From 80 to 53: Our Final Prediction

The Packers must reduce their roster by 22 players by 3 p.m. (Central) on Saturday. We take our final stab at who makes it, who has to turn in their playbook and who winds up on the practice squad.

The Green Bay Packers must reduce their roster to 53 players today.

We made our initial prediction in the Training Camp Preview edition of Packer Report Magazine and our third prediction last week. After attending every practice and talking with every coach during training camp, we take our best guess at what the roster will look like when the regular season begins at Philadelphia.

Where were the challenges? The backfield, where it's Kregg Lumpkin vs. Quinn Johnson to be the No. 5; who's the odd man out at tight end and the interior offensive line; who is the sixth defensive lineman; and the poor depth at outside linebacker. I also make a surprise move in the defensive backfield.


Who makes it (2): Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn. Who doesn't: Graham Harrell.

Update: None. Harrell makes the practice squad because he knows the offense and would be an easy promotion in case of emergency.

Running backs

Who makes it (2): Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson. Who doesn't: James Starks (PUP), Quinn Porter (injured reserve) and Kregg Lumpkin.

Update: Lumpkin's run well in place of the injured Starks and Porter but fullback John Kuhn can fill in and has far more value on special teams.


Who makes it (3): Korey Hall, John Kuhn and Quinn Johnson. Who doesn't: None.

Update: Johnson has played well the last couple of weeks and, because he can be a situational blocker, has more value as a fifth man in the backfield than Lumpkin.

Tight ends

Who makes it (4): Jermichael Finley, Spencer Havner, Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree. Who doesn't: Donald Lee.

Update: I'm conflicted on this one. Crabtree's value as a blocker is intriguing. Losing Lee, whether it's by trade or his release, would leave this group without a veteran. Both players have big roles on special teams. The only player, other than Finley, who isn't on one of the major special teams is Quarless, but he finally started playing to his promise in the last couple weeks.

Wide receivers

Who makes it (5): Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Brett Swain. Who doesn't: Patrick Williams, Chastin West, Jason Chery and Charles Dillon.

Update: None, with Chery not running through the open door of opportunity.

Offensive line

Who makes it (9): Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, Mark Tauscher, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Marshall Newhouse and Evan Dietrich-Smith. Who doesn't: Jason Spitz, Allen Barbre, Breno Giacomini, Nick McDonald, Chris Campbell.

Update: I hadn't been putting Colledge on my final 53, under the assumption that Bulaga would win the job at left guard and Colledge would be traded. Of course, Colledge is the starter. There are spots open. On the interior, it's Spitz vs. Dietrich-Smith. Tough call there but Dietrich-Smith really flashed in the preseason. The other is at tackle, with Giacomini vs. Newhouse. Neither played well in the games but Newhouse has more upside because he possibly could play left tackle and has far more versatility than Giacomini. Per the Journal Sentinel, Barbre has been waived with an injury settlement.

Defensive line

Who makes it (6): Cullen Jenkins, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Neal, Justin Harrell and Anthony Toribio. Who doesn't: Jarius Wynn, Ronald Talley and C.J. Wilson.

Update: I'm conflicted here, too, as some of you might notice by my constant shuffling at the bottom of the depth chart. With Jenkins, Raji and Neal, they don't need Harrell to rush the passer. So, as a run-stopper, he has value. Keeping Toribio would allow Pickett to stay at left end should Raji need a breather at nose tackle. Wynn and Wilson played better against the Chiefs, though. Wynn can't go on the practice squad so it wouldn't shock me to see him make it over Toribio.


Who makes it (9): Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, Desmond Bishop, Brady Poppinga, Frank Zombo and TBA. Who doesn't: Cyril Obiozor, Robert Francois, Maurice Simpkins and Alex Joseph.

Update: None, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Obiozor make the roster, too. Depends on whether they can get an outside linebacker for Lee or Spitz/Dietrich-Smith. Zombo probably makes it but he had a horrible game on Thursday. They're really up a creek with the depth, or lack thereof, on the outside.


Who makes it (5): Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Brandon Underwood, Sam Shields and Jarrett Bush. Who doesn't: Al Harris (PUP), Pat Lee and D.J. Clark.

Update: What happened to Pat Lee? He went from battling Underwood to be the third corner to totally out of the shuffle even when Underwood was hurt. It's a killer to miss on a second-round pick like Lee. Lee could get a reprieve, depending on the health of Underwood's shoulder.


Who makes it (5): Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Will Blackmon, Derrick Martin and Charlie Peprah. Who doesn't: Anthony Levine and Atari Bigby (PUP).

Update: None. I think Blackmon is given time to get his knee better, which means they need Peprah for depth.

Special teams

Who makes it (3): K Mason Crosby, P Tim Masthay, LS Brett Goode. Who doesn't: P Chris Bryan.

Practice squad

Harrell, Lumpkin, Dillon, McDonald, Talley, Wilson, Joseph, Levine.

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

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