The Green Bay Packers will probably make some waiver claims this morning, which will change the make-up of the 53-man roster they assembled on Friday, but here are the initial surprises.
Brandon Saine, running back — You could throw the oft-injured James Starks in this category too, but Saine played even less than Starks during the preseason. First, it was a surprise the Packers kept four running backs — five, if you count fullback John Kuhn. Second, it was a surprise Saine was one of them.
Jarrett Boykin, receiver — If you look strictly at his play, it’s no surprise at all the Packers kept Boykin. If you look at the odds, it’s a big one. Boykin is an undrafted rookie. He beat out the more highly-touted Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley for the Packers sixth receiver spot. Throw in the fact that the Packers don’t usually keep six receivers and you can see Boykin took a longer road than anybody to make the 53.
Don Barclay, guard — Barclay is another undrafted rookie. He improved throughout camp, so the fact that he’s still around isn’t overly surprisingly. The fact that he’s one of only two backups — the other being Evan Dietrich-Smith — on the offensive line is.
Phillip Merling, defensive end — Merling earned the bust label after washing out in Miami after being selected in the second round. The Packers gave him new life and he slowly came on during training camp. Ultimately, he beat out Daniel Muir, who seemed like a lock a week ago, for a roster spot.
Terrell Manning, linebacker — How can a guy go through the entire preseason, show absolutely nothing and end up on the final roster? The fact that he was a fifth-round pick, I guess.
Dezman Moses, linebacker — At this point, Moses being on the roster isn’t a surprise. We’ll just list him because he’s an undrafted rookie.
Sean Richardson, safety — Richardson is the fourth undrafted rookie to make the Packers roster. He played alongside Casey Hayward at Vanderbilt. He can hit, although he has some work to do in coverage. Interestingly, the Packers chose Richardson over Anthony Levine.
Brandian Ross, cornerback — Ross was an undrafted free agent in 2011. Frankly, this is probably the biggest surprise of the bunch. Not only have we not noticed him on the field, but we know next to nothing about him.
Ross is most likely just roster-cut fodder for when Walden or Neal comes off their suspension
Ross was a real surprise; don’t remember much about him in the preseason or camp.
Running game…I guess we are at least attempting to have one this year. I had a feeling Starks might not make the cut, especially with the addition of Benson, Greene, and Saine who I felt had potential. RB’s like to get hurt it seems, so we’ll see if we have 4 RB’s for long.
I’ve never been as impressed with Borel & Gurley as most of the TP faithful, and after Boykin’s performance, I think the pack made the right choice. Wouldn’t be surprised if they both end up in Miami.
Just hope the defense & O line are ready for the niners….
GO PACK GO!
Levine and Muir earned a roster spot with their play…it’s too bad Ted values his actual draft picks too much. If you go over his draft history it’s littered with average at best players. Yeah, he’s pretty good at snatching up players to fit the skill positions and finding cheap, decent quality at RB. His Offensive Line and Defensive Line drafts have been abysmal to-just plain average, however.
After seeing the last pre-season game against the Chiefs, I’m not surprised nor disappointed that the Packers cut Muir. Seems like a great guy but doesn’t seem like he can be a backup nose tackle in the 3-4: he was pushed around all game and the Chiefs ran for something like 250 yards with him right in the middle…often right at him. Check out that tape. He’s really short for a DE in the 3-4 and not a great fit there either. I think run defense is a bit overrated, but Muir was abused. (Worthy was abused too, but I hope he’s not in the game on running downs, at least anytime soon.) I agree with you, though, that defensive line drafts have been disappointing.
Levine was ok, but I think McMillian was better now on defense and looks like he’s getting better fast. That leaves three undrafted guys: Levine, MD Jennings, and S Richardson for the last one or two spots. Richardson is bigger, faster, and much more a presence in the game than Levine. Richardson seemed to be getting pretty assignment sure; he looked to me like he’d be a better player than Levine sometime this year and with a lot more upside than Levine for the future. I think they made the right decision.
Levine lost his roster spot to Sean Richardson. Muir lost his to Philip Merling. Neither were TT draft picks.
I’m sure VJ is a better judge of who “earned their roster spot” than TT and the coaching staff is.
TT drafted Aaron effin Rodgers. I could name 10 other great players, but really, why bother?
TT drafted Steve Hutchinson, Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, BJ Raji and Rocky Bernard. Yeah, abysmal picks, sure.
Give me a list of bad players TT drafted and I’ll give you a list of bad players Ron Wolf drafted that is twice as long. The GREAT GMs get maybe 3 or 4 good players from most drafts. The rest never make it.
So, shall we listen to Lieutenant Caffey and “take the advice of the galactically STUPID!”??
I think Ross is gone when Walden comes back….or sooner. We’ll be picking up a OL who can play guard and tackle too.
Good for boykin he earned it i think muir should have made it over merling
Trai Essex is available and would fit nicely as a versatile backup OL
I think the Packers kept T Manning based on potential. Although he was pretty bad, it looked like he’s got potential for future years. To me, he looked fast, strong, athletic, good reactions, but he also looked out of position and raw. I think someone else would have picked him up if cut, so they probably didn’t want to lose him for next year. We need to have several inactives for each game, and I’d guess Manning would be one of those most or all of the year. Last year, House was lost, but he just needed that year. Manning’s got potential; let’s hope that he works out. There’s usually one or more of those on the team every year.