Corey Williams' departure to Cleveland. Worst case, Jolly is suspended and his off-the-field troubles dog him all season long as he finds his way into Coach McCarthy's doghouse.
  • Justin Harrell -- Harrell could be a savior, or he could be another first round flop. Fans are losing patience with Harrell's injury history if they haven't lost it already. Best case, Harrell recovers in time for the season opener on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings and plays injury-free football all season long. Worst case, Harrell is put on injured reserve ending his season and is on "last chance" status a year from now.
  • Colin Cole -- This steady but unspectacular performer stands to play a prominent role in the Packers defensive tackle rotation given all the problems the team has been having at that position. Best case, Cole has his best season yet in which he receives major playing time due to the uncertain status of Jolly and Harrell. Worst case, Cole proves he's nothing better than a fourth string defensive tackle that he's been most of his career.
  • Daniel Muir -- It's possible Muir could have the breakout type of season that nobody saw coming. There's a reason the Packers kept him on their 53 man roster all season long last year. Best case, Muir has the type of season Johnny Jolly had last year when he forces himself upon the scene and announces through his actions that he's ready to start in the NFL. Worst case, Muir only sees the field as part of the defensive tackle rotation to keep players fresh but rarely more than that.
  • Alfred Malone -- Malone probably wasn't expected to have much impact but with the uncertainty at the position, he's seeing more playing time than anyone planned. Can he take advantage of the situation? Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes, "Does anyone tip more passes than Alfred Malone? The 6-foot-4 defensive tackle had two more Friday night, one on which led to Blackmon’s interception." Best case, Malone does take advantage and sees some regular season P.T. due to the team's D-tackle troubles. Worst case, he gets cut when he gets caught in a number crunch.
  • Conrad Bolston -- Bolston was signed at the end of the regular season last year and parlayed the opportunity into a chance to make the team this year. Best case, injuries give him a shot to make the team once again. Worst case, the other tackles start to get healthy forcing him out of a job.

Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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