First Crack at the Final 53: Green Bay Packers Roster Prediction

Mike Neal and Josh Sitton

The Green Bay Packers Shareholder’s meeting is upon us, which means that the players are moving in to the dorms at St. Norbert College and camp is soon going to start.  We as a people have survived the doldrums of football’s offseason.  I’ve decided to take a swing at what I think the 53 man roster will look like at the end of this camp:

QB- Aaron Rodgers
QB- Graham Harrell

RB- Eddie Lacy
RB- DuJuan Harris
RB- Jonathan Franklin
RB- Alex Green

WR- Jordy Nelson
WR- James Jones
WR- Randall Cobb
WR- Jarret Boykin
WR- Charles Johnson
WR- Jeremy Ross

TE- Jermichael Finley
TE- Andrew Quarless
TE- DJ Williams
TE- Matthew Mulligan
TE- Ryan Taylor

LT- Bryan Bulaga
LG- Josh Sitton
C- Evan Deitrich-Smith
RG- TJ Lang
RT- Don Barclay
OL- Marshall Newhouse
OL- Greg Van Roten
OL- Derek Sherrod
OL- David Bakhtiari

LE- BJ Raji
NT- Ryan Pickett
RE- Datone Jones
DL- Mike Neal
DL- Johnny Jolly
DL- Mike Daniels

LOLB- Nick Perry
ILB- Brad Jones
ILB- AJ Hawk
ROLB- Clay Matthews
OLB- Dezman Moses
OLB- Nate Palmer
ILB- Jamari Lattimore
ILB- Robert Francois
ILB- Terrell Manning

CB- Sam Shields
CB- Tramon Williams
FS- Morgan Burnett
SS- Jerron McMillan
DB- Casey Hayward
DB- Davon House
DB- M.D. Jennings
DB- Micah Hyde
DB- Jarret Bush

K- Mason Crosby
P- Tim Masthay
LS- Brett Goode

PUP- Jerel Worthy, JC Tretter

Highlights:

Offense- I think the first thing everyone’s going to notice is that I don’t have John Kuhn making the team.  I have this rationalized a few different ways.  First is that I love John Kuhn, I love how we yell Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhn and I love how he so very angrily spikes the ball after a touchdown.  While these things may make him a folk hero, an indispensable player who needs to be making $1.8 million he is not.  Eddie Lacy can replace (read: improve) is production in short yardage.  Jonathan Franklin should be able to replace him as the 3rd down back (if he can pass block) and I’d like to see his run blocking (average at best) replaced by one of the  5 TEs that I have making the team.

Another reason that I have 5 TEs making the team is that I think Jermichael Finley is either going to have another subpar season and the Packers will have had enough of him or (more likely) he’s going to have a breakout year and price his way right out of Green Bay (even more likely on a bad contract with the Minnesota Vikings).  Because of this it would be a good idea for our favorite team to keep as many of it’s TE prospects under team control as possible.  Keeping Quarless, Williams, Mulligan and Taylor and sticking the better of Brandon Bostick or Jake Stoneburner on the Practice squad would possibly mean that Finley’s replacement wouldn’t need to come from the first 3 rounds of the draft.  I also do have Derek Sherrod making the team, although I almost think he’s either going to win the RT job or be released.  Goodbye James Starks, we’ll always have Philadelphia.

Defense- The big thing that jumped out to me is that I have Johnny Jolly making the team and CJ Wilson is not.  My reasoning here is that they are both free agents after this season.  Jolly was every bit the run stuffer that Wilson is when he was playing.  Jolly may be 30, but he only has 3 and a half season’s worth of NFL miles.  He was much more of a playmaker than Wilson has ever been.  The question then becomes would you rather have one year of CJ Wilson or would you rather have one year of Johnny Jolly. It’s a tough one, but I’ll take Jolly’s upside, especially when you’re talking about a position in the DL rotation that’s at least 5th (Raji, Pickett, Jones, Neal).  I know he’s a 5th round pick but I think Boyd ends up on the practice squad.

I only have the team keeping 3 safeties.  I think that Sean Richardson either ends up on the practice squad again or he gets stashed on the PUP.  The one reason that I know this 53 man prediction won’t come to pass is because I don’t have any of the undrafted players making the team and it happens every year.  If Myles White doesn’t beat out Charles Johnson (and I don’t think he will) I think that two of the real possibilities to make the squad from the UDFAs are OLB prospects Donte Savage and Andy Mulumba

Specials- Goode and Masthay are super safe.  I think Crosby screws his head on straight(ish) and beats out the Italian Stallion Tavecchio for the kicking job.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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