Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ranking "In Memoriam (Part II)" Packers through 2012

I had a mid-season "in memoriam" post before my mid-season player rankings to break down the fact that the Packers replaced six guys (Brandian Ross, Phillip Merling, Brandon Saine, Cedric Benson, D.J. Smith, and Nick Perry) on initial their 53-man roster with Andrew Quarless (TE), Mike Neal (DE), Greg Van Roten (OG), Erik Walden (OLB), Johnny White (RB), and Frank Zombo (OLB).

As it turns out, two of the six guys added by mid-season (Quarless and White) were not on the 53-man roster at the end of the season.  All told, four players that were on the roster in the middle of the season were either cut or put on injured reserve.  To get a feel for how much the Packers are missing each of the four players, here is a quick look at where I ranked the four of them in my mid-season rankings:

INC) (NR) Vic So'oto (OLB) - The number assigned to So'oto was "INC" because he joined the Packers 53-man roster after my mid-season rankings but was cut, signed to the practice, and ultimately ended the season on the Washington Redskins' 53-man roster.  I had to include So'oto because he is the ring leader of the defensive end turned outside linebacker that was supposed to be the next James Harrison (undrafted free agent turned franchise player) for the Packers.  Sadly So'oto will never be even a poor man's version of Harrison, which is probably why he decided to pursue a career as a professional wrestler in the WWE.

#52 (51) Sean Richardson (S) - After one season, it looks like Richardson is the James Starks of the secondary sans a memorable playoff run that resulted in a Super Bowl.  That is a long way of saying Richardson looks physically gifted but is always injured.  That is too bad because Richardson's combination of size and speed make him an enticing player in the secondary.

#51 (NR) Johnny White (RB) - Being the 7th or 8th best running back roster is never a compliment, especially with the rag-tag bunch that the Packers had in 2012.

#50 (NR) Andrew Quarless (TE) - The Packers knew that Quarless had some off the field issues when they drafted him in 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.  It turns out that Quarless has been a good citizen off the field but has had a number of injury issues on the field.  For his blocking ability alone, the Packers will give Quarless another shot in 2013 but if he suffers any more injuries I see the Packers reaching an injury settlement with Quarless to let him try to resurrect his (health) career elsewhere.

#17 (10) Bryan Bulaga (T) - Originally it looked like losing Bulaga was going to be the biggest loss of the season but undrafted rookie free agent Don Barclay performed well in place of Bulaga.  In fact, Barclay played so well that the Packers might have to entertain playing the short armed Bulaga at left tackle to keep Barclay at right tackle.

Losing Richardson, White, and Quarless was not a big deal.  Even losing Bulaga did not turn out to be as big of a loss as first thought thanks to Barclay so although the Packers were ravaged by serious injuries to key players (Bishop, Benson, Smith, and Perry) throughout the first half of the season, they stayed relatively healthy in the second half of the season.  General manager Ted Thompson replaced the players discussed above with DuJuan Harris (RB), Jeremy Ross (WR), Ryan Grant (RB), and Jordan Miller (DT).  Check back tomorrow to see where I rank the new roster additions along with their 49 teammates in my final rankings for the 2012 Green Bay Packers' 52-man roster.

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