Sunday, September 4, 2011

Packer Roster Deep on TEs and LBs

The cut down to the 53-man roster is complete. There were a few surprises -- I thought most notably the cutting of QB Graham Harrell and WR Chastin West. Both could end up on the practice squad, but I suspect they will be claimed off waivers by other teams before ever returning to the Hudson Center.

The Packers kept atypical depth at the positions of tight end (keeping 5) and linebacker (keeping 10). They also have 10 defensive backs, but only 8 offensive linemen. Scuttlebutt seems to be that Ted will try to claim a guard off waivers or via trade. Of the guys remaining on the roster, I think LB Jamari Lattimore and DB M.D.Jennings might be vulnerable if they need to make room for another O lineman -- something I think they need to do, incidentally.

It's an exciting roster, loaded with athleticism at every position. Where I foresee noticing this depth this year will be on special teams. The Packers have a long list of big guys who can run -- impressive set of TEs and LBs. The guys on the bubble all seem to realize that special teams is where they can get noticed, and are, therefore, focused on making an impact there. Combine the addition of a potentially dynamic return man in Randall Cobb and the impressive punting ability of Tim Masthay, and special teams could be a dramatically improved area in 2011.

Also notable is the presence of 10 rookies on the roster. The fact the Super Bowl champions would return a team of nearly 20% rookies testifies to how firmly they believe in youth and player development for sustaining excellence. Hard to argue with this philosophy given it's success. Will be exciting to see who from this crop emerges as the next batch of young stars.

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