Tag Archives: Ty Montgomery

Rookie Late Round Running Backs To Track

The NFL Draft provides plenty of opportunities for over-analysis. I’ll spare you breaking down all the Running Backs selected in this year’s draft. In this piece I’m targeting the late round Running Backs I plan to pay attention to this offseason and in training camp.

Redskins RD 4 pick 114 Samaje Perine Oklahoma.  Serious threat to take starting job from Rob Kelley. Perine is a smasher that is better in the passing game than advertised. I plan to track Perine closely in training camp to see the rep distribution over Kelley. Matt Jones is possibly expendable after drafting Perine. Solid seasonal fantasy league prospect

Chiefs RD 3 pick 86 Kareem Hunt Toledo.  Excelled at Senior Bowl, but fell flat at Combine. Chiefs traded up to draft Hunt.  Solid runner that could steal touches and possibly job from Spencer Ware. This move downgrades Ware a bit on my draft boards. Late round seasonal fantasy league prospect and has significant value in the Dynasty Format.

Colts RD 4 pick 143 Marlon Mack South Florida. Mack is very physically gifted, but Colts coaching staff has a lot of work to do to get Mack ready to contribute. All of the bouncing outside and indecisiveness running inside doesn’t work in the NFL. With polish could be a solid contributor as a rookie. Worth a Dynasty league pick. Training camp reports will be very important in figuring out if and where to draft Mack in seasonal fantasy leagues.

Bucs RD 5 pick 162 Jeremy McNichols Boise State. 3-down back one of few rookie RB’s that is really solid in pass protection. Should provide competition to Martin, Sims, and Rodgers for playing time. Training camp reports may move McNichols for a solid dynasty pick to a solid late round seasonal choice.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has confirmed that despite drafting 3 running backs, Ty Montgomery is the starter. Late last season Montgomery provided the Packers with a spark in the backfield. We’ll see if the Packers go with more of a committee approach in 2017. Each 4 of these backs presents a different skill set. Camp reports will really dictate how to approach this backfield. If I had to choose today with Rookie RB to draft out of this trio, it would be Jones.

Packers RD 4 pick 134 Jamal Williams BYU.  Inside runner that doesn’t dance. Needs polish in running thru lanes and may not get much more than what is blocked. In Packers offense could be a solid contributor right away.

Packers RD 5 pick 182 Aaron Jones UTEP. Most dynamic out of this trio. Can run inside and has explosive play potential. I like him more than quite a few runners taken earlier in the draft.

Packers RD 7 pick 238 Devante Mays Utah St.  Most physically gifted out of this trio. Ankle injuries derailed his final college season. Mays is a terrific lottery ticket at pick 238. Contributing on special teams would help secure a roster spot. Would like to see if a program with NFL trainers could keep him healthy.

I Would Move On From Lacy

The Packers running game has been hindered the last 2 seasons with the inability of Eddie Lacy to stay healthy or in-shape.  The Packers as a team ran for 106.3 yards per game with a 4.5 avg on 374 attempts for 1,701 yards and 11 TD.  The Packers had 13 runs of over 20 yards with 2 over 40 yards.

The Packers have one of the top 3 QB in the NFL still in his prime. Without Aaron Rodgers last year’s squad doesn’t come remotely close to playing in the NFC Conference Championship. That team should be proud of how far they went. So much pressure is put on Rodgers for the Packers to win a game. More production from the running game in short yardage and goal-line should be one of the top priorities of Ted Thompson and Co. this offseason.  Too many 3rd and short plays end with Rodgers chucking the ball downfield for an incompletion. Green Bay often blows leads because they can’t run the ball to salt away games. The Packers are built around the passing game so pass protection is crucial to playing time for running backs.

Ty Montgomery led the team in rushing with 457 yards a 5.9 ypc and 3 TD. Eddie Lacy carried 71 times for 360 yards for a 5.1 ypc and 0 TD. Aaron Rodgers led the team in rushing TD with 4. Montgomery looked explosive after finally making the position switch to Running Back. Durability concerns for me keep Montgomery as a back that should play a significant part of a rotation instead of a bell cow role.

Lacy the last 2 seasons has disappeared in games with an inconsistent workload. The YPC is manipulated with a lack of carries. Lacy has scored 3 TD in the last 2 seasons and consistently been inconsistent. The ankle surgery was more complicated than originally reported as Lacy revealed. Multiple screws, wires, and a plate were added to his ankle to help with a deltoid ligament injury.  Reportedly Lacy should be ready to go by training camp.

Odds are Lacy will be back in Green Bay on a cheap 1-yr prove it deal. I would look to move on from Lacy completely. Spend that money on your defense or to help keep an offensive lineman. Playing in the NFL is a privilege and Lacy has proven to be out of shape each of the last 2 seasons. As an organization why settle? Your championship window is still open. I’ve dismissed Christine Michael as a contributing NFL Running Back at this stage of his career.

A high priced free agent running back would take away money from filling another need. Adrian Peterson and Latavius Murray may be out of Ted Thompson’s price range.  AP would have to come cheap to play in Green Bay while Murray is looking to break the bank.  A lower cost free agent paired with a mid- to late round pick would be the route I would pursue. Rashad Jennings looks finished, but if there is one veteran running back that I would pursue if released.  The Cowboys are reportedly trying to trade Alfred Morris for a late round pick. Morris doesn’t fit in as a backup to Zeke Elliott because of his inability to play in the passing game. Morris only rushed 69 times last season. With 3 seasons of 1,000 plus yards at age 28 I believe Morris can still play. Morris would give a different look next to Ty Montgomery and leave money to pursue other free agents.

This years draft provides potential backs to upgrade the position.  Young running backs often struggle in pass protection and blitz pickup, that’s where Montgomery comes into play.  LSU’s Leonard Fournette, FSU’s Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford are regarded as the top 3 backs of a deep class.  The Packers may have to trade up quite a bit to get Fournette or Cook. The Packers have other holes and may fill a need on defense instead of drafting McCaffrey that early.

Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon will probably be off some teams draft boards due to character concerns. At some point in this upcoming draft Mixon’s talent will outweigh the character concerns based off the draft slot. I don’t believe the Packers would take a chance on Mixon.  There are a lot of running backs eligible in this draft, but these are the few that I believe would fit draft cost wise for the Packers.

Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara is an all-around back could that make the adjustment quickly to blitz pickup in the NFL.  Kamara is an explosive runner-receiver. The threat of the screen has been missing in Green Bay for years.  Kamara needs improvement in setting up blocks reading lanes. The 4.56 40 yard time doesn’t change my opinion of him. I value game film more so than combine statistics.  Special team’s contributions would help as the Packers returners averaged 19.7 yards per kickoff return and 9.0 yards per punt return. Squeezing out a few more short fields would help the offense.

Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine is a banger that could be paired with Ty Montgomery in short yardage or goal-line situations. Perine would be more of a check down or screen threat than Lacy.  Speed isn’t his game, it’s running thru defenders. Perine avoided workload concerns by splitting time with Mixon in college.

Tarik Cohen of North Carolina A&T is one of the players I plan to follow closely this draft. Cohen is nicknamed “The Human Joystick.”  You can’t teach a player that type of footwork.  I believe many of the knocks on Cohen can be corrected with proper coaching. Lack of special teams experience may also hurt his draft stock.  I’m willing to gamble on coaching up Cohen.

There are plenty of options out there at Running Back if the Packers decide to move on from Eddie Lacy. Free agency and or the draft provide solid options. You now know where I stand on the issue.