I’m not going to go over the Packers’ roster with too much depth, I’ll let the paid experts do that. But here is my general feeling about the way the Packers’ roster will shape up this year.
A position I thought had the best and worst of both worlds might not be as bad as I thought. Aaron Rodgers is clearly an elite NFL QB but until recently I though Matt Flynn was a piece of dung. I’m coming around to Flynn a little (Caah-stanza), but that could all change Thursday night when Flynn will get a bulk of the playing time. I’d like to see Graham Harrell make it but odds are against it.
Running back looks like a two man crew with Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson. Because of injuries to the running back position the Packers could indeed keep three fullbacks again this year with John Kuhn playing the role of third running back. If that is the case the Packers could end up keeping three fullbacks and four tight ends.
Obviously Jermichael Finley is the starter at tight end but it seems a crap shoot after that. Donald Lee is a reliable player but Andrew Quarless doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and Spencer Havner and Tom Crabtree are special teams aces, which considering the Packers’ struggles with that unit makes both much more valuable than Lee. I’m guessing that is the way the Packers go. No more D-Lee.
Offensive line has turned out to be a good position this year. Allen Barber’s days are over in the Green & Gold, same probably for Evan Dietrich-Smith. I would hope the Packers don’t trade Jason Spitz, and I don’t think they will despite the talk. I think Ted Thompson has finally learned his lesson about not having enough quality offensive lineman. Now that you have some depth, you better not trade it away. I do hope they can sneak Marshall Newhouse to the practice squad.
On d-line I love Mike Neal and I can see Justin Harrell making the team. The former first-round pick stayed healthy all camp and flashed enough to keep the coaches intrigued with his potential. The kid hasn’t played in two years so it will take some time to shake the rust off and be confident his back will hold up. Could be a risky move but I bet they keep him.
The secondary is definitely a concern but the only new starter in the base is safety Morgan Burnett in place of Atari Bigby. The nickel back is where the real concern is and it looks like rookie Sam Shields is going to be that guy. Shields has looked good but asking him to be the savior of the Packers’ bad pass defense is asking a lot.
I like all the linebackers except Desmond Bishop. I could see Frank Zombo replacing Bishop on the final roster. All Bishop does is make big hits and give up good plays and we haven’t seen any big hits this preseason. Zombo has looked pretty good in his opportunities and certainly has a better upside than a guy who hasn’t gotten better after four years. I think the linebackers may end up being a strength of this defense like originally predicted when they went to the 3-4.
All of this will be determined in the Scrub Bowl to be played Thursday night in Kansas City. My favorite of all the preseason games.