Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011 Green Bay Packers Initial Practice Squad

Just like every other team in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers signed eight players to their practice squad the day after finalizing their initial 53-man roster. Here are my rankings of the initial 2011 Green Bay Packers eight player practice squad:

#8) Sampson Genus (C) - Although I have him ranked lowest on the eight-man practice squad, Genus has a good chance to appear on the 53-man roster because the Packers don't have much depth along the interior of their offensive line.

#7) Brandon Saine (RB) - At 5'11" and 220 lbs, Saine has some speed (4.39 second 40-yard dash) and smarts (scored a 27 on the Wonderlic). Saine is a nice project to keep on the practice squad to see how he improves throughout the year because Ryan Grant might not be with the Packers for the 2012 season.

#6) Diondre Borel (WR) - One of three wide receivers signed to the practice squad shows you how deep the Packers are at wide receiver with five on the active roster and three on the practice squad.

#5) Brandian Ross (CB) - I would rather see Ross on the 53-man roster than Pat Lee because Ross has decent measurables (4.54 second 40-yard dash, 37" vertical, 10'0" broad jump, and 16 on Wonderlic) to go along with a pick-six of Aaron Rodgers during the family night scrimmage. I hope I am wrong but Lee is very injury prone so if he gets injured again this year, look for Ross to get a shot at the 53-man roster.

#4) Tori Gurley (WR) - I am surprised that Gurley made it through waivers. Once injuries hit teams in the early part of the regular season look for the Packers to make the tough choice of cutting a player from their 53-man roster to keep Gurley.

#3) Ray Dominguez (G/T) - The Packers decided to keep Evan Dietrich-Smith instead of Dominguez on the active roster. Look for Dominguez to work at every offensive line position because the more versatile he becomes, the more likely he is to make the active 53-man roster by the end of the season.

#2) Chastin West (WR) - After an impressive preseason, the Packers thought long and hard about keeping six wide receivers and four tight ends but ultimately decided to keep five tight ends and five wide receivers because a number of their tight ends are essentially wide receivers (Finley, Quarless, and Williams). Fortunately West made it through waivers so the Packers can stash him on the practice squad for the time being.

#1) Graham Harrell (QB) - Speaking of making it through waivers, the biggest surprise of roster cut-downs was the Packers cutting Harrell after his impressive late game heroics against the Colts earlier in the preseason. Luckily Harrell was not claimed by another team so the Packers happily signed him to the practice squad. With Matt Flynn most likely playing somewhere else in 2012, the Packers need to see if Harrell can be a viable back-up quarterback in 2012.

Finally three of the 10 draft picks Ted Thompson made in the 2011 NFL Draft: Caleb Schlauderaff (traded to Jets), Rick Elmore (cut), and Lawrence Guy (placed on injured reserve) are not on the 53-man active roster or the eight player practice squad.

Check back later tonight for my full rankings 53 to 1 of the initial 53-man roster for the 2011 Green Bay Packers.

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