The Green Bay Packers recently lost former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy to the Seattle Seahawks in free agency, leaving a massive void at the running back position. Green Bay struggled to fill that hole last season after Lacy went down with an injury early in the year. The Packers currently have two active running backs on the roster in Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson.
Breaking Down the 2017 Green Bay Packers Running Back Options
Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson
Ty Montgomery did what he could last season, and even had a 150-plus yard outing against the Bears. However, Montgomery is not a player I see becoming an effective full-time starting runner. Montgomery officially made the switch to running back last season and that switch appears to be permanent, but it’s hard to see him becoming anything more than a second string back that comes in to provide speed and a change of pace. Don Jackson saw limited playing time last year and may not be on the active roster for the season opener.
LeGarrette Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rush touchdowns last season, is a potential target for Green Bay. After winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots this past season, the bruising back is on the market, and Green Bay would be a great destination. Blount is a physical, powerful, and imposing runner much in the way Lacy was, without the weight issues. Blount would be a great addition to a team in dire need of a rusher who excels in short yardage situations. Adding a power back who can pick up first downs and touchdowns in short yardage situations would give Green Bay a lot more flexibility on offense and especially on third and short situations.
Although this would be a risky move, adding a future Hall of Fame running back would certainly draw attention from opposing teams and the mere presence of a back of Adrian Peterson‘s caliber would be a game changer for Green Bay. Many may say A.P. is past his prime, but he’s only two years removed from leading the NFL in rushing yards, and has a history of bouncing back from injury. Just think of how deadly an Aaron Rodgers-Peterson combo could be with both players at full strength.
Unfortunately, even though I do believe Peterson has a lot to offer, he is an aging back and wouldn’t be able to carry as big of a workload or be a full-time three down back. Although not as sought after as expected, Peterson landing in Green Bay would provide a huge boost to the Packer offense.
One of the most highly-touted running backs could find his way to Green Bay late in the first round in the upcoming draft. McCaffrey, who attended Stanford, ran for over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016. That followed up an incredible 2,019 rush yards in 2015, a Stanford school record. McCaffrey also set an NCAA record with 3,864 yards from scrimmage in 2015.
Running a 4.48 40 yard dash at the combine and possessing the ability to weave through defenders with ease, McCaffrey’s quickness and acceleration are among the best in the country. In fact, he would be a lot like Montgomery, although it remains to be seen if he’d be able to carry the workload of a full time three down back in the NFL. Nonetheless, it’s worth a shot if he’s still on the board that late.