Now that the Packers are wrapping up their off-season program and about to take a six week hiatus befeore the start of training camp, let's break down the 90 man roster and try to zero in on how the depth chart might look once the 2013 journey begins. We'll do this position by position, analyzing a couple of position groups a day. Leading off will be the quarterbacks and running backs.
There are four on the roster and we have a pretty good idea who will hang on to the starting job. Aaron Rodgers is now 29, three years removed from the Super Bowl, two years removed from his MVP season but still very much in his prime. He'll be fine but the organization has to realize the championship contending window of opportunity doesn't stay open forever, even with a franchise signal caller. Graham Harrell will be the number 2. He's gotten a bit stronger and is now well versed in Mike McCarthy's system. He'll get four opportunities on hot August nights to prove he can take the reigns if something happens to the franchise, or give the Packers pause about maybe developing another as the top backup. B.J. Coleman is really a try-hard guy. During the OTA's the team even gave him reps with the second string offense. It's still a work in progress and he's a candidate for the practice squad for a second consecutive season. Matt Brown is the rookie free agent from Illinois State and he looks very much like a rookie free agent. A nice kid but he'll serve as the extra arm in training camps drills and that's about it.
Get ready for a fierce competition for regular season carries and individualized personel packages based on a variety of skill sets, sizes and abilities. Granted it's still June, but for right now, I'll put James Starks at the top of the list. It's almost by default after the Pack jettisoned both Ryan Grant and Cedric Benson in the off-season. Starks absolutely has to stay out of the tub or he could go from my off-season lead back to the waiver wire. Alex Green is next. He shared snaps with Starks on the number one offense through the OTA's but is another player with a lengthening injury history. There are plenty of young stallions in wait. DuJuan Harris finished last year as the top back but he's recovering from surgery. After having a hard time breathing during workouts, Harris got checked out and doctors found a cyst, the size of a fist, alongside his right lung. The operation yanked it out and he should be fine. If he returns to the form that flashed promise last December, don't be surprised if he's the only returning veteran to stick. Second round pick Eddie Lacy tops the list of newcomers and after he puts on the pads in July, could very quickly zoom to the top of the depth chart. Lacy looks bigger than I remember at Alabama, a wide bottomed, thick legged tackle breaker that has me anxious to see him tote the ball. Johnathan Franklin will definately get his touches. My guess is he'll be the change of pace back, as in a faster pace to the edge, and a factor in the screen and short passing game. His cutting abilitiy is legit. Angelo Pease is an undrated free agent from Kansas State that had some eye opening plays this spring, even getting McCarthy's attention, but he'll be a real longshot in August.
There are only two fullbacks on the roster now and there's only going to be one this fall. John Kuhn is about as dependable as it gets, now in his 8th year. Assignment sure in protection and sneaky good in short yardage. He's a valuable player in this offense. Jonathan Amosa, the rookie free agent from Washington is a very thick, 247 pounds who will get enough pre-season snaps that could earn him a job, somewhere other than Green Bay.