My final article on Packers draft needs shifts back to the offensive side of the ball with a look at some of the running backs, as well as kick returners who will be available in the upcoming draft.
The Packers will almost certainly draft a running back this year, but in what round and to fill what role is the question.
Will they take a smaller speedy back who would be a change of pace behind Ryan Grant, or will they take someone they think will be the eventual successor to Grant?
An undrafted free agent acquired from a trade with the New York Giants, Ryan Grant has been the Packers featured back since mid-season 2007. Grant has a nice combination of size, speed and vision.
The biggest knock on Grant is that he does not have great hands and he is fairly ineffective catching the ball out of the backfield.
Grant is coming off another solid year compiling over 1,400 total yards and 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Grant's statistics could be a road block from the Packers keeping him beyond 2010.
If Grant puts up similar numbers next year he will be due about $9 million in base salary and roster bonuses in 2011, which may cause the Packers to release him if a restructuring of his contract cannot be worked out.
Brandon Jackson was a second-round pick in 2007, but does not appear to be the long-term answer after Grant. Jackson has good hands and is adept at picking up blitzes which makes him an ideal third-down back.
Ahman Green was brought back last season after Deshawn Wynn was placed on injured reserve.
Green became the Packers all-time leading rusher, but at the age of 33 and having a pretty substantial injury history, he probably does not have too much left in the tank.
Anyone who watched the Packers last year would probably agree they need to upgrade their kickoff and punt return game. This upgrade could come from a running back, wide receiver or a cornerback.
Will Blackmon has shown some promise in the return game, but in his four-year career, he has missed more games with injury than he has actually played.
Jordy Nelson just does not have the explosiveness and or elusiveness to be considered a threat in the return game.
Pat Lee has kickoff return experience, but was injured returning a kick in preseason, and with his injury history the Packers will probably be hesitant to put him in that situation unless absolutely necessary.
So who may the Packers be looking at in the upcoming draft?