Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Building The 53 - The Locks*

As training camp opens this weekend for the 2014 Green Bay Packers, much like I did last year, I am going to run a three-part series of looking at how I think The 53 will shake out before the start of training camp.  This marks my second in-depth look at The 53 following my first look in mid-May, which came a little more than a week after the 2014 NFL Draft.

The first installment are the locks* currently on the roster.  The reason all of the guys I am about to list are are locks* stems from one of three reasons.  One, they recently signed a huge contract extension (i.e. wide receiver Jordy Nelson).  Two, they were recently drafted in an early round of the NFL Draft (i.e. safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix).  Three, they are solid starters (i.e. middle linebacker A.J. Hawk) at an important position.

You may have noticed the asterisk following locks.  I put that there because if any of the following guys suffer a season ending injury during training camp (knocking on wood as I type), the Packers will place them on injured reserve so they would not make The 53 but still would be in the team's long-term plans.  Absent a season ending injury, here are the 35 locks*, up from just 27 last season, to make The 53:

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
Running Back: Eddie Lacy and James Starks
Fullback: None
Wide Receiver: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin, and Davante Adams
Tight End: Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, and Richard Rodgers
Offensive Tackle: Bryan Bulaga, David Bakhtiari, and Don Barclay
Offensive Guard: Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang
Center: JC Tretter
Defensive End: Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, and Khyri Thornton
Defensive Tackle: B.J. Raji and Mike Daniels
Middle Linebacker: A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones
Outside Linebacker: Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Mike Neal
Cornerback: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, and Casey Hayward
Safety: Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Specialists: Mason Crosby (K), Tim Masthay (P), and Brett Goode (LS)

That leaves 18 roster spots up for grabs.  Check back tomorrow for my list of guys "most likely" to make The 53.

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