Now that the Draft is finished, it comes time to look at the Green Bay roster as it stands right now. If you factor in the eight picks and the one or two undrafted guys that always make the team, that ends up leaving some guys out in the cold.
There are five guys who are now sleeping a little less easier now that the draft is done. It may be their last chance to make this team, and while they all have shown potential, the time is now to show it.
Boyd was seen as a good developmental player when he was taken a couple of years ago. He had the great size and athleticism to be a good nose tackle, but his motor seemed to run hot and cold at times in college. After showing great strides late in his rookie year he was expected to develop into a good rotational player at worst and a starter at his best. Unfortunately he didn’t do that. Starting 4 games and playing in 15, he only had 21 tackles on the season and didn’t make any impact in the backfield. With BJ Raji back and hoping to build off his dominant preseason and Letroy Guion back, Boyd needs to prove that he’s more than just a guy.
Another guy who needs to develop quickly or lose his job is the safety Banjo. A core special teamer the past couple of years, he has a limited ceiling and needs to be a dominant in that phase of the game to survive. He didn’t even make the team last year but got promoted from the practice squad after a few weeks. However, while he is fearless and a solid tackler, he doesn’t have the talent as the two new draft picks in the secondary. Banjo has to be dominant either defensively or as a gunner to stick for a third season in Green Bay.
Formerly a defensive end in college, Palmer has played in 8 games in 2013 and missed the entirety of last season due to an injury. Now being looked at as a hybrid linebacker who can play inside, this may be his last chance to make an impact. Linebacker is always a priority in a 3-4 defense, but with Clay Matthews, Julius Pepper, Nick Perry, and Mike Neal locks on the outside and Sam Barrington and Jake Ryan locks inside, there are limited options for the rest of the linebacking corp. Palmer needs to show that he is fully healthy to make sure that he remains a Packer.
Undrafted two years ago, Mulumba was the surprise of camp and made the team as a developmental prospect. He even started 3 games and registered his lone NFL sack. He made the team again last season, but played in only two games before an injury ended his season. He has a better chance of making the team again due to his special teams prowess, making five tackles in the two games he played. The Eastern Michigan product is still raw in terms of defensive play but the talent is worth cultivating.
Our final player is a player who needs to play at an All-Pro level to make the team again. Taylor is a big, road grading lineman who is limited athletically, making him a liability in pass protection. Playing in 26 games over the past two seasons, he hasn’t shown anything other than his strength on the line and was a major problem when asked to play meaningful offensive snaps. Coming in against New Orleans at RG after TJ Lang went down, he was a disaster and the drop in confidence carried over to special teams, as he was the biggest target for teams to rush field goals. With Don Barclay back and other undrafted linemen in camp, Taylor needs to step up in a big way to remain on the roster.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.