Figured I'd give this a shot on the eve of our first pre-season game -- having only read about what a lot of these guys look like, but not having seen yet with my own eyes. That'll change starting tonight. But in the meantime, a first cut. Welcome, as always, your take. Overall, I think on paper it's a roster that makes us legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Let's just pray for staying relatively healthy to help this team realize its potential. Thanks.
QB (2): Rodgers (33), Hundley
Practice Squad (PS): Callahan
Comments: Very excited to see what Hundley looks like this pre-season, as we were robbed of that last year. Callahan was a pleasant surprise last year, expect him to be even better. Hill, a college free agent, seems to have incredible athletic ability. But an unknown as a QB. Can he show enough to beat out Callahan for a spot on the Practice Squad? That's one to watch.
HB (3): Montgomery, Williams (4B), Jones (5B)
PS: Mays (7A)
Cut: Phillips, Stanback
Comments: Can't wait to see Montgomery after an off-season of bulking up (and he was pretty bulked up already) and training exclusively at RB. Have read Williams already competing to be a co-starter. Can't really distinguish yet between draft choices Jones, Mays and college free agents Phillips and Stanback, so for now will just go with the higher draft picks in the pecking order. Still think Thompson though was in error letting Eddie Lacy go. Would have loved the trio of him, Montgomery and Williams. Maybe he was right. We'll see.
FB (1): Ripkowski
Comments: Seems like Kerridge has been tearing it up, both at FB and on Special Teams. But don't see room on the 53 for two FBs, so keep him around on Practice Squad.
WR (7): Nelson (32), Cobb, Adams, Davis, Janis, Dupre (7B), Yancey (5A)
Cut: McCaffrey, Crockett, Pearson
Comments: If Jordy is indeed healthier another year removed from his ACL tear, Cobb is finally 100% healthy and Adams continues his improvement, this will be a deadly trio. Davis they say is a bit bigger and stronger than last year, offers great speed at WR and a potentially dangerous return guy. Janis seems to be producing more lately in camp at WR, still valued for his ST abilities. Dupre, drafted in 7th round, appears to be ahead of Yancey, drafted two rounds earlier. That could easily change soon, TBD. With Alluson suspended for the first game, I'm guessing both Dupre and Yancey make the initial, then upon Allison's return one goes to the PS -- bumping Clark, who is a giant and want to keep around to develop, but at this point don't see room for, even on the PS.
TE (3): Bennett (30), Kendricks, Rodgers
Cut: Sandland, Peck, Byrd
Comments: Should be best TE group since heyday of Keith Jackson and Mark Chmura in the mid-90s. Cannot wait to see both Bennett and Kendricks in this offense, complemented by our WRs and Montgomery out of the backfield. Could truly be our best offense with Rodgers. And TE Rodgers they say is looking better than ever, making a great #3.
OL (9): OT's Bakhitari, Bulaga, Spriggs, Murphy, G's Taylor, J. Evans (33), Patrick, C's Linsley, Barclay
PS: G/C Amichia (6), G Gray
Cut: G's McCray, Pankey, T. Evans, OT Leff
Comments: Evans key as Lang replacement, and so far, all looks good there. Barclay not a fan favorite, but may be a pretty good backup C. Hopefully Spriggs is stronger in his second year. Murphy still being used at both OT and G. Patrick seems to be liked by the coaches. Amichia offers very good athletic ability, but at this points looks targeted for the PS, as does Gray, the Canadian import.
DL (6): Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Jean-Francois (30), Adams (3), Price
Cut: Ringo, Lunsford, Fanene
Comments: Looking for big jumps from both Clark and Lowry. So far, more evident from Lowry in camp. Jean-Francois effectively replaces Guion as a quality veteran in the rotation. Loved reading how multiple vets raved about rookie Adams. Too bad he broke his foot, out until at least early regular season. Can't put him on PUP, guessing they won't put him on IR. If right, that necessitates keeping Price on the 53 to start the season. Ringo has potential to make Packers keep him around, but think he must stand out in these pre-season games.
LB (8): OLB's Matthews (31), Perry, Elliott, Fackrell, Biegel (4A), ILBs Thomas, Ryan, Martinez
PS: OLB Calvin
Cut: OLB's Gilbert, Letuligasenua, ILB's Tripp, Heiman, Mathews, Talley
Comments: Biggest current concern on the roster -- our pass rush -- due to the fragility of our starters, Matthews and Perry, and potential lack of depth, waiting for Elliott to emerge, Fackrell's underwhelming camp so far, and Biegel still injured. Optimistic view is that Matthews and Perry stay healthy all year and prove to be a dynamic duo, Elliott emerges, Fackrell does the same, and Biegel gets healthy soon and offers significant contribution as a rookie. Calvin's made some noise in camp as a college free agent, so keeping him on PS. Tripp's gotten some good press for his Special Teams work, but guessing not enough to stick.
DB (11): CB's House, King (2A), Rollins, Randall, Gunter, Hawkins, S's Clinton-Dix, Burnett, Jones (2B), Brice, Evans
PS: CB Brown
Cut: CB's Pipkins, Pringle, Holmes, Goodson, S's Whitehead, Taylor
Comments: The fact that Gunter was our #1 CB in last year's playoffs and is now at best #5 says a lot about how much better we have the potential to be. Hoping House is what he was when he was last with us and what he was his first year at Jacksonville. If so, tall, fast, quality veteran at one corner. Also hoping our first pick in early 2nd round, 6'3" and fast CB King can start at other corner, but may need a bit more time to get ready. Coaches say Rollins the best CB in camp so far, appears to be starter in the slot. With him and Randall 100% healthy, means Randall offers great luxury depth at both outside spots but especially slot. Hawkins has great speed, would be to our advantage if he moves ahead of Gunter. Gunter just doesn't have the speed needed, but maybe still a very good 6th CB. But college free agent Brown looking good, could beat Gunter out. Safety a strength of the team. We know Burnett and exciting rookie Jones will play a lot of ILB, which hopefully will fix what has been a huge weakness on this defense for years -- defending the pass against TE's, RB's and WR's in the middle of the field. Brice must make that jump in his second year to make this work, and so far seems to be on track -- fast and a great hitter. Evans also has speed, good potential.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
PK Crosby (32), P Vogel, LS Hart
Comments: College free agent Vogel looking like a keeper if he can just show a bit more consistency. Long Snapper rookie Hart may be OK, but has to know Packers will not hesitate to replace him -- including bringing back Goode (32).