Some Surprises in Green Bay Packers' 53-Man Roster

Ben BartensteinContributor IAugust 31, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 29: Quarterback Tyler Thigpen #4 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during their preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 29, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

This my prediction on who will make the Packers 53-man roster, including two trades:

QB- Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Tyler Thigpen, Brian Brohm

At QB, Aaron Rodgers has had a tremendous offseason after a successful 2008 campaign. Look for Rodgers to make the Pro Bowl this year with 30+ TD's and a QB rating above 100.  Matt Flynn has shown that he can be a viable backup with fairly consistent play at QB.  

Tyler Thigpen would be acquired in a trade along with a fifth Round Draft Pick for our third Round Draft Pick.  Thigpen would be perfect for a few plays every game in the wildcat formation if we choose to use him there or otherwise would be a talented backup to challenge Flynn for the No. 2 spot.

Brohm makes the team because he has potential, although the Packers try to shop him around.

RB-  Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, Tyrell Sutton    

PS:  Kraig Lumpkin

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At RB, Grant seems in better shape than he was last year and looks to return to late-2007 form.  Jackson is a decent backup, but an injury versus Arizona might keep him out of the season-opener.

Sutton has been the star of training camp he should contribute right away with Jackson injured as a third down back and also as a return man.  Lumpkin makes the practice squad for his potential and because Jackson is injured.

FB-  Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson, John Kuhn

All three of them make the final 53 because of their uniqueness.  Hall is the starter. Johnson has a lot of potential and is a stud power blocker and Kuhn is a former RB who can carry the ball some and also is a top special teams performer.

WR-  Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Ruvell Martin

PS: Jamarko Simmons

The WR's remain the teams top position and the players also remain the same.  Jennings, Driver, Jones, and Nelson are all definite locks to make the team.  At the No. 5 WR spot Ruvell Martin has been challenged by Brett Swain and others, but he keeps his job thanks to his experience and his awesome TD return at the end of the Arizona game.  

Simmons was released a while ago and I know it's unlikely that they bring him back, but who can't like a guy who broke all of Greg Jennings' college records?

TE-  Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Spencer Havner

Finley wins the starting job after his amazing training camp and preseason.  Lee is still a very good No. 2 TE and should still see quality playing time.  Havner makes the team for his versatility at TE, LB, and on special teams.

OL-  Chad Clifton, Tony Moll, Daryn Colledge, TJ Lang, Jason Spitz, Josh Sitton, Allen Barbre, Breno Giacomini

PS: Jamon Meredith

Clifton, Colledge, Spitz, Sitton, and Barbre are starters.  They all performed well in preseason.  Moll, Lang, and Giacomini make the team as backups.  Meredith makes the practice squad for his potential.  Scott Wells is traded to Cincinnati along with DeShawn Wynn and a Fourth Round Pick for Rey Maualuga, who isn't supposed to be a starter for the Bengals.

DL-  Johnny Jolly, Jarius Wynn, Cullen Jenkins, Michael Montgomery, Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji

PS: Mitch King

Jolly, Jenkins, and Pickett are the starters with Raji rotating in at DE and NT.  Wynn and Montgomery are good third down rushers who can play special teams.  Mitch King is an Aaron Kampman-like player who went undrafted out of Iowa—where Kampman went to school—and is having a good camp with the Titans, but likely won't make their roster.

LB-  Aaron Kampman, Brady Poppinga, AJ Hawk, Desmond Bishop, Nick Barnett, Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews, Brandon Chillar, Jeremy Thompson

PS: Danny Lansannah, Jonathan Casillas

After my "trade" for Maualuga, LB might become the Packers top position and that's saying something based on how good the WR's are.  Kampman is a definite starter.  Hawk beats out Bishop, but Bishop is an awesome backup.  Barnett's a starter, but if he's stilled injured Maualuga can start.  

Poppinga starts at the other OLB, but Matthews beats him out midway through the year. Chillar is extremely versatile and if someone gets injured, he could jump in and be the starter.  

Thompson will also challenge Poppinga for a starting role.  Lansannah is a good LB forced to the practice squad thanks to LB depth.  Casillas joins the packers from the Saints.  He is a underrated player and would contribute on special teams once he makes the 53-man roster.

DB-  Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon, Pat Lee, Nick Collins, Jarrett Bush, Atari Bigby, Anthony Smith

PS: Brandon Underwood, Aaron Rouse

Woodson, Harris, and Collins are definite starters at LCB, RCB, and FS.  Smith beats out Bigby for the starting job, but Bigby could win it back once he recovers from injury fully. Tramon Williams is a good backup CB and Blackmon is solid and is a good return man.  

Lee makes it as the the fifth cornerback.  Bush looks a lot sharper this offseason and hasn't made too many mistakes.  Underwood makes the practice squad and has a lot of potential.  Rouse is starter caliber, but injuries derail him to the practice squad.

K- Mason Crosby

I'm a little concerned with his misses in preseason; however, with Flynn back as his holder he should be one of the top kickers in the NFL.

P-  Jason Kapinos

Not a very good position for the Packers, but Kapinos punted well against Arizona and with the release of Brooks is the only punter on the roster.

LS- Brett Goode

Only longsnapper on the team.

Injured Reserve- Justin Harrell, Dustin Frischknecht

Justin Harrell goes on the IR.  Next year will be his last chance or the Packers will be forced to cut him.  Sadly, the Packers will work out an injury settlement with Frischknecht and he will be released, ending- or at least postponing- his NFL dreams.