Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Packers 90-man Roster: Guards

I feel like I'm cheating. There's not much to write about with the guards for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have two young, established starters, and a group of undrafted free agents battling for a reserve job.
Player Height Weight Age Experience
Barclay, Don 6-4 305 23 Rookie
Brooks, Jaymes 6-2 300 22 Rookie
Cook, Grant 6-4 318 23 Rookie
Dominguez, Ray 6-4 334 24 2
Lang, T.J. 6-4 318 24 4
Sitton, Josh 6-3 318 26 5
Sitton was outstanding during 2009 and 2010, and he was rewarded early last season with a huge contract extension. He's not going anywhere, and he should be in the discussion when people are talking about the best right guards in the NFL. He was a little off his game last season as he played through some injuries and missed two games, but he should be back strong.

Coming into the 2011 season, T.J. Lang had a lot to prove. He'd shown some promise at guard during his first two seasons, but faced only mild competition from Derek Sherrod during the preseason before securing the starting left guard job. And he did a fantastic job in his first season as a starter. He'll be a free agent next March, but the Packers are almost certain to extend his contract before then. With the departures of Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, and Scott Wells over the past two years, there's room for him under the salary cap. Bryan Bulaga won't be a free agent until after the 2014 season, so they can afford to take care of Lang now.

Ray Dominguez has played at both guard and tackle, but he's currently listed as a guard. He spent most of the last season on the practice squad, and he'll be eligible for it again in 2012. He was as good as any reserve lineman who played last preseason, but he wasn't great, and the pool of undrafted rookie free agents (Barclay, Brooks, and Cook) could challenge him with a strong preseason of their own.

Overall competition level: medium. While the starters are set, the backup position is wide open. Not only are four players battling for what could be only one spot on the practice squad, they also have to worry about spill over competition from the tackle position (that'll be a future post). This will be a position I'll be watching this preseason because I really want one of these players to step-up and establish himself as the clear backup guard.

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