Is Halfback a "Need" Position for Green Bay?

Tom DavisCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers stands on the field against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For the second straight year, Ryan Grant ran for more than 1,200 yards in 2009. As a matter of fact, his 1,253 yards finished seventh in the league, despite averaging only 17.6 attempts per game (only Baltimore's Ray Rice gained more yardage on fewer or equal attempts per game).

He also finished tied for 14th or better in every meaningful category for a runner: yards per attempt, yards per game, runs over 20 yards, and runs over 40 yards. He also went the entire season without a fumble as a runner.

So taking all this into account, why is there talk of the Packers spending an early round pick on a halfback? And why is Ryan Grant viewed as someone who is someone who is under-performing?

True, Ryan Grant's game isn't flashy; he doesn't make a lot of highlight reel runs. He doesn't have the speed of a Chris Johnson, the athleticism of an Adrian Peterson, or the power of a Steven Jackson.

Also true is that Packer fans may have been spoiled by Ryan Grant's first half-season starting for Green Bay in 2007, where his numbers (5.1 yards per carry, eight touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards in only seven starts) were astronomical.

However, the fact remains that Ryan Grant has done markedly well for Green Bay. In fact, when you consider how weak the offensive line has played during Grant's tenure, and that coach Mike McCarthy runs a heavily pass-oriented offensive scheme, it seems that if anything Grant may be overachieving.

I am a follower of the "draft to fill a need" philosophy, at least in the early rounds, and I don't think Green Bay should be looking at halfback as a "need" position. Filling in holes in the offensive line and reinforcing an aging and injury-prone secondary should be our top priorities.

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