A few thoughts on a couple of the more controversial roster moves the Packers made as it appeared general manager Ted Thompson kept around several players based upon potential at the expense of experience:
- Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree over Spencer Havner: At first I was as confused as everyone else. For a guy that scored four touchdowns last season as well as showing the versatility to play on both defense and special teams, it didn’t make sense to let go of Havner. But the Packers have a better receiving option at tight end in Quarless and a better blocking option in Crabtree. And Crabtree will probably take over Havner’s special teams duties. Quarless will probably struggle to be active on game days, but he also has bigger upside than Havner.
- Nick McDonald over Evan Dietrich-Smith: This was the biggest head scratcher for me. I like the way McDonald competes be he’s undersized from a strength standpoint. On the other side of the coin, I always liked the way Dietrich-Smith competed and thought he had some bulldog in him in the trenches. With Seattle claiming “EDS,” it shows that NFL personnel types liked what they saw in him too. Besides, couldn’t the Packers have developed McDonald on the practice squad if they wanted? I didn’t see him being a waiver wire pickup by another team.
- C.J. Wilson over Jarius Wynn: I thought the Packers would keep Wynn because he doesn’t have any more practice squad eligibility while Wilson does. Cutting Wynn also meant you’re giving up on the guy one year after investing a draft choice in him. But perhaps the Packers made the correct choice. Wynn wasn’t picked up on waivers and appears to be without a job right now. Meanwhile the Packers can afford to bring Wilson along slowly.
- Charlie Peprah over Will Blackmon: Blackmon’s injury issues certainly played into the decision, but Peprah put together a very solid preseason at safety and was probably better on the defensive side of the football. And while Peprah isn’t a return specialist, he’s probably just as good if not better than Blackmon on special teams coverage units. I think Peprah is playing at his highest level ever, and I’d actually be interested to see what he can do on defense, although a lot of people would probably disagree with that opinion.