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Analyzing the Green Bay Packers Initial 2013 Practice Squad

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Analyzing the Green Bay Packers Initial 2013 Practice Squad

With final cuts made and the initial 53-man roster in place, the Green Bay Packers begun filling out their eight-man practice squad Sunday afternoon.

Below is the list of players signed by Green Bay to the practice squad:

QB Scott Tolzien: A Wisconsin alum, Tolzien stuck around in San Francisco for two years in large part due to his smarts and development in the 49ers playbook. However, he lacks big-time physical tools, and will need considerable more work before he's ready to be a full-time backup. Sound familiar? Tolzien might be Graham Harrell 2.0, but with a Badger background. The 49ers certainly didn't think he was ready to backup Colin Kaepernick in 2013 despite giving him that opportunity. When it's all said and done, Tolzien's appointment on the practice squad might be nothing more than getting an insider look at the 49ers offense, of which the Packers new quarterback should have plenty to share on.

WR Charles Johnson: As the Packers arrived for training camp, many believed Johnson—a seventh-round pick in 2013—would compete for the open slot as Green Bay's No. 5 receiver. Injuries ensured that emergence never happened. Johnson dealt with several ailments throughout the offseason, only to return for the dying embers of the preseason. He simply didn't have enough time on the field for the Packers to keep him on the 53-man roster, despite his immense physical attributes (4.3 speed at 6'2"). 31 other NFL teams thought the same, as he cleared waivers and landed on Green Bay's practice squad. Hopefully he can avoid becoming the 2013/14 version of Tori Gurley, who teased on the practice squad but never became a real player.

WR Myles White: The Packers kept two receivers on the practice squad, as most expected. But many also assumed the second slot would be given to Tyrone Walker, not White. While Walker had his share of moments throughout camp and the preseason, the Packers likely looked at his 5'10" frame and limited speed and decided to give the spot to White, who possesses considerably more vertical quickness. The undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech has a gear Walker simply can't get to. For as polished as Walker looked at times, there'd still be huge question marks about how he'd get open against top competition.

TE Jake Stoneburner: Stoneburner had a lot working against him at tight end in terms of quality depth. In fact, the Packers cut a former fifth-round pick (D.J. Williams) and their top free agent pickup this spring (Matthew Mulligan) and Stoneburner still couldn't find a spot on the 53-man roster. However, he remains an intriguing receiver and blocker combination, and a year on the Packers practice squad should give him an excellent opportunity to win a roster spot come next August. It's certainly possible he could get a midseason call up, too, as Andrew Quarless is an injury concern and Brandon Bostick was picked for the 53 based on receiving potential alone. This feels like a good situation for both team and player.

CB James Nixon: You wonder if Nixon would have made a legitimate run at a roster spot had he not suffered knee and ankle injuries at various times in training camp. He certainly has the straight-line speed to play in the NFL. In fact, Nixon might be one of the fastest players on the Packers roster. And at nearly 6'1", Nixon's size is another asset. He has the look. But injuries derailed any real chance of making the team, and his contributions on special teams were mostly limited. Maybe by this time next year, we'll be talking about Nixon making the journey from two-year practice squader to the Packers 53-man roster.

G Bryan Collins: The Packers worked out Collins Sunday and obviously saw enough in the undrafted free agent to bring him aboard the practice squad. He originally signed with the Houston Texans after April's draft, and went on to play in two preseason games. The Packers needed to make an addition on the interior of the offensive line after losing Patrick Lewis on waivers to the Cleveland Browns.

OT Aaron Adams: Adams has impressive size at 6'5" and 303 pounds. After signing with the Cleveland Browns as undrafted free agent in April, Adams went on to play in all four preseason games. His main position is offensive tackle.

RB Michael Hill: The Packers gave Hill, who scored 35 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 5,000 yards at Missouri Western, a pre-draft visit in April. He eventually signed with the San Diego Chargers after the draft. During the preseason, Hill rushed 21 times for 60 yards and caught two passes for 15. The Packers needed an emergency option with only three active running backs on the roster.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (28) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Idiot Fan's picture

I'm kind of shocked Walker isn't on it. He seemed on the cusp of cracking the 53.

Sadly, I was never a huge Tolzien fan either. His arm never seemed that strong.

THEMichaelRose's picture

I'm not surprised about Walker. In the end, football is still a height/weight/speed sport. He may have been catching everything thrown at him, but his upside was very limited relative to other options.

Lou's picture

Johnson's "combine specific measureables" are great for the sports writers and fans alike to drool over but few of these types measure up on the field in the regular season. The last Packer receiver with the NFL proto type skill set to produce was James Lofton. Sterling Sharpe had average speed, Robert Brooks like Driver ws on the thin side, Jennings and Nelson had just above average speed and Jones has the size but average speed. However. all of those named who were lacking in one or multiple combine categories were good - to outstanding pro receivers. If Johnson pans out it will be the exception not the norm. Enough hype until we see some results.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Javon Walker ran 4.3 if I remember right.

The TKstinator's picture

Does Johnson have good hands? Kind of an important factor in a receiver's skill set, yet it never seems "measurable" like 40 time, ht, wt, 3 cone drill, vertical, wonderlic, etc, etc. You'd think someone would come up with a combine type receiving drill that yields some kind of "score".

Stroh's picture

They do those specific drills at the combine for a reason! They measure certain traits of athleticism that are important for Football. Speed is just one of the measurable. Others are explosiveness, quickess, and strength, all of which have varying degrees of importance on the field. They didn't chose those drills haphazardly, they were chosen to measure traits important in football.

fish and crane's picture

when it comes to receivers the only number you should look at is 12

Jamie's picture

With Tolzien signed to PS and now Wallace signed, I suppose this means buh-bye for Coleman. I didn't think they had no intentions of even keeping him on the PS.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I think Tolzien was brought in to learn more about the 49ers offense. I think he will be let go after they play the 49ers.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I'm happy to see Johnson made it to the Packers practice squad. I have a feeling that at some point this year he will be called up.
Injuries is the biggest reason why he didn't make the 53. We don't know if he can or can't play yet, but they will figure that out on the practice squad.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Packers signed Seneca Wallace.

So does that mean Coleman will be back on Practice Squad?

Jamie's picture

He gone...just like I said. He's awful

Stroh's picture

IF, big IF, Wallace is around in a few weeks you might be right. But assuming Wallaces will be around past wk 3 is a mistake. IMO they picked him up to use Wallace for practice against read option looks! Coleman isn't being let go completely, he'll be on the PS for sure.

Christian's picture

I would rather expect Wallace to be released after the game against the 49ers. He is there for some "inside information" on the 49ers playbook.

Jamie's picture

Seneca Wallace is our new #2. They wouldn't sign him to the 53 (releasing Coleman I might add) to cut him and try to find another backup a week later.

Stroh's picture

THey might cut Wallace in a couple weeks. I think they're using him for read option looks we face in wks 1 and 2. After that I wouldn't be surprised if he's released and Coleman elevated from the PS.

Christian's picture

Sorry, didn't see they released Coleman to make room for Wallce. I stand corrected, but I am surprised that they pickup someone now who doesn't know the playbook at all.

Lou's picture

Why would they release a veteran (originally drafted by Thompson)who has produced nearly every time called upon in Seattle and Cleveland (really a chore with that team)who can play a couple years at the veterans minimum until they bring along either Tolzien or a young QB of choice - especially after watching 3 QB's look like deers in headlights for a couple seasons ? Wallace only real short coming, excuse the pun is his height, he can play.

I bleed Green More's picture

It pretty much describes what I saw, deers in headlights fits it well.

Idiot Fan's picture

I bet we draft two QBs next year, like the Brohm/Flynn year.

THEMichaelRose's picture

So who from the Packers 75/90 rosters are still good candidates to make the PS? I saw the list of guys who signed elsewhere, and it looks like they're happy bringing on other teams' guys too.
I'd think one spot has to go to a safety. Maybe a running back too.

Wiscokid's picture

The day isn't over yet, The Packers could still bring in another player or two.

SCFPackFan's picture

Wouldn't mind seeing them bring Brandon Jackson back into the fold. He's only 27, knows our offense, good pass blocker/receiver. I'd take him over McKnight.

Former Titan starting C Fernando Velasco might be worth a look, too.

I bleed Green More's picture

Both pick ups sound good to me, BJ at least knew how to block and was a good receiver out of the backfield.

Lou's picture

What a story it would be, Jackson was their last 100 yard rusher, imagine if he came back and was the first to do it - all the talking heads on ESPN would have a field day. He was a tough dude picking up blitzers, caught the ball out of the backfield well and had a quick first step in the open field.

ben's picture

Releasing alex green was dumb, a substantial mistake.

Point Packer's picture

Not. Drafting him was the mistake.

fish and crane's picture

The only mistake is not recognizing you made a mistake...and for that the Packers are pretty damn good.

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