Monday, September 1, 2014

The 53 - 2014 Green Bay Packers Initial Practice Squad

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson finalized the first incarnation of The 53 for the 2014 NFL season
Review of The 53
Initial Review of the Roster
Initial Review of the Practice Squad
Five Most Overpaid
Five Most Underpaid
Initial Rankings of the Roster
As I discussed in my initial look at the practice squad last year, after Thompson picked The 53, he had to sift through all the other practice squad eligible players to put together the initial practice squad.  Those that follow the NFL closely know that the NFL increased the size of the practice squads from eight to ten this season. 
The rule change is very helpful for the Packers given that I've always thought Thompson could fill three practice squads with how well he identifies undrafted rookie free agents that could play in the NFL down the road.  As a preview of how The 53 post is going look each week, whenever I rank players, I am going to only write about the most notable from the group.  Here are my thoughts on a couple of the players on the initial 10-man practice squad for the 2014 Green Bay Packers:

1. Chris Banjo: This might feel like a slap in the face to Banjo given that he was on The 53 for the Packers all last season but in just a few months the Packers went from thin to flush at safety after they moved Micah Hyde from cornerback to safety and drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft
Practice Squad
1. Chris Banjo (S)
2. Myles White (WR)
3. Jumal Rolle (CB)
4. Michael Hill (RB)
5. Garth Gerhart (C)
6. Adrian Hubbard (LB)
7. Kevin Dorsey (WR)
8. Justin Perillo (TE)
9. Luther Robinson (DE)
10. Jeremy Vujnovich (OT)
Early this season I could see a safety needy team attempting to scoop Banjo off the practice squad, which will present a tough choice for Thompson.  Whether to add Banjo to The 53 or let him leave.

3. Jumal Rolle: What a 24 hours it has been for Rolle.  Some were surprised that cornerback rookie Demetri Goodson made The 53 over Rolle given how well Rolle played in the preseason and the fact that Goodson is dealing with a concussion.  After Rolle was cut, somehow Thompson did not sign him to the original practice squad.  Thankfully Thompson rectified that error by releasing wide receiver Alex Gillet from the practice squad after less than a day to make room for Rolle.  If Goodson is out long with a concussion, look for Thompson to place Goodson on injured reserve and promote Rolle from the practice squad.

5. Garth Gerhart (C): The Packers went into training camp with JC Tretter as their starting center and Don Barclay as their backup at all five offensive line positions.  Early in camp the Packers lost Barclay for the season with a torn ACL.  Towards the end of camp the Packers lost Tretter for up to a month.  With Tretter and Barclay out, the Packers turned to rookie center Corey Linsley.  If Linsley gets hurt, the Packers will be forced to add another center to The 53.  Since Thompson cannot travel back in time to resign center Even Dietrich-Smith, instead of letting him leave via free agency.  Gerhart is the logical choice if they are going to promote from within.  If Grehart is taking first team snaps in the regular season then the Packers in trouble.

With my initial look at The 53 and ten player practice squad out of the way, make sure to check back soon for my look at the five worst contracts on The 53.

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