The Green Bay Packers have to trim their roster to 53 by Saturday. We’re trimming it for them right now.
Here’s our best shot at the 53-man roster. We focused on the 53 best players, which is how the Packers usually roll, rather than filling out positions.
We wrestled with it and then wrestled with it some more. This is what we were able to spit out.
QB — Aaron Rodgers, Scott Tolzien
RB — Eddie Lacy, James Starks, DuJuan Harris, John Kuhn
WR — Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Myles White
TE — Richard Rodgers, Brandon Bostick, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor
OL — David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, Bryan Bulaga, Corey Linsley, Derek Sherrod, Lane Taylor, J.C. Tretter
DL — Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, Mike Daniels, Mike Pennel, Letroy Guion
OLB — Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Jayrone Elliott
ILB — A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Carl Bradford
CB — Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Jumal Rolle
S — Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Sean Richardson, Chris Banjo
ST — Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode
IR — Nate Palmer, Khyri Thornton
Here are the last five guys we had making the team.
- Carl Bradford
- Andrew Quarless
- Chris Banjo
- Myles White
- Letroy Guion
Had the Packers not moved Bradford to inside linebacker, he wouldn’t have made it. In our eyes, he did enough in that brief audition to merit consideration for a roster spot. Couple that with the fact that he’s a 2014 fourth-round pick and he’s getting the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe you’re wondering why Quarless was so far down. The answer is because both Rodgers and Bostick are better tight ends and Quarless brings nothing on special teams. Someone like Ryan Taylor, meanwhile, was an easy choice because he brings a lot on special teams. We’d say Quarless is among the best 53, but wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s cut.
Banjo and White made it using the best 53 principle as well. In fact, it overruled the X players per position principle. Do the Packers need five safeties or six wide receivers? They surely do not, but these guys showed too much in the preseason to cut.
Letroy Guion has only participated in two practices after battling a hamstring injury throughout camp, but the Packers are thin on the defensive line and Guion is a veteran, so he sticks.
Here are the first five guys off.
- Matt Flynn
- Jake Stoneburner
- Demetri Goodson
- Andy Mulumba
- Aaron Adams
Flynn was the toughest call of all, especially with the Great Quarterback Debacle of 2013. We’re just not into keeping three quarterbacks and Tolzien brings more to the table.
If Quarless is released, expect Stoneburner to stick. He brings more on special teams and is probably a better long-term prospect as a receiver.
Goodson is the only draft pick that gets released. The sixth-round cornerback didn’t do anything impressive and he plays what is the Packers deepest position. The same applies to Mulumba. Not impressive and plays a deep position.
Adams we mostly considered for depth. The Packers really don’t have any on the offensive line. This is probably a place where they’ll bring in another body from outside the organization. The same could be said for defensive line.