Packers Looking At Running Backs

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Packers may be looking for someone to go behind Grant.

The Green Bay Packers have a clear-cut starting running back in Ryan Grant and they have several more pressing needs to fill, but word is, the team may consider picking a running back high in this year’s NFL draft.

Dan Arkush says the main reason is one we discussed previously – the lack of any viable option behind Grant.

We hear there are a couple of reasons the Packers might seriously explore the RB route. The most obvious one is that, aside from featured back Ryan Grant, who ended up having a very solid 2009 season (finishing third in the NFC with a career-high 1,253 rushing yards), the team’s RB situation is currently mediocre at best. Primary backup Brandon Jackson really can’t do anything well except pass-block, and unrestricted free agent Ahman Green, who is currently third on the depth chart, is clearly on his last legs.

Beyond that, Grant’s contract status could also factor into the decision.

… another compelling reason the team could make the backfield one of its bigger priorities is the contract status of Grant, who could pocket as much as $9 million with escalators included in 2011 if he matches his ’09 rushing total next season. As solid as Grant appears to be at the moment, the consensus seems to be that a figure that hefty could be pretty hard for the Packers to stomach two seasons from now short of a contract extension or pay cut.

It would be tough to see the Packers choosing a running back in the first round with the needs at tackle, outside linebacker and cornerback, but the team seems to be keen on Mississippi’s Dexter McCluster, who is similar to San Diego’s Darren Sproles and is likely to be around in the second round. Clemson’s C.J. Spiller may also be tempting if he drops into the late first or even the second round.

As we’ve noted, the Packers could certainly use a dynamic runner behind Grant who can offer a change of pace and catch the ball out of the backfield.

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About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

18 Comments on "Packers Looking At Running Backs"

  1. I think TT would take Spiller if he’s there, I just don’t see him hanging around that long, not with his being touted as the next Chris Johnson. It’s going to be damn interesting, that’s for sure.

    Oh, and I hate the vikings. So much so that when a mock draft has a player selected for them, I already dislike that player.

  2. jeremy

    I don’t care what position the guy they draft in round one plays at. All I care about is that they think he will be an All-Pro. They don’t have enough elite players yet, and they don’t have any on Offense.

  3. dj

    If we were looking for a change of pace kind of guy we should have taken a run at Chester Taylor and kept our draft picks for developing need.

  4. Ken

    If they really wanted a smaller, change of pace speedster at RB, they should have kept Sutton last year! Pick an OL to help the running game AND keep ARodge upright, a pass rusher to protect our venerable secondary, or a DB to keep opposing QBs from torching our D in big games.

  5. Vijay

    What Jeremy? Please…they have Jennings, Driver, Finley and Grant who are all elite offensive players. I think the teams drafting ahead of them (much like any draft) would indicate what position and whom they choose with this pick. I also believe they would be open to trading down as Ted is a guy who likes to add to his chances of guessing right more often than not. I will say that Spiller would be a dynamic choice but I think they are more keen on a great change of pace option like Jahvid Best or McCluster (whom I am enamored with).

    Go Pack!

  6. jeremy

    Your delusional Vijay.

    Jennings and Driver were 27th and 30th in receptions. Finley was 48th. Grant was 11th in rushing yardage and 7th in td’s. That’s good you need those guys too, but Superbowls are won by elite players. None of those guys were even close to elite. Elite is the best or second best player in the league at a particular position. It does not mean someone who played in the probowl because the real elite players had better things to do.

    If you want to see Elite look up the first team All-pro guys. You’ll see one Packer there.

  7. nick

    Jeremy, if you are going to claim “elite players” to be the top @ their position how many of those do expect Green Bay to draft in one year? Finley’s numbers hurt due to injury, Jennings and Driver hurt a bit because Rodgers had to worry about not getting sacked every time he dropped back…Judging by the overtime loss to the Cards lack of offensive weapons is not the issue

  8. kyle

    jeremy you are fucking clown shoes.

    driver is getting up there in age so of course his numbers aren’t where they used to be and finley is coming into his third year and he only started one game as a rookie so give him a break. you didn’t even think of rodgers?? really bud?? he finished fourth in the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. besides, their defense went into the playoffs ranked second in the league, so its not like using a first round pick on offense would kill them.

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  10. jeremy

    @ Kyle

    They should use it offense. If they think the guy they are drafting is going to be a game breaker.

    Have you noticed every Superbowl team has three or four players who are one of the top two (maybe three) at their position. When the Packers did it Favre and White were the best players at their respective postions.

    Last year the Super Bowl was Brees, Jahri Evans, and Darren Sharper, the Offensive Player of the Year and two First team All-Pro’s (do you guys even know the difference between All-pro and Pro-bowl?) VS Manning, Dallas Clark, Dwight Freeney, Jeff Saturday, and Reggie Wayne the MVP and two First team All-Pro’s, and two second teamers.

    If the Packers want to get to and win a Superbowl. They need elite players. It’s a fact, every year it’s the same. Maybe Rodgers and Finley have a chance to be those guys, but they are not right now. Sorry to hurt your little feelings.

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  12. Jeremy, heres the thing – I think you’re putting too much stock into Pro Bowls, All Pro voting etc.

    If your team has a terrific season, your players wind up with more post season awards.

    A team with a bunch of good players will always beat a team with a couple so called elite players. The packers have a few holes to plug, but they are already a very good team. Another season like last year, coupled with some success in the post season you will start to see more Packers being warded with “elite” status by the pundits. In my opinion, we already have a few in Rodgers, jennings, Finley, Matthews and Woodson

  13. Bill

    Jeremy, If Super Bowls are won by elite players, who were the Pack’s elite when they won there SB? Was it Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Andre (bad moon) Rison, Dorsey Levins, Edgar Bennett or Mark Chumara? I think the Packer’s receiving corp is equal to that lineup. If you want to say Reggie White, I will agree, but that is one player. You need a TEAM playing together to win a SB.

  14. ken allen

    Jeremy … you make a point about needing better players, but you’re confusing “quality” players with “elite” players. Not counting RW’s FAs leading up to the SB(s) … here’s how his drafts matched-up with the idea of needing to have ALL PRO players:
    1992 = 13 picks only Chmura made a PB (3) … no all pros
    1993 = 9 picks only Brunnel made PB (3) … no all pros
    1994 = 9 picks Dorsey Levens made 1 PB … no all pros
    1995 = 10 picks — Henderson 1PB 1AP (2000 both) / Antonio Freeman 1PB 1AP (1998 both) / Travis Jervey 1PB / Adam Timmerman 1PB
    1996 = 8 picks — Flanagan 1PB / Rivera 3 PB
    1997 = 8 picks – Sharper 1AP – 5PB (2000 both)
    1998 = 7 picks – Hasselbeck 3PB .. no all pros
    1999 = 12 picks — Bidwell 1PB / Driver 3PB – no all pros
    2000 = 13 picks — Franks 3PB / Clifton 1PB / KGB 1PB – no all pros

    You need to have solid core players and chemistry more than a couple of players with stand-out talent. Just saying ….

  15. jeremy

    @ Jurgens

    I’m not talking about Pro-Bowls. you guys still don’t get the difference between first and second tier players. No one wins the Superbowl without first tier guys.

    @ Bill

    Favre was playing MVP football at the most important position in the game.

    @ Ken

    I’m not confusing anything. Wolf got his elites from Free Agency; White (10x all-pro) and Robinson (2x all-pro), Trades; Jackson (5x all-pro) and Favre (3x all-pro), and he inherited Butler (4x all-pro).

    You all can dispute history if you want to, but without at least one probably two more top level players, the Packers are just a Wildcard team. More good players aren’t going to help that much. The only way you can get top guys anymore is through the draft. Unless you want to give up three first round picks and some mid round picks in a ridiculous (al la Jared Allen) trade. Trading down and grabbing 13 picks isn’t going to get one. Thompson needs to do what he did last year; mark his impact guy at whatever position he plays and go get him.

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