Who Might the Packers Regret not Keeping on the Final 53?

Roster finalizations came and went Tuesday afternoon. I went 48/53 on my prediction for the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster. Not bad for what was the first time I truly pieced a prediction together. I had a few players I wish they kept, but luckily each one of them cleared waivers and have now joined the Practice Squad. While this is great, these practice squad players could still be lured to another team’s active roster unless the Packers give them a counteroffer they agree to. If such an offer comes along, and the Packers can’t retain them, who might the Packers regret not keeping on the Final 53?

DL – Jack Heflin

The ole garbage can full of dirt was a surprise to be cut, to some, on Tuesday. I felt that our defensive line was just too deep for him to crack it this time around. Heflin showed out against the Chiefs with some big plays in the final preseason game, but it was just not enough to get him on that final roster. Could that be enough to tempt some teams that might have some depth issues on the defensive line to give him a shot early in the season? Perhaps.

WR – Juwann Winfree

Now here’s a player I projected to make the final 53. However, I just had that itching feeling that Samori Toure would still be kept over him. I should’ve gone with it and went 49/53. But I digress. I was a little surprised Winfree cleared waivers honestly. With his experience and the confidence Aaron Rodgers had in him during camp this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team kick the tires on him if they run into Wide Receiver issues on their own roster. I hate to say, perhaps a division rival looking for info on the Packers offense before their meeting. I hope not, but it wouldn’t be the first time it’s been suspected.

QB – Danny Etling

I might have chuckled a bit adding Danny Etling here. Not that he couldn’t be picked, but just the epic meltdown of some Packer fans if he is. Etling is definitely a nice project for the Packers. He’s athletic, has a pretty good attitude, and the coaches loved him enough to let fan favorite, Kurt Benkert go before camp even began. He’s in the perfect spot to learn behind Aaron Rodgers, and benefit from the return of coach Tom Clements as well. If Etling is plucked, it would have to be late in the season to a team with QB injuries and question marks that wants to see what he has. So, the odds are low. But never say never.

OL – Caleb Jones

The 6’9, 370-pound lineman turned heads with his towering size in camp. And then he made sure that wasn’t all that was said about him. Caleb Jones did very well in camp and in preseason to give coaches a reason to debate keeping him on the final roster. Perhaps if David Bakhtiari or Elgton Jenkins weren’t quite ready to go for the season, Jones would’ve been on that final roster. In the meantime, I hope no one is intrigued by Jones’ size and skill and we’re able to keep him in Green and Gold for the future and one day see him on that final 53.

RB – Tyler Goodson

I’m just going to come out and say it, this one hurt personally. I really liked Tyler Goodson in camp. Outside of Romeo Doubs, he was my “camp darling.” If the Packers would have kept three running backs, Goodson was my choice. But alas, here I am talking about him on the Practice Squad. I believe Goodson has the skill to be a player in this league. It could take him this year to get some of the blocking fundamentals down, or maybe stand out for a Special Teams elevation, but I think he will be on a 53-man roster someday. I just hope it’s with the Packers.

Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.



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