Welcome to my pre-training camp roster analysis for the Green Bay Packers. They have some 97 players on the roster, so that means theyll be cutting 44 guys and then resigning eight of them on the practice squad (PS).
For all sections: The Starter in bold
, Cuts in italics
, Practice Squad underlined
, Physically Unable to Perform (PuP) or Injured Reserve in Red
27 slots plus five on the practice squad. Team will be a bit Offense heavy, but head coach Mike McCarthy is a former offensive coordinator, after all.
(3 +1 PS)
The Packers carry three QBs. It is pretty clear who they're going to keep, but if Arth or Wrobel impresses and/or someone gets hurt, you never know. If one of those guys has a great camp, he could end up on the PS, as well. Not too much excitement in training camp in this group, as far as competition and tough cuts.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
QB 17 Tom Arth 6-3 227 24 1 John Carroll FA-06
-"Planet" Arth in NFL Europe, again. He's third string in NFLE so he's a long-shot to make the team. Was a record setter at JCU. Could go to the practice squad as his triangle numbers are good for a QB. Was with the Colts last year for a short while. John Carroll University is a Jesuit university in Cleveland with tough academic standards, and also Don Shulas alma mater. Get a new picture, Tom!
QB 4 Brett Favre 6-2 222 36 16 Southern Mississippi T-92 (Atl)
-Other than the tedious "Will he return?" drama, this is what will allow the Packers to contend for the division this year. I don't think Chicago has done anything of note with their offense, Minnesota traded Daunte Culpepper for Ryan Cook, and Detroit has no one of merit at QB. It's a homer pick, but I like what TT has done (except in the middle of the o-line) far more than what anyone in our division has done. Yep, Brett had 29 interceptions. He also had 20 TDs when he had one receiver of merit, plus a 57 punt returning ex-arena league guy caught 49 balls. A little interior protection, not relying on the seventh RB that was brought in on the year and a much healthier WR corps will cure a lot of woes. I think Brett goes for 30 TDs and 17 picks.
QB 7 Ingle Martin 6-2 220 23 R Furman D5a-06
-I hope this is yet another outstanding Green Bay QB in the making. At one time it seemed like a quarter of the league had former GB QBs. Glad to see us get back to that, rather than bringing in failed QBs, like Akili Stiff and that loser from Cleveland who's name I have blotted from memory after we gave him an injury settlement. Ingle also would be the back-up punter and field goal kicker, as he had a 43 yard punt average in college and made a pair of 49 yard field goals in practice.
QB 12 Aaron Rodgers 6-2 223 22 2 California D1-05
-The future of the franchise. Once he gets the game-time reps, I think everyone will start to make correlations on how much his game and stats are like Drew Brees' with around a 65% completion percentage and better than a 4-1 TD-INT ratio. He's had a high completion percentage and good TD-INT ratio everywhere he's played, and I don't expect the pros to be any different. In three years of college: 71 TDs and 17 picks, 63.2% accuracy, 8.5 k total yards, 930 attempts and a 25-9 record. Now, trying to come in after Favre is going to be tough on anyone, but I think Rodgers game will be so different, and effective, the comparisons will fade to the point where they talk about wins and the Super Bowl, not about style. I see A-Rods typical season being 22 TDs and 6 interceptions, with over a 60% completion percentage. With an effective run game and improving defense, that will be all hell need to do to reach the apex of the NFL.
QB Brian Wrobel 6-2 197 24 1 Winona State FA-06
He needs to eat a couple of Gilbert burgers. No QB should be under 200 pounds in the NFL. He is in NFLE, so at least he's getting game experience. Looks like just another camp arm.
(5 + 1 PS + 1 PuP/IR)
Green Bay traditionally keeps three running backs and two full backs on the roster. I think this year has the potential to be a bit different as two of their running backs are coming off season-ending injuries, so I am guessing they'll keep four running backs. I think Green will try to come back from injury faster than Najeh.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
RB 32 Arliss Beach 5-10 219 22 R Kentucky FA-06
-A camp body who got injured in minicamp. With only 288 yards rushing last year, brought in as Green and Davenport not able to practice. The team had good luck with an unheralded back-up last year with Samkon Gado, so TT not afraid to bring in a guy with a good attitude and no pedigree.
FB 43 Ben Brown 6-1 246 20 R Tabor College FA-06
-Sent his highlight tape in to the front office and was one of a thousand picked to audition in minicamp, getting signed to the roster shortly thereafter. Had 507 yards rushing, 304 yards receiving, and five touchdowns in 12 games last season for his 11-1 team. His coach said that BB could have posted a 1000 yards as the running back, but that the team needed him at fullback. Dorsey has told him to get to 240 pounds, which is where he might have an advantage over Vonta Leach if they want a smaller, quicker FB.
FB 40 A.J. Cooper 6-1 240 22 R North Dakota State FA-06
-Was a TE in college. Last year he caught 24 passes for 473 yards (19.7 ypr) and four TDs. He was honorable mention on the 2005 Football Gazette I-AA All-America team. In 2004 Cooper played in all 11 games and caught 23 passes for 285 yards (12.4 ypr) and three touchdowns. Was at 226 pounds in 2004. Might be an H-back type of player that is not currently on the GB roster.
RB 44 Najeh Davenport 6-1 247 27 5 Miami (Fla.) D4-02
-Dookie (I just find that nickname amusing) is coming off injury, but when healthy he averages over five yards a carry. That type of production is what Green Bay needs, especially if Najeh is able to get good production and be part of a good sub rotation for the Packers. He's on a low-impact contract, and if he is out-performed in TC by Herron, he could lose his job if GB sticks with three RBs. Could start the year PuP.
RB 35 Samkon Gado 5-10 226 23 2 Liberty University FA-05
-A shame he had the sprained ankle. If he'd been able to play the last two games, Samkon could have emerged as the definite starter. I still think he'll contend for the starting job, but with Brett coming back and how much Brett trusts Ahman, Samkon will really have to outperform Green in the preseason to be the starter. Ran for 582 yards, 77 yards receiving, and had seven touchdowns, predominantly in six games. Ran a 4.68 40-time coming out of college.
RB 30 Ahman Green 6-0 218 29 9 Nebraska T-00 (Sea)
-He's had a decline prior to the injury, so it will be an interesting battle how he does in TC. He still runs hard between the tackles, blocks very well in the passing game and picks up blitzes, and he's a great release man when Brett gets pressure. I think when Ahman got hurt it took away one of Brett's primary hot reads and he ended up throwing all those picks. Has a reasonable contract, and I am hoping he will be the starter and return to form. If he's slow in recovering, he could be on the PUP for the first six games.
FB 33 William Henderson 6-1 252 35 12 North Carolina D3b-95
-Will be listed as the starter, even if Vonta is actually starting. Henderson is incredibly well-spoken, a positive force in the locker room, solid as a receiver, assignment sure in pass protection and still a good special teamer. His kind of reliability is very hard to find. He is getting older, though, and offers no threat in the run game and isn't the run-blocker that Vonta is, which allows the defense to key on the pass when he's in. Blocked on 7.5 bad runs and was not penalized last year. Has dropped no passes over the past two seasons.
RB 23 Noah Herron 5-11 224 24 2 Northwestern FA-05
-The Steelers were not happy to lose Herron off their practice squad. I've read comparisons of him to a faster Edgar Bennett, which is just fine in my book. He's got good size, a bit of wiggle when he runs and I am looking for him to have a big training camp. If the Packers go with three RBs, I think it is between Herron and Davenport for the last slot, with Herron having the edge as he's younger, injury free, won't be a free agent next year and doesn't have an embarrassing past.
FB 48 Vonta Leach 6-0 250 24 3 East Carolina FA-04
-A great undrafted free agent pick-up. Leach needs to get better catching the ball as he had the most drops per attempts of anyone on the team. Henderson had the best ratio. A powerful run blocker and is getting better in blitz pick-up. I think the coaches would like him to be reliable in the passing game and be able to run the ball a bit, so he could replace Henderson full-time, instead of having two part-time players. Blocked on 6.5 bad runs. Dropped 3 of 10 balls thrown to him. Might be a little too big for what the new head coach wants from the fullback. Why is F u l l b a c k censored? :?
RB 42 Chaz Williams 5-9 210 23 2 Georgia Southern FA-05
- A converted QB and promising undrafted free agent, also coming back from injury. Actually had two very good years as a Wing-T QB in college. Appeared in 40 career games and rushed for 2,609 yards and 60 TDs on 570 carries, with a long rush of 71 yards; passed for 2,471 yards and 23 TDs (123-of-263). 60 rushing TDs!!!! Put this kid in at the goal line! Is shorter, but has a good frame. He had some burst last year. Not likely to be kept unless Green and Davenport stay injured and are PUP to start the season. Interesting enough to me for him to be on the practice squad, as the team kept him on their IR roster and paid him rather than cutting him and giving him an injury settlement.
(6 +2 PS)
Coach MM has said theyll be keeping 6 WRs. There are 12 WRs on the roster. I am putting two on the practice squad, but it's likely only one will stick. You best bring your "A" game if you want to make the squad this year as a WR this year. Sadly, someone will probably tweak a hammie and lose a job. The Packers are a bit bigger this year, and will be more prepared to execute a ball-control passing attack that emphasizes the run. I wouldnt be surprised to see Ruvell Martin unseat a veteran if Ruvell continues to have a great off-season.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
WR 83 Marc Boerigter 6-3 220 28 5 Hastings UFA-06 (KC)
-A nice veteran pick-up in free agency. He's now two years from serious injury and has just ten games played in the past two years, so hopefully he holds up. Is a CFL product that made a splash with the Chiefs with 21 yard/catch average and 8 TDs. Has near the prototype body for a WCO receiver, will be able to shield the ball from DBs on the inside slant. A high-character guy that has a charitable foundation: www.bo85.com
. If he's healthy, I think Favre will be able to get him all of Antonio Chatman's catches plus more.
WR 8 Leo Bookman 6-2 212 24 R Kansas FA-06
-Leo who? Leo "NCAA three time 200 meter Sprint Champion" Bookman, that's who. Could have the best triangle numbers of any of the receivers. Is a project due to spending so much of his time on the track team and being out of football since 2002 to concentrate on collegiate track and an Olympic dream. With his size and Olympic class speed, picking him up as a free agent is a coup. His winning time in his 2004 indoor championship was 20.42 seconds for the 200 meter dash, which is the current world record time according to the KU press release. In his Packers tryouts he was timed at 4.19, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23 and 4.25!!! :shock: I'd like to see him on the practice squad as he gets back into football form.
WR 19 Vince Butler 6-0 195 24 1 Northwestern Oklahoma State FA-06
-A now-typical player profile: Three year starter and productive while there. Not huge numbers, but given how many directions in his college's name, not too bad. 14 yard average and 3 TDs. Not doing as well as Chad Lucas in NFLE, but at least he's getting PT with 9 catches for 107 yards. I don't think he'll make it. But, if he actually does make it, I'll be able to incessantly use the cliché, "The Butler did it," which I have not been able to use since LeRoy retired.
WR 80 Donald Driver 6-0 190 31 8 Alcorn State D7b-99
-DD is The Man. He is currently competing with Tauscher for title of best 7th round pick on the Packers. He refuted those contract rumors, but given his pro-bowl level of performance, I would like to see him get paid as a pro-bowler, lest some rookie be making more than him. If I could clone him, I'd have my ideal group of WRs. He might not be a WCO prototype, but he's my prototype of attitude, desire and hard work that I want to see in a football player. He's also durable and consistent, with an average of 85 catches and 1200+ yards the past two years, even when there was no decent WRs around him last year.
WR 89 Robert Ferguson 6-1 210 26 6 Texas A&M D2-01
-I like Robert Ferguson. He's matured as a person and you don' hear him run his mouth about being a starter or whatever this year. He's a ferocious special teamer. However, he's getting paid to be more, but I don't know if he'll ever be more than a #3 receiver. I was deeply disappointed last year when he gave up four interceptions from his hands to the DB's hands without getting the ball or at least making it incomplete. If one of the young players surprises, I'm OK with Robert going elsewhere as his typical year has been about 25 catches, 360 yards and all of 3 TDs.
WR 82 Rod Gardner 6-2 215 28 6 Clemson W-05 (Car)
-Former first-rounder might have had a big wake-up call after getting traded and then getting waived. I'd like to see Rod put it all together as he does have near-prototype WCO triangle numbers, though his rookie 4.55 40 time doesn't seem like what you want to have for the downfield game. I am putting him as the starter over Ferguson as I expect him to work as hard as possible this year after getting a wake-up call of having no better offers than his current pedestrian (for the NFL...) contract. A big year in GB and he'll get a nice raise next year. His average year so far has been about 55 catches for 650 yards and 5 TDs. Not great, but double what Fergie has done.
WR 85 Greg Jennings 5-11 197 22 R Western Michigan D2b-06
-I saw his size and small school and wondered why we had cut Chatman if we're going to keep smallish WRs. Then I saw Jennings career production numbers (228 catches, 3401 yards and 39 TDs over the past three years: :shock: ), and that he lead the nation in catches per game and was second in the nation in receiving yardage per game and am just fine with Jennings. He'll have a much better chance of helping out this year than a faster, under producing WR like Chad Jackson.
WR 10 Chad Lucas 6-1 201 24 1 Alabama State FA-06
-Lucas is doing quite well in NFLE. Pre-season production a key for him to stick, but if he's not a Packer, I think all his TDs in NFLE are going to land him somewhere in the NFL. Has decent size and I like being able to see him on the NFL Network this off-season. 21 catches for 355 yards both are second on the Admirals, but his 8 TDs is just four off Ruvell Martin's NFLE record of 12. Speaking of...
WR 18 Ruvell Martin 6-4 217 23 1 Saginaw Valley State FA-06
-When you start off at 6'4" and a bit under 220, the bottom of your triangle is looking pretty good. The 4.61 speed is probably what kept him from making the Chargers' roster last year. Their loss is our gain. With how good Ruvell is in the red zone, I think he could possibly push Ferguson, Boerigter or Gardner out of a job if they don't bring it in camp. Will we keep two WRs on our practice squad? I'm saying so. The only downfall of bringing in 24 players a year is that fans like me like these scrappy, small school guys and then they get cut. Seeing how his minicamps have gone, Id be very nervous if I were Fergie or Boerigter.
WR/KR 81 Cory Rodgers 6-0 186 23 R Texas Christian D4a-06
-Not ideal size for the WCO, but he and Jennings are comparable in size, so maybe MM can create their position and design the offense to take into account what these two guys can do, instead of cutting players for what he doesn't think they can do. Was a three year starter even though he came out early. Will probably be the 6th WR on the team, though he had decent production in school, posting 52/685/5 as a junior and 61/836/7 as a soph. Biggest asset is his return ability, with a 15.3 PR avg. and a 30.3 KR avg, including 2 TDs. Got arrested for shooting a gun into the air outside a nightclub. Arrests not good for rookies. Received 15 months probation, so might not impact him professionally. Could end up getting him cut from the team, especially if another returner emerges.
(3 +1 PS)
A solid group. I think the rooks will have to bring it in preseason to have a chance to grab the third TE spot. I just dont see it happening this year barring injury, though Im putting Cross on the Practice Squad due to his relationship with Aaron Rodgers.
Starter in bold, cuts in italics, practice squad underlined.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
TE 49 Zac Alcorn 6-4 260 25 R Black Hills State FA-06
-NAIA guy just like the head coach. According to the NAIA college website, is the top small school TE pro prospect. Alcorn finished last year with 57 catches for 809 yards and 7 touchdowns. He did an interview even. Has 4.66 speed, which is around what Leonard Pope ran, and a lot faster than Marcedes Lewis. His speed will give him the chance to knock off Garrett Cross from the practice squad, though I think making the active roster not likely. Being NAIA won't hurt him in that Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson are willing to look at what goes on in camp rather than what you did in college when they're looking at players.
TE 47 Garrett Cross 6-4 245 23 R California FA-05
-We'll see if his head is screwed on right this year. I thought he would have made a nice addition to the team last year, and would have been nice to have a familiar face for Aaron Rodgers. I can't say I am a fan of David Martin's durability, so maybe Garrett can take that third TE spot. He'll have to really perform well in TC, though. More likely, I think he'll have to prove himself on the practice squad. His college numbers: Played in 22 career games (15 starts) and made 44 receptions for 512 yards and eight TDs as a Golden Bear, with another 39 catches for 590 yards and 10 TDs his sophomore year at the JUCO. Aaron Rodgers his QB during that time, so he should have on-field rapport with Aaron already established.
TE 88 Bubba Franks 6-6 265 28 7 Miami (Fla.) D1-00
-Bubba Franks is still the man. Except for maybe OTs that are being called TEs, I think Bubba is the best blocking TE in the NFL. He's also got very good hands, dropping one of 39 passes to him. He was a little beat up last year, but had played in 86 consecutive games in previous years. I look forward to having a healthy Bubba in the red zone and am hoping he'll rebound and have 10 TDs this year. Bubba has averaged 35 catches with five TDs while in Green Bay, including last year when he was injured.
TE 49 Tory Humphrey 6-2 257 23 1 Central Michigan FA-05
-A camp body. I just don't see this guy sticking, but his production numbers from college, 68 passes for 862 yards as a four year starter, just smacks of almost every guy TT has drafted over the past two years. It would not shock me to see TT start replacing Sherm's players with his own guys across the roster, but I think Martin is the only vulnerable one in the TE group.
TE 86 Donald Lee 6-4 248 25 4 Mississippi State FA-05
-I'm sure there were many reasons that TT did not choose VD in the draft. VD a crying punk with sour grapes proclaims how glad he is to not come to Green Bay a character reason. A football reason would be that Donald Lee and Bubba Franks are a formidable tandem. Lee was used as blocking TE in Miami, so he can hold up against the run. With no preparation or time learning the offense, Donald came in and had 33 catches for 294 yards and 2 TDs. He did drop four of the 53 passes thrown to him, though, the second worst percentage behind Vonta Leach.
TE 87 David Martin 6-4 265 27 6 Tennessee D6-01
-Ron Wolf's last pick. Has fine hands for a TE, with only one drop in 39 attempts. Martin has bulked up from 225 to 265 and is a serviceable blocker now. Of course he's had plenty of time on IR to spend rehabbing and being in the weight room chugging down protein shakes. He has averaged four missed games per year and has only had one season in five where he did not miss time due to being hurt. Last year was easily his best year, as he had 27 catches for 224 yards and three TDs, but considering Bubba Franks was hurt and his competition at TE was a guy we pulled from the Dolphins after the first game, his performance did not impress me. Donald Lee has been more durable and came in blind to the Packer's offense, yet was the leading TE as far as production. Some of it for Martin could be that he missed yet another four games, but at the end of the year it is production that counts, not excuses. If he doesn't come to camp healthy and in shape, one of the UDFAs could be our third TE this year.
(10 + 1 IR)
The Packers carried 8 O-linemen in 2003, 9 in 2004, 10 in 2005. With how young our line is, I think we'll carry 10 again, which means three of these guys won't be on our 53 man roster. I think the draft picks will be given a chance over other players to make the team, due to TT's sway. With Barry getting hurt, I think Moll will be able to stay on the active roster instead of the Practice Squad. I wouldnt be surprised to see 9 linemen with Moll on the PS and that roster slot going elsewhere.
The line overall gave up 106 QB pressures, up from 64 in '04 and 49 in '05. Linemen were charged with 13.5 of the team's 27 sacks and with 71 bad runs. A bad run being defined as a run play of 1 yard or less in gain on a non-short yardage or goal-line situation.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
T 71 Kevin Barry 6-4 332 26 5 Arizona FA-02
-He's a great run-blocker, but he doesn't fit the profile of a zone blocker. Can he break the mold? In the limited playing time he was in the game, he had 5 penalties. That's way too many. Would more PT mean more penalties or would he get into the flow and have fewer penalties per plays? He only gave up 5 bad runs and did not have a sack charged to him, though he was in there on run plays. Also, he seems more of a tackle to me, but if the coaches think he can be a guard, good for Barry. I watched Barry in college and was sad to see the big fella blow out his quad with 15 minutes left in this past minicamp. Barry has a whole year to get his weight under control for next year while hes rehabbing. I bet hes glad he signed that two year contract now.
T 76 Chad Clifton 6-5 330 29 7 Tennessee D2-00
-Clifton needs to get his head straight this year. You could tell he missed Wahle. He gave up 17.5 pressures, and also 3.5 sacks to tie with Whitticker for worst protector. He tied for the lead in "bad" runs 12.5. He also lead the offense with ten penalties. Clifton has Pro-Bowl talent, but I am curious to see what the coaches do as he's not a zone-blocking body-type. His salary also scheduled to be 5.5 million going up to 8 million or so in two years. This formula could be applied to any player in the NFL: Bigger salary + declining production = no contract renewal or getting cut. They also have a guy with LT skills to replace him, so Clifton better man up this year.
T/G 73 Daryn Colledge 6-4 299 24 R Boise State D2a-06
-Speaking of ZBS bodies, Colledge has a prototype of the Alex Gibbs preferred lineman make-up. Daryn can play tackle, which makes the Clifton decline in production, increase in salary situation interesting after this year. For the up-coming year, I think Daryn will start at LG and I am hoping he does a lot better than Whitticker. As a rookie, he'll have a tough time, but hopefully not as tough as Will.
G 62 Junius Coston 6-3 317 22 2 North Carolina A&T D5a-05
-He's a little bigger than most ZBS guys, but I am hoping he shows why he was drafted this year and starts at RG. The interior of our line will be pretty green, but at least it will be athletic. He was a great sleeper pick last year and now it is time for him to wake up. Outdone in minis by Spitz.
T/G 70 Adrian Klemm 6-4 318 28 7 Hawaii UFA-05 (NE)
-Klemm actually could be a ZBS guard. He did a nice job as a back-up LT. Interesting to see if he improves the more time passes from his knee injuries. He allowed 16 QB pressures last year, had four penalties, but did not allow a sack. He also allowed 9.5 bad runs, which in eight games as the starter was probably why Wells replaced him. I don't think he'll be cut because he's a good LT back-up. Klemm has a bum knee right now, so I hope he'll be OK when TC starts.
C 61 Wayne Lucier 6-4 315 26 3 Colorado FA-06
-Was a 7th round pick by the Giants in 2003. Started 20 games for them. Missed 2005 with an injury. Pretty big, so not sure he fits the mold created by Tom Nalen for a ZBS center. I like this guy as a pickup and it will be interesting to see how he does in camp. He's got starting experience, so he might be able to take over at Center and Wells stays at Guard. His return from his injury will determine if he's able to hold down a roster spot.
T/G 64 Tony Moll 6-5 308 22 R Nevada D5b-06
-This guy was a TE for his first three years of college and has one year starting experience on the line. He's a project, though he's athletic. He has the triangle numbers of a ZBS lineman. I have him cut and put on the practice squad, but I would not be surprised if he takes Lucier's or maybe White's spot. Before Barry blew out his knee, I thought he'd be on the Practice Squad. Now he has a chance to make the team.
G(C) 72 Jason Spitz 6-4 313 23 R Louisville D3b-06
-This guy looks like a goofy stoner, but everything I've read on him has him as a nasty lineman. Joe Philbin loves this guy's natural strength and jsonline has him as a situational run blocker until his pass protection improves. It sounds like they're gonna try him out at center first, then move him to guard if that doesn't work. He looks the part of a ZBS lineman. When Coston was out in minicamps, Spitz started at RG. He also has the capability to play Center. He looked so good and strong in the run game at guard, though, that Coston lost his time with the first unit to Spitz.
T 65 Mark Tauscher 6-4 315 28 7 Wisconsin D7a-00
-My favorite lineman and my favorite Packer behind Brett. His charitable foundation, TRIFECTA, is great and Mark is all class. I'd like to see his contract extended after this year. Effected a bit by not having Rivera next to him and dealing with Whitticker. Gave up 14.5 pressures, 2 sacks, 7.5 bad runs. Had his first holding penalty and just three penalties for the year.
C/G Pete Traynor 6-3 311 26 1 Iowa FA-06
-Is in NFL Europe, starting for the Rhein Fire and started 9 games. Was an Arena Football League 2 guy from 2003-2005. Was a reserve on Iowa's 2002 Big10 championship. This guy might have the internal motivation to keep going, but I just don't think the numbers favor him in Green Bay right now. Might be one of those guys you sign and place in Europe, then if you get injured you bring him in during the season.
C 63 Scott Wells 6-2 304 25 3 Tennessee FA-04 (D7-04)
-Green Bay does quite well with 7th rounders on the line. I hope Philbin continues to develop them like Beightol did. Philbin has said that Wells has the inside track to take over for Flannie. He's young and very good in the run game. I like how he uses leverage in his favor. Has a ZBS body, though he's a touch shorter than ideal. Wells had seven penalties, which he'll need to improve on. He has 9 bad runs, was charged with 3 sacks, and 22.5 pressures, which he'll also need to improve on.
C 68 Chris White 6-2 285 23 2 Southern Mississippi FA-05
-Physically very similar to Tom Nalen of the Broncos, which makes me think we kept him on the roster all last year as TT had plans on moving to a ZBS this year and knew Sherman would be out. I'm leaving him on the roster, as we kept him all last year and the coaches like him, and if he is like Tom Nalen, he'll be a starter soon. I wish he'd learn to long snap, so that he could take Rob Davis's spot and we'd only have to carry nine other linemen.
G/T 78 William Whitticker 6-5 338 23 2 Michigan State D7b-05
I was hoping we'd trade young William. I think he'd be fine in an offense like the AZ Cardinals run. He would have improved and been OK for us if he'd had Beightol coming back. As it is, he's way too heavy, too slow of foot and had some issues as a starter, though what rookie doesn't? For this scheme though, I just don't see him staying when we have 12 linemen and at most 10 roster spots. He was the worst or tied for the worst with allowing 30.5 QB pressures, 3.5 sacks and 12.5 bad runs. He also had 7 penalties. Sorry big man, the scheme won't let you become what you could have become. Played some at Right Tackle and might be able to make it there. Will not be a guard this year for GB.
23 slots plus 3 on the practice squad.
(8 + 1 PS and 1 PuP/IR)
The Packers have kept nine guys on the D-line in recent years. It seems they also will keep one or two on IR, if they want to look at someone the next year that was dinged up in TC and they couldn't get a good feel for him. There's been a lot of disparagement of our D-line by the popular media. I don't get it. There are a couple of weak spots, but hopefully Bob Sanders will recognize these weaknesses and scheme to cover them, as he was the defensive line coach last year. I like the guys we have, although I was hoping we'd draft a run stopping DE like Ray Edwards rather than yet another body in the middle. If this group continues to improve, the D-Line is going to surprise. I'm saying now I would not be surprised if we're a true top ten defensive club, and that people have a very hard time running on us this year. My cop out on that statement is KGB, who if he plays 90% of downs will throw our run D in the toilet. There are 16 d-linemen in camp, and nine spots on the roster. You do the math to see how competitive camp is gonna be this year. It was hard to decide on whom to cut, so I went with production and then potential. It could very well be reverse with TT keeping his guys and cutting some of these young guys he didn't draft. I kept four DTs, 4 DEs and a DE/DT, with a couple of the cuts being very tough. If they are able to keep ten, great. I just don't see how given all the other players that are on the roster this year.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
DT 97 Kenderick Allen 6-5 328 27 4 Louisiana State FA-06
-If this guy brings it in TC, he could be the starter next to Pickett. What a steal at $600 k! He's played in 52 games over the past three years, and has 41 tackles and three sacks in that time. Nothing like a big man that can help push the pocket a little bit and make the QB nervous. Ran a 5.27 when he came outta college at 310 pounds. He skipped Coughlin's "voluntary" training sessions on personal business (whatever it was) and so got cut. If he works hard for the Sand Man, hes an NFL veteran that would have an immediate impact on the line and push to be a starter. I like having a big, run-stopping DT that has some rush ability. He also played end in college, so he could come in for KGB on the goal line. The Packers could have a pretty impressive short yardage/goal line package come the season. Due to his problems with Coughlin and with Colin Cole on the squad, Im listing him as being cut. He could easily be on the roster, and even be a starter if he shows up to training camp in shape and ready to go.
DT 90 Colin Cole 6-2 325 25 2 Iowa FA-04
-My fave UDFA, though he was originally signed by the Dikings. Played at Iowa with AK. Was a HS champion wrastler in Florida. Also played DE his first three years at IA. Had 23 sacks in college, including nine as a senior. I would like to see Cole in as the starting NT, moving Pickett over to UT. Between he and Allen, the Packers have some serious size up front, but also flexibility as both these guys were former DEs and have pass rush ability. Does anyone have a clip of when Cole crushed Vick during that Atlanta game last year? It wasn't a sack, but I think Vick got nervous about his interior line after that hit and Atlantas season went in the toilet after that loss. Has been getting better every year and went from 7 tackles to 40 tackles (plus two sacks and a PD) in his two years with the Packers.
DE 94 Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila 6-4 250 28 7 San Diego State FA-00 (D5a-00)
-So we meet again... KGB has been one of my favorite Packers. I love his work ethic and humbleness, and how he credits God for his success. I also have enjoyed seeing him tear Mt. McKinney a new one and zipping by him to put hit after hit on Culp. The ONLY problem I have about his game is he's a 55% of defensive snaps type of guy. He is not big enough, nor strong enough, nor fast enough against the run to be in there on run downs. Barnett and our two new starting LBs will look a whole lot better if Montgomery, Peterson or Jenkins can take the early run downs and not allow the right side of the defense to be so easy to run against. If he plays 60% of snaps and has 14 sacks this year, he'd be worth every penny he's making. If he's slowed down, he might be trade bait or be cut, as there are a lot of young, talented players in camp this year.
DE 57 Jason Hunter 6-4 243 20 R Appalachian State FA-06
-Played on the 1-AA National Champion club. Sacked and forced a fumble on Ingle Martin in the playoff game to get to the championship. Had a FF and returned it for a TD in the championship game. Started college at 195 pounds, which was why he wasn't recruited by a bigger school. Spent his junior year getting academically eligible. Had 101 tackles and 13 sacks as a senior. Ran a 4.49 at his pro-day
:shock: , which one of his coaches notified D-Line Coach Robert Nunn of, as they used to work together. He could be another KGB type of guy, or even move to SAM backer if need be. He might not stick with the Packers, but a smart 3-4 team will acquire him if he shows anything in TC. I'm putting him on the Practice Squad so he can gain some weight.
DT 75 Grady Jackson 6-2 345 33 10 Knoxville W-03 (NO)
-Fat tub of lard weighed in to another team at 390 pounds! LOL!!! I liked Grady's performance on the field, but another one of those guys who thinks he's the greatest and was always complaining that his contract wasn't as good as Sam Adams or whoever. S-T-F-U and PLAY!!! Gravey, while you're at it, get that burger outcher mouth!!!
DT/DE 77 Cullen Jenkins 6-3 290 25 3 Central Michigan FA-04
-My second fave UDFA. Kris Jenkins' little brother has arguably had a better career, mainly because he's been healthy while Kris breaks every year. Used his opportunity in NFLE to secure a roster spot and tied for second on the club (which tells you how bad the Packers' defense was) with 4.5 sacks in '04. Had 37 tackles and three sacks last year. I think Jenkins would be better as a DT/DE, going outside on run downs and inside on pass downs. He's just a little too light to hold up at the UT spot for three downs. He's also blocked a couple of kicks, so that's a talent which Mike Stock will want to get the most out of. If our LBs and DBs hold up better this year, Jenkins could have 8 sacks, as I saw a number of plays where the QB threw it to an open receiver right before Jenkins hit him, avoiding the sack due to poor coverage. The toughest battle in camp might be between Jenkins and Peterson.
DT 93 Johnny Jolly 6-3 317 23 R Texas A&M D6a-06
-Ran a 5.43, but ran with an ankle problem. Speaking of which, he had surgery on that ankle, but rehabbed it and participated in minicamp. I'm thinking that when you weigh near 320 pounds, ankle injuries not a good thing, especially when there are 4 other guys just as big as you are with veteran experience. I ultimately see him on IR for this up-coming year, especially given how many bodies are on the line. Had a better grade on nfl.com than where we drafted him, so probably a good value IF he comes back 100% from his ankle problem. As a senior he had 64 tackles and 3 sacks. Should have a rapport with Michael Montgomery, his former team-mate.
DE 74 Aaron Kampman 6-4 278 26 5 Iowa D5a-02
-He started off our defensive revival in the off-season by re-signing, and for a reasonable contract. Depending on the stat site, he had between 81 and 106 tackles last year. He also had 6.5 sacks, none of which were flukes. He's an every down player, though with a couple of the speed rushers on board, he could either move inside for interior pass rush, or he might have some snaps taken away to give him some rest. Guys like DD and AK make the team competitive every week and are gonna be the leaders in the locker room.
DT 69 Tim McGill 6-2 316 26 1 Illinois FA-06
-Who? Other websites have him listed at 330 pounds, so he looks like a run-stopping DT. He was another former DE, so maybe he has some pass rush to him. Could stick on the practice squad given his size. Not too much info available on him.
DE 96 Michael Montgomery 6-5 275 22 2 Texas A&M D6a-05
-An up-and-comer this year. I am seriously hoping that the Full Monty has worked hard this off-season and is now ready to be the first down and run-down DE opposite Kampman, with KGB coming in to rush the passer. If he shows good pass-rush ability himself, he'll present the Packers with a good dilemma at DE. Ran a 4.94 40, and had started at DT early in the year. He's stout against the run and showed some pass rush ability. Had 22 tackles and one sack last year in spot duty, earning more time as the year went on. Did have a 9 and 11 on the Wonderlic, but just wind him up and tell him to tackle the RB, no playbook needed... Could make a big jump his sophomore season.
DE 64 Montez Murphy 6-6 256 20 R Baylor FA-06
-What's with Mike McCarthy and all his MM D-linemen? Former JUCO guy. Was Honorable Mention All-Big 12 as a junior. Posted 52/9.5/3.5 as a senior. Ran a 4.93 40. Has the frame to add some weight. More a tweener guy right now, but foot speed not the best at his size. Could be developed into a good wave DE.
DT Jerome Nichols 6-3 285 24 1 Wake Forest FA-06
-Is in NFLE. Might be able to take the Cullen Jenkins route to NFL success. Has intercepted a pass overseas. Ran a 4.87 coming outta college. Intercepted Matt Schaub and Phillip Rivers in College. Had pedestrian numbers of 22 tackles and two sacks at Wake in 2004. Is listed at 298 on the NFLE page, so might be able to be a UT sub if he shows anything. Looks developmental.
DE/DT 98 Kenny Peterson 6-3 285 27 4 Ohio State D3-03
-Kenny Peterson, Evil Weight Room Genius. Had 23 tackles and 3 sacks last year. I think his sacks were when he was playing UT. Could be that run-stopping DE, pass-rushing DT the Packers need on the line. I expected more of him sooner as a third round pick with incredible strength, but it goes to show you that Track talent and Weight Room Warriors a football player does not make. I hope KP continues his progression and breaks out this year, but TC gonna be uber-competitive, so hopefully he's worked hard in the off-season to not only make the club but to make an impact this year. Will he be able to supplant Cullen Jenkins if the Packers keep only one DE/DT? If so, then Cullen on the chopping block instead. Toughest cut I had to make.
DT 79 Ryan Pickett 6-2 322 26 5 Ohio State UFA-06 (StL)
-Now this is what I'm talking about. We could have some serious beef stopping the run from our line this year. Ryan Pickett a former first round pick. Ran a 5.10 in college, but considering he lead all DTs in tackles last year with 65 (per nfl.com), speed ain't everything. Pickett will take over for Gravy and should prove to be a lot more active in the run game, rather than just being unmovable, which has its place, except when the other team starts to run around you. Not much of a pass-rusher, but I haven't followed the St. Louis Moufflons (homage to Dr. Z) the past couple of years, so it could have been the defensive scheme keeping him from going after the passer. I also like Ryan's interviews so far and will enjoy having Gravy's mouth gone. Was around 335, and should be down to 325 by TC.
DE 91 Dave Tollefson 6-4 255 24 R Northwest Missouri St. D7-06
-Who? All-American for Div. II, and defensive MVP for the MIAA. He was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award (Division II's top lineman) and set a school season-record with 12.5 sacks. He added 58 tackles (38 solos) with 16.5 stops for losses and five pressures. He also caused a fumble, blocked one kick and deflected four passes. Ran a 4.72 40 and had 27 reps on the 225 pound bar. Good athleticism. Has an inside track as the 4th DE due to being drafted, but might end up on the practice squad in a numbers crunch.
DT 99 Corey Williams 6-4 313 25 3 Arkansas State D6-04
-Also one of Sherman's guys, I love Williams' game when he's been healthy. That hasn't been too often. Hes 10-15 pounds lighter than the other three DTs, yet 20 pounds heavier than Jenkins. That extra weight is going to make him the starter at UT. He had injury problems in college, and showed why he slipped from R4 to R6 as he's only played 24 of 32 games in the NFL. Had a 5.23 when he came outta college. He had 17 tackles last year, but had two sacks in limited playing time. If he gets hurt again, he could also be cut for not being a TT draftee. I thought he had a great TC last year prior to getting hurt, so I'm making a projection that Corey surprises and instead of getting cut, takes the starting job.
(6 + 1 PS + 1 PuP/IR)
The Packers have been keeping five LBs on the roster, but due to the youth involved, I'm going to keep six, plus Brady on PUP. If they stick with five, I think you're gone if you are not healthy, don't show what you can do in training camp, or are an undrafted free agent, as there are eleven LBs on the roster. With so many guys that were great linebackers in college, it will be interesting to see who the Packers stick with, and if body-types and play style make admins decision any easier.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
LB 56 Nick Barnett 6-2 232 24 4 Oregon State D1-03
-Nick the Quick had a very good year last year. The season record probably kept him from getting many votes for the Pro-Bowl, but he led the NFC in tackles and didn't get any love for that. Per NFL.com, he has averaged 124 tackles per year, 2 sacks and one interception. I think he has the range as a former safety to move back to OLB (which he played in college), but we'll see what the new coaching staff does. His combine results to compare against AJ's- Ht/Wt: 6-1 5/8, 236 with a 4.62/40, 6.97/3-cone, 32/BP :shock: , 34½"/V, 103"/LJ.
LB 52 Kurt Campbell 6-1 227 23 2 Albany D7a-05
As he was hurt last year, I'll treat him like he's just been drafted. His agility scores: 4.43 in the 40-yard dash :shock: , Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times, 490-pound squat, 325-pound hang clean, 42½-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-2 broad jump and a 6.99 three-cone drill. The former safety has better speed than any of our other LBs. Great vertical and good 3 cone drill as well. I like his numbers more than Jon Alston's, who I wanted us to draft this year. At 6'1" and 227 pounds, if he doesn't fit in with the LB corp, I think he could move back to safety for the team.
LB 46 Tim Goodwell 6-0 243 22 R Memphis FA-06
-A middle linebacker in college. Leading tackler in his conference as a junior and senior with 249 tackles and seven sacks the past two years. His weight on the Packers roster is 243, elsewhere on the net 230. Listed as running a 4.6 40 on the jsonline review and a 4.85 on the GBN Report. A TT guy, he's played all games the past two years and has a lot of production to show for it. Due to Barnett and Hodge, I'm thinking he'll have to be practice squad this year, at best. Maybe Europe next year. Then if there's an injury, he could get a roster spot.
LB 50 A.J. Hawk 6-1 246 22 R Ohio State D1-06
-I'll start with the Combine: He had a complete workout at the Combine. He ran two 40s in 4.59 and 4.66 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 3.96 and the three-cone drill in 6.82. In addition, he had a 40-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-7 broad jump and 24 bench presses. Pro Day: ran a 4.42 40 after vowing to do better after his combine. College career: 394 tackles, 15 sacks and 7 interceptions. I look forward to having AJ as the Will LB. He is a proven producer on the field and will make our defense much better than last year. I also expect him to have a ripple effect of allowing the players around him to have better years. It is hard to play your game when you are covering for Paris Lenon and an injured Robert Thomas.
LB 55 Abdul Hodge 6-0 236 23 R Iowa D3a-06
-What a steal in the third round. His college production even better than AJ Hawk's. He led the entire Big-10 in tackles as a senior. He had over 400 tackles over his college career, an almost unheard of number. Was called the Ray Lewis of college. Ran a 4.67 and a 4.76 40, which likely allowed him to slip to the Packers. 20 yard shuttle of 4.35, 3-cone drill of 7.11, 9' broad jump, 31" vertical, 25 reps on the BP. The question in my mind about Hodge is when he'll start. I think he could push Ben Taylor for the Sam backer. I don't know if he's ready for the Mike, but next year he could be. At worst we'll have a very solid back-up for this year that can play all three positions. His versatility might be bad for the #6 LB as the GM might decide to carry only five LBs as a result of having Hodge backing the other positions up.
LB 54 Roy Manning 6-2 245 24 2 Michigan FA-05
-A great UDFA last year. Had 25 tackles last year and two starts. Did not have a great college career at Michigan, totaling 73 tackles and 3 sacks. Ran a 4.67 at his Michigan Pro Day and had 30 reps on the bench press. 30.5 Vert, 20 yard shuttle of 4.11, and an impressive 3 cone drill of 6.80, which was better than Hawk's and Hawk had the best 3-cone drill in this year's combine. I like Roy a lot, though I think he faded down the stretch due to never having been involved heavily in so many games. With a year in the off-season program, I think he could stick to the roster and maybe take over for a player injured in training camp, or possibly take Ben Taylor's spot.
LB 51 Brady Poppinga 6-3 245 26 2 Brigham Young D4b-05
-Had Brady stayed healthy, our LB corp would not have looked so ragged at the end of the year. A converted DE, he showed that he has a great motor pursuing plays and being a special teams force. He had 193 tackles in college and 19 sacks. For the Packers he had 28 tackles and two sacks in 12 games. He is not ready to play due to his season-ending injury, and it is looking like he'll be PUP when the season begins. He would be a welcome addition as his pass-rushing skills are an area that the LB corps needs improvement in. An article in the jsonline quotes Brady as wanting to play right now, though he's at least two months away. This guy has a great attitude.
LB 53 Byron Santiago 6-1 242 20 R Louisiana Tech FA-06
-Started in 27 of 44 games played, making 274 tackles. Had a nice career in the WAC. On his Pro Day, he ran his 40s in 4.68 and 4.75 seconds. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.27 and the three-cone drill in 7.12. In addition, he had a 34-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-3 broad jump and 27 bench presses. Could be a fierce competition between he, Schim and Goodwell for that Practice Squad berth.
LB 47 Kevin Schimmelmann 6-3 228 20 R Stanford FA-06
On his Pro Day he ran his 40s in 4.63 with spikes and 4.72 and 4.73 seconds without spikes. He also had a 35½-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-5 broad jump and 24 bench presses. He ran the short shuttle in 4.24 and the three-cone drill in 6.90 seconds. Started as a free safety, then moved to strong, then to OLB, then to ILB. Tough to get really good at a position when your coach keeps moving you around. Had 200 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 FF, and 2 picks. Is it me, or is TT bringing in great UDFA LBs? I kind of get the feeling that LB hungry teams are going to be picking up guys we cut and would not be surprised to see one our UDFA's starting on another team this year. With the Jim Bates system calling for faster guys, I chose Kevin out of our three UDFAs as his 40 time and 3 cone time were a little better. He's also from a bigger school and is versatile, having played both safety spots and LB spots. The Packers could easily decide on going with a bigger LB instead, with Campbell and Barnett already on the roster.
LB 58 Ben Taylor 6-2 238 27 5 Virginia Tech UFA-06 (Cle.)
-Brought in from Cleveland. Hopefully he is healthy and solid in camp. If he's not, I think the competition will be such as you get cut if you don't bring it every day, every play. Started 33 of 44 games in college, winding up with 318 tackles and 7 sacks. Solid special teamer. Had a 4.48 40 time as a sophomore. Can play both inside and outside linebacker. 4th rounder for the Browns, first three years hampered by injury. Still had 81 tackles and one pick in 13 games in 2003 and in a full 16 games last year he posted 113 tackles. If he stays healthy, I think he could have a very good year and add that veteran presence to our LB corp.
LB 59 Tracy White 6-0 236 25 4 Howard FA-06
-Has played in 36 NFL games and has posted 52 tackles and a sack in that time. Originally picked up by TT in Seattle. Started all four years at Howard, a 44 game total. He led the team each season in tackles, becoming the school's all-time leader with 500 :shock: , to go along with 22 sacks and six interceptions. He had a 4.55 40 time coming outta school. He has been derailed the past three seasons with injuries. Depending on the defensive scheme, he could even end up being a starter at Will and forcing a roster shift if he shows those skills that let him amass 500 tackles. Given that he was a TT gem in Seattle, I'm not counting him out from getting a roster spot here, but I have him down as getting cut due to the IF factor of whether or not he's healthy and if he's come back 100% from his injuries. A small school guy with unbelievable production in that he had almost 100 more tackles than Hodge.
(9 + 1 PS)
The Packers have sixteen DBs on the roster and likely will only be keeping nine. The free agent signings have impacted this group most as there will be two new starters and a whole lot of roster competition. That means seven DBs will likely be cut, though I think there will be at least one to make the practice squad. All of the undrafted free agents we carried on our roster last year are in danger of losing their jobs. If they busted their humps since the off-season, they might be able to knock one of the low round selections off the team or to the practice squad. The DBs are in for a struggle of Darwinian proportions: only the strong shall survive.
Position | Name | Height | Weight | Age | Years in NFL | How Acquired
S Atari Bigby 5-11 211 24 1 Central Florida FA-05
-Atari doing well in NFLE. If any of the young safeties has a chance of knocking Marviel Underwood off the roster, I think Atari will be the safety to do it. Had 296 tackles, three picks and one sack at Central Florida. Has experience as a linebacker and is a solid hitter. ran a 4.65 in college. He played in one game last year and had one tackle on special teams. His Amsterdam Admirals went to the World Bowl and he leads the team in tackles with 61, along with four passes defended and a pick. If he doesn't end up with the Packers due to Roman sticking with the club, I think he's shown enough in NFLE to get a roster spot on another team.
CB 27 Will Blackmon 6-0 198 21 R Boston College D4b-06
-A solid Fourth round draft pick, Blackmon could be Charles Woodson's Mini-Me. Blackmon can play wide receiver if injuries hit that spot again, he's a great return man, and when he was a solid corner back when he played that position in college. I see him helping most on special teams to start: Will returned 114 kickoffs for 2,803 yards (24.6 avg) and a touchdown. He fell just 120 yards shy of the NCAA Division 1-A all-time kickoff return yardage record. He also gained 506 yards on 40 punt returns (12.7 avg)
and a score. As a receiver, he started all year at split end, leading the team with 51 catches for 763 yards (15.0 avg) and four touchdowns. Has gained 4,152 all-purpose yards during his career. :shock: He has the talent and size to be a starting corner back, and the production to back it up. He had 158 tackles and 15 passes defended over three years of being a CB. He's a playmaker as well, with eight interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He had some decent yardage on his interception returns and came close to having scored a TD four different ways. He hurt his foot in minicamp, and I'll wait a couple weeks to see how he's progressed before red-lining him. He could be PUP so that the Packers can keep one of the CBs they don't really want to cut, like Horton, who had a very good minicamp and OTA or Fontenot, who is a good looking prospect.
S 24 Tra Boger 5-11 210 22 R Tulane FA-06
-The team liked his first mini-camp and with his stocky build he could give the strong safety position extra competition in training camp. Had 329 tackles, nine interceptions and forced seven fumbles in over his career at Tulane, including a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. Had a severe knee injury in 2004, but rebounded with three picks and the score in 2005, which after Hurricane Katrina displaced the football team for the year. I like Tra for the Practice Squad.
CB 28 Ahmad Carroll 5-10 190 22 3 Arkansas D1-04
-Will the real Ahmad Carroll please stand up? Carroll again led the defense in flags with nine penalties and also with nine plays of 20 yards or more given up. He tied for second with Joey Thomas with three TD passes given up. He missed nine tackles, fourth on the team. Carroll seemed to get more solid as the year went by. His 4.41 40-time gives him the recovery speed and closing speed to make plays. He also was decent as a kick returner, though with the rookies here I doubt he'll do much returning. He played all 16 games last year and has been pretty durable. He did have two picks and eight passes defended, along with 44 tackles. Woodson taking his starting spot could be the best thing for Carroll, as he'll be able to concentrate on getting better and be able to refine his game without all the pressure of being the starter. Al Harris wasn't a starter for a number of years in this league, and I think Carroll could develop like Harris did with a couple of great CBs in front of him.
S 36 Nick Collins 5-11 200 22 2 Bethune-Cookman D2a-05
-I was initially wary when TT started saying that Collins was exciting enough as a rookie to be wearing #36. Nick beat out his "competition" in training camp and played almost every snap of every game. Collins gave up two TDs. Allowed just four "big" plays of 20+ yards whereas Darren Sharper never had fewer than six bigs given up in a season. An area he needs to improve on this year is the 19 tackles he missed, which was second highest behind Barnett. He also had fewer than three penalties. Had a burning 4.36 40-time in the Combine. He had 84 tackles, seven passes defended, one pick and two forced fumbles last year. Pretty good production for a guy that SI gave a projection of being a practice squad player and not being drafted.
S 29 Tyrone Culver 6-1 200 22 R Fresno State D6b-06
-At his Pro Day, Tyrone was clocked at 4.63 and 4.60 in the 40. On the NFL draft site he is listed as having 4.52 speed. He had a 39½-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-9 broad jump, a 4.35 short shuttle, a 7.25 three-cone drill and 23 benches. A free safety that has a decent shot to back-up Nick Collins. I saw three Fresno State games and Culver seemed to do pretty well. A good hitter, looks to be more of a special teamer. His college production shows that he increased his impact every year. In 51 games at Fresno State, Culver started 26 times. He recorded 178 tackles (101 solos) with four sacks for minus 19 yards and six stops for losses of 22 yards. He recovered three fumbles, returning one 30 yards for a touchdown. He had two forced fumbles and deflected fourteen passes. He also gained 72 yards on five interception returns. He made the academic All-WAC team four years in a row. He has been referenced in several articles as a coach on the field, able to set the defense and make adjustments. At worst I think he'll end up on the Practice Squad, at best he'll be the #2 Free Safety and a special teams demon.
CB 34 Patrick Dendy 6-0 190 24 2 Rice FA-05
-He played four games last year and had two tackles. Had a great performance before training camp last season and started of on the practice squad before getting promoted in November. Was out of football in 2004 working on his degree and could again make a push to stay get on the practice squad this year. In college he had 130 tackles, 17 passes defended and two picks. With Woodson and Blackmon coming in this year, it pushes a guy with a great attitude and work ethic like Dendy to the fringes. He could use NFLE next year, as well.
CB 39 Therrian Fontenot 5-11 187 23 1 Fresno State FA-05
-Therrian made the Practice Squad last year and was promoted late in the year. He's on the small side, but fast and athletic. At his Pro Day he had a 40 Yrd Dash of 4.42, 24 bench press, a vertical jump of 35.5, a broad jump of 10'1", ran the 20 Yrd shuttle in 4.09 and the 3-Cone Drill in 6.96. He's in NFLE and has two picks, two sacks, a forced fumble and 23 tackles. Has an outside shot of making the team, as he's got great speed and strength, but he has to show up strong on special teams and continue to display his NFLE knack of making big plays. With the competition at CB this year, I think Fontenot will have to find somewhere else to play if someone doesn't get hurt.
CB 31 Al Harris 6-1 185 31 9 Texas A&M-Kingsville T-03 (Phil)
-Al Harris is the man. No one will benefit on the defense of having Woodson on the team as much as Harris will. Teams continually threw away from him and picked on Carroll or Thomas or one of the stiffs opposite Harris. He's a true professional and is a great influence in the locker room. He's on the wrong side of thirty, but I think he'll have a good year in 2006 and perhaps become more of a mentor and veteran presence in 2007 as the young guys start to develop. Harris had 53 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks and ten passes defended. I expect all those numbers to increase (except maybe sacks) with Woodson on the field. He did give up two TDs, had five penalties, had eight missed tackles and 8.5 plays of 20+ yards given up. Those two TDs and 4 of those 8.5 big plays came in the last four games of the year. With Collins' progression, the new LBs and Manuel on the field, I fully expect those numbers to decrease. He's missed OTAs due to not being happy that Woodson and AK were given all that money, but I expect Al to man up when TC starts, especially given his five year contract is only two years old.
CB 37 Mike Hawkins 6-1 180 22 2 Oklahoma D5b-05
-Mike has added 10-15 pounds of muscle and still has his 4.3+ speed. An athletic freak, Hawkins now has the look of an NFL CB. He had too many mistakes in the most recent training camp, but I think he has a very good shot at being the fourth CB in the rotation, with a possibility of surpassing Carroll due to his height. Allowed one TD pass and only half a play of 20+yards. If he develops his game behind Harris and Woodson, I believe he could be challenging for Harris's starting spot next year. If he doesn't develop his skills and cut his mistakes while showing more production, he'll be off the team as more young guys come up.
CB 26 Jason Horton 6-0 190 26 3 North Carolina A&T FA-04
-I don't remember a single positive play with Jason Horton. I just remember him coming in for Carroll and getting burnt against the Vikings on that 35-yard reception by Marcus Robinson. In 23 games he's had 27 tackles. He has caused one fumble, but has not defended a pass or had an interception. Horton doesn't seem like much more than a special teamer, and given our special teams, not much of that. He did have a very good minicamp this year, though, so the new coaching staff might take a shine to him.
S 22 Marquand Manuel 6-0 209 26 5 Florida UFA-06 (Sea)
-I don't believe it was a coincidence that when Manuel went out and his replacement came in, that Willie Parker had a huge run and there were two big pass plays in the Super Bowl against his back-up. This guy has a top-notch attitude. A 6th round pick for the Bengals, he backed up Mark Roman in 'Natti. He came on as an injury replacement for Ken Hamlin last year and posted a solid 71 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. What concerns me about Manuel is that he's been in the league four years and has five passes defended and no interceptions. In college he had six interceptions, eight sacks, eleven passes defended, three forced fumbles and 308 tackles. Also a four-year SEC Academic Honor Roll performer. One of eighteen children. :shock: His Agility numbers coming outta college: 4.52 in the 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical jump, Bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times, 360-pound bench press, 275-pound power clean, 30 ¾-inch arm length and 10-inch hands. He is recovering from his Super Bowl injury and did not take part in minicamps.
I have hit the character limit in this post, didn't know about it originally, so you'll have to skip down a couple posts for the rest of the secondary and special teams.