The Green Bay Packers have to cut their roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Saturday, and as always they will have many tough decisions. I like to do one roster projection per year, so this will be it for me.
Flynn playing poorly this preseason and Tolzien excelling has made this a lot closer call than most thought entering camp. Flynn going 2-2-1 for the Packers last year filling in for Rodgers should still count for something, even tough Flynn has not played well this preseason. Tolzien has the much better physical tools, but there is still some level of trust with Flynn since he has gotten the job done almost whenever called upon in Green Bay. With the way Tolzien has played there is no chance he will be exposed to waivers.
Running Backs (4)
Not much intrigue here. Raijon Neal had a chance to break in before his injury. The interesting thing will be Harris’ role and whether he can challenge Starks for the first backup spot. Lacy doesn’t figure to come off the field much, but Harris is a much more effective receiver than Starks and has forced 10 missed tackles on 26 attempts this preseason.
Wide Receivers (5)
Kevin Dorsey, Myles White and Alex Gillett all could have a chance to make another team’s roster, but this team is just too deep at wide receiver for them. Adams has come on at the end of camp so it will be interesting to see if he can challenge Boykin for the third spot as the season progresses.
Tight Ends (4)
Taylor’s special teams prowess gives him the edge over Jake Stoneburner. Bostick’s injury hurts because he was the most complete tight end the Packers had in terms of blocking and receiving. They will need him to return as soon as possible because he is still a breakout candidate. Rodgers looks like he has earned the starting nod over Quarless, but his blocking must improve.
Offensive Line (8)
The injury to Tretter should not cause the Packers to keep an extra lineman because they usually only activate seven on game day anyways, and there is really nobody else worthy of a roster spot. This roster is too deep and talented elsewhere to keep an undeserving player. As long as there are no other injuries the Packers should be able to survive with Sherrod and Taylor for about the first month of the season until Tretter comes back. This is the best starting group the Packers have had in years, but the depth isn’t great.
Defensive Line (6)
Thornton and Guion have done nothing this summer, but Thornton makes it due to being a third-round pick and Guion makes it because of the injury to B.J. Raji. Guion looked good by most accounts in his first practice this training camp, and the Packers need a veteran presence at nose tackle. This group will be under huge pressure to stop the run this year after Ted Thompson switched from the wider bodies of past years to these smaller and quicker athletes.
Outside Linebackers (6)
Not a lot of teams would keep this many outside linebackers, but all these players are definitely deserving. Peppers and Neal will play a number of snaps with their hands in the dirt in the nickel, so they are not all pure outside linebackers. Perry finally made a play this summer with a strip sack on his patented bull rush against Oakland. Elliot had another impressive game against Oakland after this three sack game in St. Louis. Mulumba is a key special teams player and did OK as a backup last season.
Inside Linebackers (4)
The intrigue does not come in who will make the roster. If Jones plays as poorly as he did last year will Lattimore or Barrington get a chance to start? Fourth-round pick Carl Bradford was finally moved here, but it seems like it’s too late for him to make the team.
The Packers would probably like to find a way to keep Jumal Rolle, but he falls one spot short. They can afford to go light on corners because their top four is such a strong group, and Micah Hyde can play the slot corner when necessary.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
What a difference a year makes here. The Packers now potentialy have three starting caliber players at safety after the disaster of last season. The huge question is whether the first-round pick Clinton-Dix will overtake Hyde as the starter at some point this year. Richardson has been an impact player in training camp this year. Banjo makes it due to his role on special teams.
These spots have been set since the start of training camp.