Friday, July 13, 2012

The Packers 90-man Roster: The Backs

While these three positions are all on the offensive side of the ball, they don't have much in common, except that they should each produce little competition.

Player Height Weight Age Experience
Cooper, Nic 5-10 249 23 Rookie
Hoese, Jon 6-2 238 23 1
Kuhn, John 6-0 250 29 7
Kuhn made the Pro Bowl last season, Hoese was signed onto the practice squad in December 2011 after his release the previous September, and Cooper's an undrafted free agent. There had been battles at this position in recent years, but now, Kuhn's guaranteed to start, while Hoese and Cooper would be lucky to make the practice squad. The overall competition level here is very low.

Player Height Weight Age Experience
Coleman, B.J. 6-3 231 23 Rookie
Harrell, Graham 6-2 215 27 1
Rodgers, Aaron 6-2 225 28 8
The only competition is for the backup job, and Harrell might not even be battling Coleman for it. If not Harrell, would the coaches trust Coleman or look elsewhere for a veteran backup? While Matt Flynn was named the backup as a rookie in 2008, the odds are very long that it would happen again, especially for a small school player like Coleman. I'm expecting Coleman to spend a year developing on the practice squad no matter what happens to Harrell. The coaches are speaking highly of Harrell's development, and they've made no effort to find a veteran to compete against him, so I'm expecting him to look sharp this preseason. The overall competition between these three players is low, but Harrell's got a lot to prove this preseason.

Player Height Weight Age Experience
Bennett, Du'ane 5-9 213 23 Rookie
Green, Alex 6-0 225 24 2
Saine, Brandon 5-11 220 23 2
Starks, James 6-2 218 26 3
Tyler, Marc 5-11 226 23 Rookie
I haven't looked closely at every position on the roster, but I'd be shocked if there's a position with less experience. James Starks has played in only 21 career NFL games (including the playoffs) but he's by far the most experienced player of the bunch. Green appears to have a solid hold on the backup spot because the Packers made no effort to find a Plan B by either re-signing Ryan Grant or drafting another young back. So I expect the top three running backs will be Starks, Green, and Saine, with Saine's only concern whether he'll make the 53-man roster or have to stay on the practice squad again in 2012. However, Bennett and Tyler could challenge Saine with a strong preseason, and the three undrafted players may find themselves in a real battle for that final spot. The overall competition level is average, but only for the job as the No. 3 back.


Stroh said...

Less experience than RB... Its close but OT? Bulaga and Newhouse entering 3rd year, Sherrod 2nd and Datko rookie. Thats a combined 9 yrs among 4 players. RB is still less tho...

Lots of promise and lots of ??? for the RB's. Can Starks stay healthy? Can Green fully recover and contribute alot this year from his ACL? Is Saine anything more than a very ordinary 3rd down option and is he even that?

Think we'll be OK since we won the SB the year Brandon Jackson was the leading rusher. THe Packers are first and foremost a passing team and they have the best QB in the league and the deepest WR corp in the league too. So that RB are mostly bit players in the grand scheme of the Packers offense.

Brandon said...


And one point I didn't add about running backs was the ability to add someone via trade at the end of the preseason, if a problem emerges. That worked out very well when they made the trade for Ryan Grant in 2007.