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James Starks was no slouch as a collegiate athlete.
As a starter for the University of Buffalo, Starks, who was born and raised in New York, rushed for 3,140 career yards and scored 40 total touchdowns. But in the 2010 NFL draft, he was largely ignored, falling to the sixth round.
That's where the Green Bay Packers made one of their better investments of the last few offseasons.
Starks would go on to miss the majority of his rookie season after being placed on the PUP list to begin the year. He was finally activated in November and after weeks of internal hype out of Green Bay, Starks saw his first NFL snaps in Week 13 of the regular season.
Collecting 73 yards on 18 carries impressed many and earned Starks a shot at the starting gig due to the state of the depth chart. Starks had to wait until the NFC Wild Card Game to make that first start, but he absolutely embarrassed the Philadelphia Eagles defense when he got there.
Running for 123 yards on 22 carries, Starks broke the Packers' rookie rushing record for a single game and he was far from done. He carried the ball 81 total times over Green Bay's four-game playoff run for 315 yards. He only scored once and his yard-per-carry average was only 3.9, but the rookie had proved he could play.
He only made two starts in 2011, playing in a time share with Ryan Grant. Regardless, Starks raised his average to 4.3 yards a carry and added an impressive pass-catching element to his repertoire.
All this likely made the Packers more than comfortable letting Grant test the free-agent market this offseason.