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The NFL's Darkest Day

by Mark Daniels

The Vince Young experiment failed.  The former number three overall pick, out of football for a year, was given 24 days to impress the Packers brass.  He couldn't.  Young was among the 22 players cut today by General Manager Ted Thompson to reach the regular season roster limit of 53 players.  Given almost three quarters of the Kansas City game last Thursday night, Young completed just 14 of 30 passes, many of them horribly off target, he also fumbled twice when the pocket collapsed.  Aside from his natural gift of athleticism, Young showed next to nothing in both the games and on the practice field.  His release leaves only last year's 7th round draft pick B.J. Coleman as the quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers.  Young wasn't the only veteran let go by Thompson today.  Tight end D.J. Williams, a former John Mackey award winner at Arkansas, never measured up to that level in three years and last year's leading rusher, Alex Green, got squeezed out by the two drafted running backs.  Two linebackers who made the squad last year as rookies, were cut as second year players because two new rookies were considered better.  Draft choice Terrell Manning and free agent Dezmon Moses were cut in favor of draft pick Sam Barrington who had the sack last Thursday night for a safety, and undrafted free agent Andy Mulumba of Eastern Michigan.  Charles Johnson, the 7th round pick, confirmed the adage, you can't make the club in the tub.  Injured on the second day of camp, Johnson, the wide receiver from Grand Valley State, returned for the final week but ran out of time.  The only two players who scored touchdowns in the pre-season were let go, fullback Jonathan Amosa and tight end Jake Stoenburner.  The rest of the list looks like this:  Andrew Datko, David Fulton, Garth Gerhart, Kevin Hughes, Patrick Lewis, Loyce Means, Jordan Miller,  Matthew Mulligan, James Nixon, Chaz Powell, Donte Savage, Brandon Smith, Tyrone Walker and Myles White.

Now let's consider those who made the team.  We have to start with Johnny Jolly.  The reclamation project is complete. Three years ago he couldn't escape the life of drugs and the streets of Houston.  It took a prison sentence, an NFL suspension and plenty of reflection for Johnny to get his life turned around. It looks like he really wants to play and happily, the Packers will let him. I mentioned Mulumba, but he wasn't the only undrafted free agent to make it.  Lane Taylor survived a rough final game to stick on the offense line.  Safety Chris Banjo was added the camp roster late but he was impossible to ignore.  He brought a physical game even to walk through drills and made it as the 4th safety.  The draft class of 2013 did well.  Datone Jones, Eddie Lacy, David Bakhtiari, Micah Hyde, Johnathan Franklin, Josh Boyd, Nate Palmer and  Sam Barrington all earned jobs.  J.C. Tretter and Kevin Dorsey were moved to the injured reserve list.earlier.

Here's how I would expect the depth chart to look come opening day next Sunday in San Francisco.

QB  Aaron Rodgers    B.J. Coleman

RB  Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Johnathan Franklin

FB  John Kuhn

TE  Jermichael Finley, Ryan Taylor, Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick

WR Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

OL  Don Barclay, T.J. Lang, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor.

DL  Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly,  Mike Neal, Josh Boyd.

LB  Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Nate Palmer, Andy Mulumba, Sam Barrington.

CB  Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Jarrett Bush,  Micah Hyde.

S  Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo.

Specialists  Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode. 

In my roster prediction post earlier, I had Young making it, along with Green, Mulligan and Powell with Taylor and Palmer getting cut.  47 of 53 for about 89 percent.