Packers finalize 53-man roster following cuts of Banjo, Dorsey, others
Among the Packers' cuts on Saturday was safety Chris Banjo. Meanwhile, underdog receiver Jeff Janis made Green Bay's 53-man roster.
Packers safety Chris Banjo, a solid special teams player, was among Green Bay's more eye-opening cuts on Saturday.
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports
By Paul ImigFOX Sports Wisconsin
The Green Bay Packers finalized their 53-man roster for the 2014 season on Saturday. Here's a position-by-position analysis of which players made it and who was cut.
Note: Ten players released Saturday will be signed to the practice squad on Sunday.
Quarterbacks (3) In: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien Cut: NA Analysis: It's the first time since 2008 that the Packers kept three quarterbacks, and a combination of elements certainly played into their thinking. What happened last season when Aaron Rodgers fractured his left collarbone almost completely sunk Green Bay's playoff chances, going 2-5-1 in the former NFL MVP's absence. No other position can have as much impact on wins and losses as a quarterback, and it was worth keeping both Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien to prevent another potential disaster. Plus, the fact that Tolzien performed so well in preseason and Flynn has proven to be reliable made the decision easier for general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy. There's still one question left, though: Is it Flynn or Tolzien who's No. 2 on the depth chart?
Running Backs (4) In: Eddie Lacy, John Kuhn, James Starks, DuJuan Harris Cut: Michael Hill, Ladarius Perkins IR: Rajion Neal Analysis: This position didn't require nearly the level of deliberation. Eddie Lacy is the starter with two quality backups ready behind him. John Kuhn is the trusty veteran fullback who can be called upon in any situation that's necessary.
Wide Receivers (5) In: Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis Cut: Myles White, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett IR: Jared Abbrederis Analysis: As if there was any question after the preseason finale, Jeff Janis made the team as the No. 5 wide receiver. Cutting Kevin Dorsey means that his inconsistency as a wide receiver outweighed his ability to contribute on special teams. Myles White just didn't have the big moments that Janis did.
Tight Ends (4) In: Brandon Bostick, Richard Rodgers, Ryan Taylor, Andrew Quarless Cut: Justin Perillo IR: Jake Stoneburner Analysis: The Packers went the safe route here. Jake Stoneburner (whose injury that landed him on IR is unclear) presents significantly more upside on offense than Ryan Taylor. Stoneburner was impressive in training camp and preseason, but Taylor's play on special teams gave him more value in the eyes of Thompson and McCarthy.
Offensive Line (8) In: David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, JC Tretter, Corey Linsley, T.J. Lang, Bryan Bulaga, Lane Taylor, Derek Sherrod Cut: John Fullington, Jeremy Vujnovich, Garth Gerhart, Jordan McCray IR: Don Barclay, Aaron Adams, Andrew Tiller Analysis: Another easier position to assess, especially after Don Barclay's season-ending torn ACL. Green Bay will work out offensive linemen in the coming days to see if anyone recently cut by another team is worth picking up.
Defensive Line (5) In: Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Mike Pennel, Josh Boyd Cut: Carlos Gray, Luther Robinson IR: B.J. Raji, Khyri Thornton Analysis: Khyri Thornton, the team's third-round pick this year, was unimpressive in training camp and preseason. The hamstring injury Thornton suffered in the preseason finale landed him on IR, bringing the Packers total of defensive linemen down to just five. However, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal (listed as linebackers) will spend some time as defensive linemen. Mike Pennel was one of two undrafted rookies to make the 53-man roster. Letroy Guion only practiced twice in training camp, but with B.J. Raji's season-ending torn biceps injury, the former Minnesota Viking was needed at nose tackle.
Linebackers (11) In: Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Jayrone Elliott, Andy Mulumba, Carl Bradford Cut: Adrian Hubbard, Jake Doughty IR: Nate Palmer, Joe Thomas Analysis: Carl Bradford should be thankful that he was a fourth-round pick. Bradford was ineffective at outside linebacker for the first month of training camp, so Green Bay moved him to inside linebacker in the final week. Thompson obviously didn't want to give up so quickly on a mid-round draft pick. Nate Palmer's season-ending knee injury that happened in the preseason finale might have been what opened the door for Bradford (or perhaps for Andy Mulumba) to make it. Jayrone Elliott, who led the NFL in preseason sacks with five, is one of two undrafted rookies to make the roster.
Cornerbacks (6) In: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Davon House, Casey Hayward, Jarrett Bush, Demetri Goodson Cut: Jumal Rolle, Ryan White Analysis: Like Palmer, Demetri Goodson should be grateful that he was a sixth-round pick and not an undrafted player. That's about the only explanation as to why the Packers would keep Goodson over Jumal Rolle or safety Chris Banjo.
Safeties (4) In: Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Sean Richardson Cut: Chris Banjo, Tanner Miller Analysis: As noted above, it might have been Goodson who took a spot away from Banjo. Interestingly, Green Bay valued the special teams play of Taylor enough for him to make it, but key special teams players like Banjo and Dorsey were passed on. Sean Richardson had way too good of a training camp and preseason to even consider cutting.
Special Teams (3) In: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode Cut: NA Analysis: It's easy to make the team when there is no competition.