From 1 to 83: From Underwood to Wynn

We continue our countdown of the Packers' roster, from No. 50 Brandon Underwood to No. 54 Jarius Wynn.

It's the dog days of summer, but the start of training camp is only 19 days away. At this point, the Packers have 83 players on their roster. The limit is 80, but the draft picks don't count until they're signed. With the Packers officially at 80 players, the team will have to make a corresponding roster move when fullback Quinn Johnson, linebacker Clay Matthews III and defensive lineman B.J. Raji are signed.

With that said, we continue to rank the players from No. 1 to No. 83. This list doesn't necessarily list the players from best to worst, but we take into account the players' importance on the roster and other factors such as contracts (Justin Harrell) and potential (Jamon Meredith).

Packer Report Ranking: 50

Brandon Underwood, CB: Underwood (6-1, 191) was the second of the Packers' sixth-round draft choices. While the chances of him making an impact this season are pretty slim with Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Pat Lee and Will Blackmon firmly ahead of him on the depth chart, Underwood plays a position where the Packers are in desperate need of young talent. Harris and Woodson are two of the Packers' oldest players, and while Williams looks like a future starter, the jury is out on Lee and Blackmon's niche is returning kicks. Underwood missed the first three weeks of organized team activities because of NCAA rules forbidding players from joining their professional teams until school is out, so he's far down the depth chart. He admits he's behind, but he's got ideal height, length and speed to play the position. His four-year contract includes a $102,200 signing bonus.

Packer Report Ranking: 51

Ruvell Martin, WR: Last year, Martin (6-4, 220) was coming off a season in which he scored four touchdowns. As a friend of Aaron Rodgers and with their chemistry built on the scout team, many expected big things from Martin — including Martin himself. Instead, he managed only 15 receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown. He remains a valued player because of his height and willingness to block, but he also has a horde of talented receivers gunning for his job, led by Brett Swain. Martin won't give up this job without a fight, but if Swain has a productive camp, it might be time to give the young guy a chance.

Packer Report Ranking: 52

Breno Giacomini, T: A couple of months ago, Giacomini (6-7, 311) would have been in the top 20 in these rankings. After an encouraging season of watching and learning last year as a rookie, he entered the offseason as the top candidate to replace longtime starting right tackle Mark Tauscher. Instead, sidelined for all of OTAs and the minicamp by offseason ankle surgery, Giacomini was passed on the pecking order by Allen Barbre. And rookie fourth-round pack T.J. Lang impressed at right tackle, too. If Barbre seizes control of the position, what's Giacomini's future, considering he's only played right tackle during his short stay here while practically every other lineman on the roster can play multiple spots?

Packer Report Ranking: 53

Aaron Rouse, S: Rouse (6-4, 227) is the team's biggest enigma. He's got superior size for the position and he can run. And with four interceptions in his two seasons, he's got an obvious nose for the ball. But at that size, he hasn't shown any glimpses of being a hitter or any real skill in running the defense. Simply put, in given ample opportunities to show what he can do with Atari Bigby's season-long injury problems last year, Rouse didn't show the consistency necessary to be a starter. He spent most of the offseason as the starter with Bigby recovering from offseason surgery and Nick Collins skipping the practices and figures to be with the second team at the start of training camp. He'll battle Anthony Smith, Jarrett Bush and Charlie Peprah for what might be only two backup positions.

Packer Report Ranking: 54

Jarius Wynn, DE: On paper, Wynn was the biggest head-scratcher of the Packers' draft picks. Defensive ends in a 3-4 defense should stand 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 and weigh between 290 and 310 pounds. Instead, Wynn — the first of the Packers' sixth-round picks — was only 6-3 and 277. How would he fit in a position that must be sturdy against the run? During offseason practices, the long-armed Wynn showed an impressive ability to shed blockers and get to the ball-carrier. How he'll fare when the pads go on and he has to hold up against a 310-pound blocker remains to be seen. He was up to 285 pounds by the minicamp, and the Packers are confident he can play at 290 or more. He spent most of the offseason working with the No. 3 defense. Assuming Johnny Jolly avoids jail/suspension and Justin Harrell is healthy, there figures to be only one more backup position available on the defensive line. His four-year contract includes a $108,730 signing bonus.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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