Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Choosing to draft Johnathan Franklin after taking Eddie Lacy in Round 2 of the draft was smart thinking by the Packers.
Though the Green Bay Packers have one of the best passing offenses in the league, the same hasn't been true about their run game in recent years. In 2012, the Packers ranked 22nd in rushing yards per game, with 104.6, and 26th in 2011, averaging 100.3 rushing yards per game.
Granted, their top-10 passing offense afforded them the luxury of not having to run the ball much, but at 26.7 rushing attempts per game last year, they should have had significantly more production. Add into that the fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked more than any other passer in the league, and the Packers just needed to find a way to run the ball more effectively and keep their quarterback out of undue danger.
To help solve this problem, the Packers turned to the draft, taking Eddie Lacy—considered by many to be the draft's top running back—in the second round. Even smarter, however, was their choice to take another running back, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, in the fourth round.
With a history of turf toe, a bad pro day workout and concerns that Alabama's offensive line allowed Lacy to appear more impressive than he really is, the Packers found a way to provide insurance for him while also getting another of the draft's top running backs.
Now, the Packers have a welcome challenge on their hands: a running back battle, the outcome of which is likely to only benefit their bottom line in 2013 and beyond.
With Lacy and Franklin joining DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and James Starks, the Packers have options, whether they choose to use a committee of backs or commit to one in a featured role. And with younger players now outnumbering seasoned veterans, they won't have to worry about the age of their backs for a significant amount of time.