The Green Bay Packers are at the top of the depth chart when running back to OTAs and training camp, while Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will get most of the snaps this season. But after the top two players, the team could face an interesting battle for a roster spot and another practice lineup.
There are now four players on the Packers’ 90-man roster vying for the third running back spot. Here is each of them and what they bring:
1. Kirin Mountain
Hill was a seventh-round pick by the Packers last season. The former Mississippi State star was named to the team and earned the third running back position after a strong preseason. He is also the team’s main returner.
During the regular season, Hill was limited offensively, dribbling for 24 yards 10 times. Half of that came in the Packers’ Week 1 loss to the Saints.
Hill averaged 19.9 yards per return and appeared to be showing promise as a returner before suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Cardinals in Week 8.
The injury could force Hill to start 2022 on the PUP roster. This will give him a chance to fight for the roster once he is healthy. Hill hopes he can continue to develop in his second year, even if he doesn’t start the regular season on time.
2. Patrick Taylor
Taylor was added to the practice squad when Hill was injured. The Memphis alum had 89 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. He’s also an excellent backcourt receiver who can use his 6-foot-3, 223-pound frame to his advantage. His strongest performance came in Week 18 in Detroit, where he played the second half.
Taylor hopes to build on the progress he made last season, and he finally gets a chance to show what he can do in the NFL. His size and ability to catch the ball make him a perfect fit for the Packers offense.
3. Tyler Goodson
The Packers signed Goodson as an undrafted free agent last month. The former Iowa star is just 5-foot-9 but weighs nearly 200 pounds. He is not tall, but not small. He has a speed of 4.42 in 40 minutes, which allows him to get rid of defenders when he runs into the open.
He was a starter for Iowa State for three years and has 1,100-plus yards in 2021.
Goodson runs a zone-blocking offense in Iowa and has the ability to catch the ball from the backcourt, but he’s not the most elusive runner and needs to be more decisive in his cuts.
Some scouts see Goodson as capable of returning the ball, even though he hasn’t seen widespread action in the role at Iowa.
We’ll see how Goodson fared in training camp and preseason.
4. BJ Baylor
Baylor acquired over 1,200 yards at OSU last season while averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns. He doesn’t see significant playing time until 2021. He also participated in a zoning block program in college, similar to what the Packers used under Matt LaFleur.
Scouts say Baylor has great vision and hits the ball decisively, but he tends to run high, meaning he doesn’t gain as many yards after contact, and he’s hit more than runners who maintain a lower center of gravity. punish.
Baylor caught 14 passes in his college career. Scouts questioned whether he could be a reliable receiver at the NFL level. Similar questions were asked about AJ Dillon, who has proven to be an excellent backcourt receiver when he gets the chance. The jury is still out at Baylor.
At 5-foot-10 and 202 pounds, Baylor is slightly taller than Goodson but still considered a little shorter.
General manager Brian Gutekunst may decide to sign another running back before training camp starts, but as of now, the four candidates are fighting for one or at most two spots on the active roster.
The third running back has the opportunity to grow into a bigger role on the team. If Jones or Dillon get injured, he’ll be next on the floor and he’ll immediately play a bigger role in the offense. Remember, Dillon started his rookie season as the Packers’ third player, behind Jones and Jamal Williams.
Someone’s going to win the roster this September, the big question is who?