This is the time of the year that us fans look forward to: the opening week of a new football season. But before the first kickoff can be made, the roster cutdowns from the preseason must be made, bringing the rosters from 90 straight down to 53.
The cut down from 90 to 75 was voted to be disbanded after last season, so there are no intermediate cuts made this time around, just all 53 spots and 37 bodies cut at the same time.
With Green Bay’s case, new GM Brian Gutekunst had (as all GM’s do) a tough time managing certain roster decisions, from how many receivers to keep on the team to how to manage the draft picks inherited from last season made by Ted Thompson.
Gutekunst seems to be in a different mindset, getting rid of a vast number of 2017 draft picks that didn’t pan out already (three already confirmed: Kofi Amichia, Vince Biegel and DeAngelo Yancey). He also cut two draft picks from this year’s class, as Kendall Donnerson and James Looney are both out of work and looking to latch on with other squads.
Looking throughout the league, there are players who could immediately be plugged into the depth chart in Green Bay to add much-needed depth in certain areas.
Here are five players that could play important roles for the Packers in 2018 if signed:
John Simon, DE/OLB
A casualty of the Colts switching defensive schemes, Simon’s production in Indy was solid last season, racking up 43 combined tackles, three sacks and an interception returned for a score.
Simon, originally drafted by Baltimore in 2013, could become a solid contributor for Green Bay and fit the rusher mold opposite Clay Matthews that the team could use to help spell either Matthews or Nick Perry. He would come cheap, and being only 27, could showcase his value in Mike Pettine’s vaunted defensive schemes.
Gute would be smart to quickly kick the tires on Simon, as he won’t be in the free agency pool for long.
Corey Coleman, WR
Yes, there are currently eight receivers on the roster. And yes, that is currently way too many to carry into the regular season. But, Coleman is an exception to this number and here’s why.
Compared to the current state of GB’s receivers, Coleman is taller than only one player, Randall Cobb. So his verticality isn’t what makes him stand out in the current pool, but rather his physical traits.
His potential hasn’t fully been realized, but being drafted by the Browns and then being traded to Buffalo doesn’t exactly scream potential discovering, but I digress.
If Coleman were to come to GB, he could slot in as the fourth/fifth receiver, depending on depth chart layout. Obviously, behind Adams, Cobb and Allison, Coleman would be slotted around J’Mon Moore in the ranking.
Coleman’s potential could be somewhat reached in Green Bay with Rodgers slinging the ball his way. GB also is a good place for a player to be able to grow up and find himself in with its culture, so it could go both ways. Taking a flier on a young player oozing with potential is something that could set Gutekunst apart in this league.
Breshad Perriman, WR
This is the last receiver in this list, I swear.
Perriman is yet another receiver with oodles of potential but just couldn’t find his spot in Baltimore. Drafted in the first round in 2015, Perriman has a decent sophomore campaign, catching 33 balls for 499 yards and three touchdowns.
The issue is that he didn’t get close to any of those marks in 2017, and his resulting performance in the 2018 preseason ended up in his release. A flier on him would be similar to Coleman, but could potentially add up to more than Coleman due to his height (6-2) and physicality.
Spencer Drango, OL
Pulling from the Browns scrap-heap isn’t normally an excusable offense, but there are certain aspects of the team that could provide value, and Drango is one of them.
He has started 19 games across his two seasons in the league and has seen action in all 32 games across that time. He has the flexibility to move across the line, can survive outside as a tackle and can slide inside and provide guard depth too.
John Dorsey and company seem to be riding themselves of any fingerprints from former GM Sachi Brown, and Drango leaves the team after being a fifth-round selection made in 2015. Could be a good swing guy for GB and could cover some depth and experience issues currently affecting the backups.
Akrum Wadley, RB
The former Hawkeye product performed well for the Titans in the preseason, rushing for 56 yards on 17 carries, adding eight catches for 41 yards and returning two kicks for 81 yards.
He was fighting for the Titans’ third running back on the roster, but ultimately lost that and was cut Saturday. He would be a good fit for the Packers as their third running back, as he could show some burst in the running game and add a somewhat-developed receiving threat to the attack if pressed into duty.
Thoughts on who Green Bay should add after cutdown day? Let me know in the comments!뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23