The Countdown: Roster Rankings

In Part 4 of our second-annual roster rankings, from No. 56 to No. 60, we focus on four defenders -- including defensive end Jarius Wynn -- and rookie offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse.

With training camp 17 days away, we're in the throes of the dog days of summer. The Packers have 83 players on their roster. The limit is 80, but the four unsigned draft picks don't count until they're officially under contract, and restricted free agent safety Atari Bigby doesn't count until he signs his tender.

Like we did last year, we're ranking 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 and potential.

Packer Report Ranking: 56

Jarius Wynn: Wynn provided zero impact as a sixth-round draft pick last year. While he flashed some pass-rushing promise in training camp, he never got a sniff of the quarterback while playing mostly in the nickel package on defense. Wynn will get a chance to earn that role again — and maybe earn more of a role in the base defense depending on Johnny Jolly's fate. Wynn weighs the same as last year (285) but has definitely cut his body fat.

Packer Report Ranking: 57 (tied)

Cyril Obiozor and Robert Francois: Barring a roster move, somebody has to be the fourth and fifth outside linebackers and core players on special teams. Through the offseason practices, Obiozor (an undrafted rookie last year from Texas A&M) and Francois (an undrafted rookie last year from Boston College who originally signed with Minnesota) were alternating the second-team reps opposite veteran Brady Poppinga. Francois appeared to have moved ahead of Obiozor based on second-team reps, but whatever difference there is would be negligible. Of course, defense is only half of the picture. The Packers desperately need players to step up on special teams, and backup linebackers must be difference-makers because of their combination of size, athleticism and tackling ability.

Packer Report Ranking: 59

Marshall Newhouse: The second of the Packers' fifth-round picks, Newhouse is going to have a challenge making the roster. But one look at him at practice and it's clear why he was a darned good left tackle at TCU who dominated Utah's Koa Misi (second round, Miami) in their matchup in 2009. Incredibly light on his feet and with above-average intelligence, he has the tools to develop into a starting-caliber offensive lineman. He played almost exclusively at guard during the offseason practices, so that's an adjustment. He'll need time to get stronger.

Packer Report Ranking: 60

Josh Bell: Bell is far down the cornerback depth chart, behind Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood. But Harris is coming off of a devastating knee injury, Lee hasn't stayed healthy in his two NFL seasons and there are legal questions still surrounding Underwood. At 5-foot-11, Bell lacks the size the Packers like in their corners. But he has no shortage of confidence and did some good work on special teams last season. If everyone is healthy, Bell will have a hard time making the team.


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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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