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Locks and Near Locks

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by HardRightEdge, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Here's my run down at this stage assuming no PUP/IR worthy injuries. I think it's pretty conservative list:

    QB (2): R and H - They're the only guys in camp along with Coleman; we don't do vet backups and certainly not at this stage of the off season. C would need to markedly outperform H to make the 53 because C has practice squad eligibility and H does not. C's not having that kind of camp by all reports. MM seems not to like wasting a roster spot on 3rd. QB. Most teams don't.

    TB (1): Lacy - There's enough positive and negative to say about the other 4 candidates that clarity won't come until the preseason games. (Should we also include Pease? No. He'll go PS if anything.) There's no substitute for game play to sift down the options. MM has gone with 3 in the past. Maybe 4 this time. All these guys are young, 3 years or less in the league, which makes it harder to call...it's not your usual "he's a fresh 4th. round pick so he's in" situation. I suspect "availability" will help decide the matter...war of attrition. One of these guys could separate by stepping up and winning a kick return spot (we're talking about Franklin here). MM tossed out the challenge with his Cobb comments.

    This about sums up the TB situation at this stage; the proof will be in the preseason putting:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/58592/little-sorted-out-yet-in-packers-backfield

    FB (0): One of these years Kuhn will be gone. I couldn't confidently state it won't be this year, especially if MM wants to keep 4 TBs and 4 or 5 TEs.

    OL (6): B, S, EDS, L, Barkley, Newhouse - Whoever wins RT, even if it happens to be Bakhtiari, Barclay and Newhouse will still be around. Barkley's working at C and can play some G as well, though he's been muffing a lot of snaps learning the trade. Lang has shown up in the depth chart as a backup C, but I'm not sure what that's worth. Van Roten might sneak in, but I think he has PS eligibility left. Newhouse is the backup LT, like it or not, and can work at G in a pinch. Barclay and Newhouse have game experience and versatility. I was tempted to add Bakhtiati to the list on the strength of favorable reviews out of camp, but I'd rather see some game experience first since there's only one or two spots open. Bahhtiari probably could not sneak onto PS...somebody would scoop him. He has that going for him. Most of the others not mentioned have PS eligibility, haven't played much if at all, and could get to PS without a claim. I wish I could add Sherrod to the list, but that wouldn't be right. If by chance he makes it back, maybe we could trade Newhouse to Denver.

    TE (3): F, Q and Mulligan - Enough good has been said about Q and Mulligan to lock them in. I like Taylor and was tempted to make him a 4th., Williams does nothing for me, I like Stoneburner's name a lot, and Bostick is still hanging around. But lets face it, when you get down to the 4th. and maybe a 5th. TE we're talking about special teams, preseason play and "availability" as deciders.

    WR (4): N, J, C, Boykin: There's been enough Bennett enthusiasm for Boykin to think he's penned in for #4. He also has the benefit of having actually taken a few NFL snaps. I would have liked to have heard some early reports on the rookie speed guys, but they've been on the shelf. Ross could make his case for #5 if he earns the punt return job (against my personal eye test) or adds some other value like gunner (can he tackle?). Anything happening with Dorsey? I'm not sure there's enough value in this group for a #6 especially so long as Finley is around. In retrospect, #6 Boykin was brought in to hedge the departures of Driver and Jennings. WRs need feet wetting time, especially a guy like Boykin. I think 5 would do it, with some reload of the PS.

    DL (5): R, P, J, N, Daniels - Worthy doesn't look like he'll be game 1 ready. I was tempted to add Wilson for his reliable work against the run in base. He could stick until at least Worthy's return, or maybe Boyd bumps him....there's just not enough with Wilson to get all that excited about. With the two big men on the bubble for next year as FAs, somebody among Jolly, Pena and Miller will likely emerge but I'd not want to venture a guess until preseason go-time...PS is a possibility for the two young guys. Boyd might be the man there as well...Trgovac liked his 1 tech work at Miss St. during the scouting.

    OLB (3): M, Perry, Moses - Maybe Neal belongs here with all that OTA work outside. Second coming of Ted Hendricks! OK, not quite. Who does that leave? Palmer and Mulumba? May the best man win. This group looks light in numbers for a 90 man training camp. The thinking here is that Jones can move outside if the injury bug bites.

    ILB (2): H, J - MM said this week that this is the deepest ILB group he's had in GB. Interesting. Besides H and J, we've got incumbents Lattimore, Manning and Francois. MM let his hair down and said he likes Barrington's recklessness. Is this the new McCarthy? Did he check with Capers first? We could keep all of them I suppose since Jones is an OLB swingman if necessary. I'm certain we'll keep two out of three incumbents, probably all three, but I'm not confident enough to add any one in particular to the list. Barrington could be a wildcard upsetting the equation.

    CB (5): W, S, Heyward, House, Bush - Bush might be the most controversial call in this list, but I'm not seeing a new 4.45 or better guy who's a lock who might be able to push out Bush as a gunner. I may be missing something there...maybe Means, maybe Nixon. Hyde, Means and Nixon are competing for perhaps one open spot. Looks like a BPA situation...if one of these guys just looks like a good player (or a gunner), we might open a 6th. CB spot for him especially with half the D backfield suffering various dings and ailments. Broken record...preseason is go-time.

    S (3): B, J, M: Three incumbents here. We need a 4th according to form. When injuries hit, I think we'd all like to hear MM speak the words, "I'm going to play Banjo", but it looks like the spot is up for grabs. It's possible there won't be a spot. If we went with 6 CBs, Bush might fill the #4 spot at S. He's been around long enough, played enough dime CB to experience safety-like responsibility, shows open field tackling skill as a gunner, and he's not that bad with the play in front of him. Richardson's situation is a shame...the neck thing is not looking good.

    ST (3): C, M, G: Incumbents stick. MM called Tavecchio by the wrong first name today. He's here for a reason, but serious competition is apparently not it. A whiff of competition to get Crosby's juices flowing appears to be the intent, or so it would seem.

    Summary: That's 40 names, right at my earlier off-the-cuff number. This was not reverse engineered, I swear. That leaves 13 open spots. I've got only 2 non-incumbents on this list...Lacy and Mulligan. There's room for new guys, but my sense is we're not going to see the typical 11 or 12 spots turning over barring injury...this is a very young team coming in particularly with the bench incumbents. The caveat is how we get through the preseason health wise. You gotta figure there will be at least a handful of incumbent names who end up on PUP or IR by the end of preseason...every team experiences that...we just don't know which ones or how many.
     
  2. Luca

    Luca Cheesehead

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    Nice list! I agree with most of them. Not 100% sure whether Bush and Boykin are locks though, that depends on your definition of a lock, I would say a lock is like higher that 99% probability.

    First, since Hyde has a great camp until now, Bush might be the 6th CB on the roster. He is the best special teams guy, but that would make him special teams only. Ross can play gunner, and if Means, Nixon or Smith can impress as CB and special teams guy he might out. In favor of Bush speaks the lack of depth at safety, so he might be the nr. 4 safety. I would say he most likely makes it (80%), but wouldn't say he is a lock.

    Second, there are many young receivers and the best two will be 4 and 5. Right now everyone but Boykin failed to impress or is injured, so that is in his favor. But if Johnson or Dorsey can impress when they are healthy, or when White shows some more good things, things might look different. Ross is the better special teams guy, so that might help Ross, and hurt Boykin. Right now, he is the 4th guy and has the inside track, but I would no say he is a lock.

    Moreover, to me it seems highly unlikely that the packers will cut guys like Baktiari and Franklin. They have invested a high pick on them, and they are developmental guys for the future. Usually you don't cut high picks unless they really disappoint. You can't hide them on PS, so cutting them means losing them. So you could argue that they are locks.
     
  3. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Franklin has shown more than Lacy between the 20's despite a few hiccups, Newhouse was as bad at Guard as Sherrod was, Ross can Gunner, Manning is turning heads, Hyde is primed to replace Bush on ST even if he isn't as fast. If Blocktiari (who is definitely making this team if his 1 on1 record says anything about it) wins RT look for Newhouse to get traded. Little sad that Taylor, the obvious least talented of the group is working hard enough to drown out most of the other names at TE. Hyde came to play and has made the absolute most of his reps. CJ Wilson is going to get traded or cut, Boyd is probably above him (this coming from one of Wilson's biggest supporters)but he's still a VERY attractive young gap plug for the market. Jones is NEVER going back to OLB. Bit surprised Bakh hasn't gotten C reps yet.

    Now for locks: (Note: The following is all hearsay)

    QB: 12.
    Harrell hasn't had a great camp. Coleman was holding his own until he ran into Franklin and threw a couple of picks. As it stands, simultaneous catch goes to the offense, and Coleman goes back to PS.

    RB: Lacy, Franklin.
    Harris has PS eligibility, but won't clear waivers. Starks is desperately making his case to stay, but availability is everything to this team. Green may very well end up on the trade block, and only stays if Kuhn is gone (Lacy didn't show enough yet on 3rd down to earn that honor yet) Pease has probably earned a PS spot.

    FB: Kuhn if anybody, and he's a glorified lousy 30 year old RB who'll only make this team to play ST and block on 3rd down, if he even makes it.
    Amosa has done literally nothing and was brought in to try to replace Kuhn's ST production. Taylor and Williams are also technically in the mix here, with Taylor in a definite advantage as a ST stud.

    TE: Finley, Quarless, Mulligan.
    Bostick is making his case, but I don't feel it will be enough in the end to keep him from going back to the PS. Williams has been quiet. Stoneburner has been blowing it.

    WR: Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin.
    Ross is the front runner with his ST play, which will probably be his deciding factor, but has also been making a case for himself as a traditional WR as well. Johnson and Dorsey seem PS bound, with waivers possibly being a problem for them, though the injuries will help. Cunningham was never expected to make it. Walker is a bit of a dark horse for PS. Hines and White are return men, but still just guys. Gillett is just a guy.

    OL: Bulaga, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Bakhtiari.
    Newhouse could end up on the trade block, he's a nice backup and a spot starter who needs to win to stay. Sherrod best hope he doesn't get cleared and heads to IR again, because there's little chance he makes this team coming off 2 year injury on a late start, especially if he lost some of the movement skill that made him special. GVR only makes this team for his Center Value, and only if Newhouse loses the RT battle. Taylor and Lewis could wind up on PS, Gerhart only makes PS if Newhouse wins the RT spot.

    DL: Raji, Pickett, Jones, Daniels, Neal, Worthy (PUP)
    Jolly is making himself hard to cut, but when you play a position crowded with talented youth are around, sometimes playing well isn't enough. If it comes down to Wilson or Boyd, I go with Boyd and his upside/versatility/fresh ink.

    OLB: Matthews, Perry, Moses. (Neal?)
    Palmer, Mulumba, and Savage have each had their moments, but are still pretty even. Reed is at the bottom of this group. Actually rooting for Mulumba or Savage since Palmer is a bit light. Neal is possibly moving here, supposedly he's about 275 now. Could be an attempt to increase his availability if the staff felt his weight was contributing to his frequent injury issues. Definitely a ploy to get him on the field more. Not sure how I feel about it.

    ILB: Hawk, Jones, Manning.
    I was really tempted to add Francois since he plays the strong side and does well on ST. Lattimore is just a ST ace. Barrington has a shot to make roster simply because the cupboard is bare. Just a side note, it looks like in the near future Hawk will be exiting, Jones will take the Strong Side, and Manning will step up to WILB. Pray that I'm wrong.

    CB: Williams, Shields, Hayward, House, Hyde.
    Bush may have to go back to Safety. Nixon and Means and Smith are all PS considerations (if Nixon is still eligible)

    S: Burnett, McMillian, Jennings.
    Richardson may not even get cleared for return, the packers have never to my knowledge cleared a guy after neck surgery (Some days I almost think our doctors still prescribe leeches to balance the humors) Powell was just a guy, and I have heard nothing about Fulton or Banjo that would suggest them to be anything more than another couple of guys.

    ST: Crosby, Masthay, Goode.
    Tavecchio cant kick off, and MM has definitely said that Crosby has the advantage. Add in the name thing and the poor kid is done.
     
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  4. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I like your list Hypon. I'd just rather not latch onto rookies until they've seen some game action. I make an exception for Lacy as the second rounder and the needed physicality...TT's Steven Jackson reasonable facsimile.

    Re: Neal - His combine 40's were 4.87 / 4.98 at 294 lbs. During OTA's I read "quickness" and "agility", but no specific mention of "speed". Dropping 20 lbs. helps, but expecting a 0.2 improvement to get into the marginal range for OLB is asking too much. I see situational pass rusher or holding the edge in base, which begs the question, what's Perry supposed to be doing? Unless Perry's a bust, I suspect it's more of an occasional gadget alignment.

    McCarthy said we'd know how he'll be used "game one". I don't know if he meant preseason or opening day. I trust it's preseason against the Cards dysfunctional offense. Breaking out an experiment with a slow LB against SF sounds a little hair brained.

    I never liked Barnett's game, but I do recall the game he mirrored Westbrook in his prime all over the field and shut him down, the kind of thing where he would not have to actually read an offense. I never thought I'd say this, but we could use a Barnett as a possible Kaepernick solution.
     
  5. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    As I said, just going off hearsay. My list is just how I see it at the moment based on the information I have. Obviously once preseason games begin this list goes out the window. I'm hesitant to release anybody drafted rounds 1-4 that year though, because it doesn't happen often. File it under "Near Locks" (especially this year where they've done well enough to contend for the starting job)

    I'm thinking about the same for Neal. Perhaps a Nickle set where Clay moves to WILB with Jones at SILB. Possibly just a rotation guy to try to keep Perry and Matthews fresh. Possibly just some concern about Perry's wrist still. I don't know what Neal was thinking when he agreed to this, especially since he's in a contract year. Heavy Nickel with Neal-Raji-Daniels-D.Jones on line kinda makes me drool though
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That would be interesting....we seem to have a lot of 4-3 fit players to begin with. Add Neal to the list of 4-3 D-line tweeners with that weight loss. I'd like to see them try it with Jones inside and Perry with his hand in the dirt. That's the athletic package. Matthews at Will...seems like an underutilization of $11 million...but for a confusing look now and again it could be interesting. Then again, for tracking Kaepernick between the numbers I can't think of a better man for the job than Matthews. Hmm.

    The Neal thing is strange as you say. Maybe the back story will leak out sooner or later. I hate to throw out loose accusations, but maybe he just thought it was time get off the HGH and then pitch himself to 4-3 teams if it came to that. I only throw that out because MM stated Neal cut back on the weight work in dropping lbs. and he got busted once already for PEDs.
     
  7. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    And Ross just locked. Crosby OTOH, favor and leg strength be you know what that guy is gone.
     
  8. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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  9. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    Before the first preseason game these are
    my 40 39 locks for the team.
    {edited 8/14 to reflect Bulaga's knee injury which should land him on IR}
    DB
    42Burnett, Morgan
    43Jennings, M.D.
    22McMillian, Jerron
    29Hayward, Casey
    31House, Davon
    33Hyde, Micah
    37Shields, Sam
    38Williams, Tramon
    DL
    76Daniels, Mike
    95Jones, Datone
    96Neal, Mike
    79Pickett, Ryan
    90Raji, B.J.
    OL
    62Dietrich-Smith, Evan
    70Lang, T.J.
    71Sitton, Josh
    69Bakhtiari, David
    75Bulaga, Bryan
    67Barclay, Don
    LB
    49Francois, Robert
    50Hawk, A.J.
    59Jones, Brad
    57Lattimore, Jamari
    56Manning, Terrell
    52Matthews, Clay
    54Moses, Dezman
    53Perry, Nick
    ST
    61Goode, BrettLS
    8Masthay, TimP
    Offense
    12Rodgers, Aaron
    23Franklin, Johnathan
    27Lacy, Eddie
    88Finley, Jermichael
    85Mulligan, Matthew
    81Quarless, Andrew
    11Boykin, Jarrett
    18Cobb, Randall
    89Jones, James
    87Nelson, Jordy
    10Ross, Jeremy
    Placekicker is probably not on the roster.
    Worthy and Tretter will be PUP / IR. And Bulaga
    45 players plus pickups fighting for about a dozen spots.
    Harrell has the inside track for #2 QB.
    Newhouse, Bush, Kuhn, Green, Starks probably also make it.
     
  10. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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  11. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Great analysis.

    The most interesting piece to me is Kuhn. I hadn't considered it but his value has been in short yardage and catching out the backfield. If Lacy takes care of the short yardage and someone like Franklin shows the hands, then Kuhn may get released in the final cut. Someone else would pick him up though.
     
  12. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    His short yardage value had already diminished. If he makes this team it will be purely because of his blocking and ST play.
     

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