BDvM Ed. Note: The Backdeck vs The Mayor returns!  Previously we had asked Tom ‘Backdeck’ Knigge & Kyle ‘The Mayor’ Cousineau to square off on their Packers picks for the 2013 NFL Draft .  This time around we’re tasking them with predicting the final Packers 53 man roster.  Let’s see where they agree & more importantly don’t as that makes better talking points plus bragging rights.

The Backdeck

QB (2)

Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

RB (4)

Lacy, Franklin, Green, Kuhn – You just can’t count on Starks to stay healthy and Green can help special teams.

WR (5)

Cobb, Jones, Nelson, Boykin, Walker – Ross is expendable because Green can return KO and Hyde Punts.  Walker catches almost everything thrown his way

TE (4)

Finley, Muligan, Taylor, Bostick – It wouldn’t shock me if Quarless makes the team.  May keep 5 TE’s or Muligan could be odd man out

OL (8)

Bahktiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten, Taylor – Lane Taylor is a road grader and was the top undrafted FA signing this year.  Need to keep 8 this year

DL (7)

Pickett, Raji, Wilson, Datone, Jolly, Daniels, Boyd – Might need to keep an extra DL with Datone’s Ankle and uncertainty of how well Jolly holds up.

LB (10)

Clay, Jones, Hawk, Perry, Lattimore, Francois, Neal, Mulumba, Barrington, Manning

DB (10)

Shields, Williams, Hayward, House, Nixon, Hyde, Burnett, McMillan, Jennings And Bush

Specialists (3)

LS(1) Goode, P (1) Masthay, K (1) Crosby – I now believe in Miracles!

The Mayor

QB (2)

Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young -  After the release of Graham Harrell, this is the easiest position group on the Packers roster to figure out.  The backup QB is now officially Vince Young’s.  Oh, and that Aaron Rodgers guy is pretty good.

RB (5)

Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Jonathan Franklin, Alex Green, John Kuhn -  We know Eddie Lacy is a lock. And after much fodder on social media at the beginning of camp, it seems like John Kuhn & his $2.3million contract will be the only FB on the team.  Kuhn got a ringing endorsement from RB coach Alex Van Pelt earlier saying his job on this team is not in question.  With the shocking development on Tuesday of placing presumed started DuJuan Harris on IR for the year, the rest is a crapshoot.  Much discussed and argued about RBs Alex Green & James Starks seem poised to make the team after the news about Harris.  And although he’s been “disappointing”, rookie Jonathan Franklin will make the team because you know Ted Thompson loves “his” guys.  Since being named the Packers’ GM, the only 4th round draft pick that Ted Thompson has cut has been failed KR Cory Rogers from TCU.

WR (6)

James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jeremy Ross, Jarrett Boykin, Tyrone Walker -  Aside from Aaron Rodgers, there are not three more guaranteed roster spots on this team than James Jones, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb.  The departure of the retired Donald Driver & the now un-brainwashed Greg Jennings leave a couple roster spots up for grabs.  My gut tells me the Packers will keep 6 wide receivers this year to make up for the lack of other pass-catching options at other positions.  Jarrett Boykin & Jeremy Ross both provided depth at wide receiver and on special teams.  Newcomer Tyrone Walker owns nearly every receiving record at Illinois St. and could eventually work his way into a bigger role in the Packers receiving corps.  Although I was high on draft pick Charles Johnson, his injury during training camp all but sealed his fate.  Clearing waivers & ending up on the Packers practice squad might be in his future.

TE (4)

Jermichael Finley, Ryan Taylor, Brandon Bostick, Andrew Quarless – Talk about a mess.  Behind J-Mike, I don’t think anyone knows what direction Ted Thompson & Mike McCarthy will go here.  I’m partial to Ryan Taylor because of his willingness to do whatever coaches ask him, his grittiness, and his toughness.  (Just ask me about the “Ryan Taylor Drinking Game” next time you see me).  I think Andrew Quarless fits the role of a “dual purpose” tight end that Mike McCarthy likes so much.  He’s an ample blocker and a sufficient pass catcher, which can’t be said for DJ Williams or Matthew Mulligan.  And I have no reason to say Brandon Bostick will make the team other than I think he’s an intriguing guy with speed & can out-jump anyone.  So now that I say that, watch Williams & Mulligan make it Taylor & Quarless get cut.  Who knows?!

OL (8)

David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, TJ Lang, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor – The knee injury to Bryan Bulaga vaulted rookie David Bakhtiari into the starting lineup, but he was expected to make the final roster.  Early questions about who will play RT were answered by the guy who filled in there last year so admirably, Don Barclay.  The interior of the line will remain the same from the end of last season, even though the Guards has switched postions, in Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, and TJ Lang.  You know last year’s starting LT, Marshall Newhouse, will make the team because he has the ability to play both tackle positions.  And the versatility of Van Roten & Taylor will help those guys secure roster spots as well.

DL   (6)

Ryan Pickett, BJ Raji, Datone Jones, CJ Wilson, Johnny Jolly, Mike Daniels -  Aside from the QBs, this might’ve been the easiest position group to figure out.  With only 8 healthy guys practicing, choosing 6 was pretty easy.  I thought even before the Rams’ game that Johnny Jolly would make the team, and he did nothing but help seal his fate with a great performance.  5th round draft pick Josh Boyd is a perfect Practice Squad candidate, if he can slip through waivers.

LB  (9)

AJ Hawk, Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Andy Mulumba, Sam Barrington – First year players Andy Mulumba & Sam Barrington have proven to be two of the bigger surprises in training camp.  The undrafted Mulumba has shown more in practice in games than 7 th round draft pick Nate Palmer.  Mulumba & Barrington have also displayed more promise than 2 nd year LBs Dezman Moses & Terrell Manning.  Sam Barrington will fit in as a backup interior line backer, while Andy Mulumba will be the 2 nd backup at either outside backer position along with Mike Neal.

DB (10)

Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Micah Hyde, Jarrett Bush, Morgan Burnett, MD Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo -  In this era of pass-happy offenses, having too many defensive backs is never a problem.  The Packers are hoping 2 nd year DB Casey Hayward makes a big jump from year one to year two.  If Tramon Williams can come back from the shoulder injury that has plagued him for the better part of two years, look out.  That will give the Packers three very good corner backs, along with Sam Shields.  Rookie Micah Hyde has proven that he belongs on the field, and I personally think a movie to Safety could be in his future.  The other rookie out of this group, Chris Banjo, has shown signs of being the physical safety the Packers have missed since Nick Collins was forced to retire due to injury.

Specialists (3)

Tim Masthay, Brett Goode, Mason Crosby – The most talked about “battle” in training camp turned out to be the most anti-climactic when Giorgio Tavecchio was giving his walking papers on Monday.  I would’ve preferred a steel cage match at the 50-yard line of Nitschke Field between Mason Crosby & Tavecchio to settle the kicking competition, but that didn’t happen….unfortunately.  Instead, Crosby went 14-14 at practice on Tuesday, and some dude named Ramirez came & went faster that I could even remember his first name.



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