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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Ranking the roster, part three: 31-40

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- On Monday, we began our rankings of the Green Bay Packers' roster as it stood at season’s end.

The rankings are based on how the players performed this season -- not on their overall importance to the team.

We started at the bottom of the roster and are working our way up.

Here are the previous installments:

Part 1 -- Nos. 51-64Part 2 -- Nos. 41-50.

Now, we look at Nos. 31 through 40, a group that includes some potential up-and-coming playmakers and some high-priced veterans who failed to live up to their billing:

31. Andrew Quarless, TE: Returned after missing all of the 2012 season while recovering from a knee injury and was thrust into a starting role after Jermichael Finley's season-ending neck injury on Oct. 20. Played a career-high 741 snaps and also set personal bests with 32 catches for 312 yards and two touchdowns but never replicated Finley’s threat as a deep receiver despite catching the ball solidly (just two drops). Was challenged by position coach Jerry Fontenot to improve his blocking midway through the season. Scheduled to be a free agent, he could return but it likely won’t be in a starting role.

32. Davon House, CB: Inconsistent play caused him to get yanked out of all defensive packages for three late-season games until he was forced back into action in the playoff game against the 49ers after Sam Shields injured his knee. Allowed completions on 52.2 percent of times he was targeted, according to ProFootballFocus.com, and tied safety M.D. Jennings for a team-high five touchdowns allowed in coverage. Led the team in special teams tackles (12) and playing time.

33. Andy Mulumba, OLB: Made the team as an undrafted free agent and played more than anyone would have expected (31.8 percent of the defensive snaps) because of injuries to Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Registered only one sack and two quarterback hits and has a ways to go before he could be considered an impact player at one of the key positions in this defense.

34. Jamari Lattimore, LB: Played well in spot duty when starter Brad Jones got hurt on a couple of occasions, so well in fact that it was perplexing that the inconsistent Jones got his job back. Also was a key contributor on special teams. Scheduled to be a restricted free agent, he could be in for bigger role next season if he returns under one of the tenders.

35. Ryan Taylor, TE: Trusted special teams player saw more action on those units than all but one player (House) and had just one special teams penalty. Also saw his role on offense increase after Finley’s injury. A capable blocker but is limited as a receiver. Caught six passes, none went longer than 8 yards, and had a pair of drops.

36. Brad Jones, LB: Signed a three-year, $11.75 million contract last offseason but was the same inconsistent player. A decent interior blitzer (three sacks and four quarterbacl hits), but struggled in pass coverage and against the run. Might be replaced in the lineup next year depending on what acquisitions the Packers make.

37. Johnathan Franklin, RB: The rookie fourth-round pick opened the season as the No. 3 halfback behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks and didn’t get a single carry until both were unavailable in the second half against the Bengals in Week 3, when he rushed for 103 yards on 13 carries. Fumbled on a fourth-and-1 carry late in the game, and the Bengals returned it for the deciding touchdown. Carried just six more times the rest of the season before going on injured reserve because of a neck injury he sustained on Nov. 24. Also proved ineffective on kickoff returns before losing that job prior to his injury.

38. Sean Richardson, S: Came off the physically unable to perform list on Nov. 23 after recovering from neck surgery and split snaps with starter Jennings and generally out-performed him, especially against the run. Will have a chance to compete for the starting job next season. Also played extensively on special teams.

39. Morgan Burnett, S: Signed a four-year, $24.75 million contract extension last summer but failed to come up with the commensurate production. Start of the season was slowed by a preseason hamstring injury that kept him out the first three games. Failed to come up with an interception for the first time in his four NFL seasons and missed 11 tackles, second most on the team according to PFF. Allowed completions on a whopping 71.4 percent of the passes thrown at him and yielded four touchdowns. Former third-round pick was expected to be one of the Packers’ top players.

40. Josh Boyd, DE: Rookie fifth-round pick bypassed first-round pick Datone Jones late in the season, when he played 44.7 percent of the defensive snaps over the final six games to Jones’ 15.6 percent over the same stretch. Has the quickness and athleticism that could make him an effective pass-rusher, despite registering only one quarterback hit, if he adds some strength.