The NFL season is 3 weeks old and Packers fans across the web are obsessed with the Packers offensive line and other perceived team "needs".
Since every team in the NFL has needs, including the Packers, I figured to explore what I feel are the biggest "needs" for the Packers.
I know it is early, but the "needs" seem to be "glaring" to almost every Packers fan on almost every Packers message board, so I figured, why not start a series that focuses on the "needs" of the Packers and the top college players at their positions?
Everyone knows the Packers have a "need" for a left tackle (and right tackle for that matter) of the future, but I wanted to explore the Packers lack of a home run threat at running back.
Ryan Grant is not a guy that can take it to the house every time he touches the ball, and is a 2 down back. The Packers lack of a "home run hitter" that can go the distance anytime he is on the field is showing.
Grant averaged 3.9 yards per carry last year and is around the same this year. It is not all his fault though because the Packers offensive line is not playing well to say the least. But Grant has not shown that "burst" Packers fan saw in 2007. The Packers need a running back that has that "wiggle" and can be a threat in the passing game, and Grant has not shown that he is that guy.
"Patty" a former scout who posts on http://packerchatters.com agrees, she said "...also this team needs a dynamic RB - Sorry I do not think Ryan Grant is the answer."
Here are my 10 running backs.
1. Jahvid Best- Cal: This kid is lightning in a bottle and can go the distance anytime he touches the ball. He is also a really good receiving threat as well. He may be the first back taken in the draft should he come out.
2. C.J. Spiller- Clemson: He finally has the backfield to himself and this kid maybe the most complete back in the draft. He also can return kicks and punts for added value.
3. Joe McKnight- USC: Do you remember how Reggie Bush impacted the USC offense? McKnight has that same impact. McKnight needs to gain some weight to run between the tackles, but he can also line up as a receiver and cause match-up problems as well. he is also a return specialist as well.
4. DeMarco Murray- Oklahoma: The question will never be about Murray's ability, which may be the best in this upcoming draft, but can he stay healthy? He has been hurt the past two seasons but has the frame of Adrian Peterson and some of the same abilities as well.
5. Jonathan Dwyer- Georgia Tech: Dwyer has been banged up this year, but the past two seasons he has put on a show, especially in 2008. He is the type of back that can carry the load and go the distance anytime he touches the ball.
6. Noel Devine- West Virginia: Pure electricity. Devine maybe the fastest and most dynamic back in the draft (should he come out). He is small but could have the same type of impact the Chargers Daryn Sproles has had.
7. Evan Royster- Penn St.: A complete back. Royster knows how to play the running back position, and coming out of Penn St. you know that is a fact. He could be the next Penn St. back to have an impact in the NFL.
8. Javarris James- Miami: Edgerrin's cousin is the same type of back, except with a little more speed.
9. MiQuale Lewis- Ball St.: See Noel Devine, except with smaller (5'6) and without any off the field issues.
10. Damion Fletcher- Southern Miss: This kid has all kinds of talent, but off the field issues will make his stock fall to the later parts of the draft.
I would have also included USC's Stafon Johnson but earlier today (9/28/09) while working out in USC's weight room, there was an accident and his larynx was crushed. As of 9pm pacific standard time he was in surgery to repair it. He will be out the rest of the season and his career is in doubt though his life in not in any jeopardy according to reports.
Should that have not had happened he may have been another back that would have been drafted high. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
With running back being one of the Packers "needs" there surely isn't a lack of talent at that position should all come out for the 2010 draft. I think best and Spiller will be off the board before the Packers pick, so McKnight or Murray seem to be the two players that they would/could have an eye on and be wearing Green & Gold come April of 2010.
Next I will take a look at the top offensive linemen in the country. The Packers need to invest in a player that can protect Aaron Rodgers and open holes for whom ever is the running back.
E-mail Joe @ firstname.lastname@example.org