The NFC North running game has almost become a competition the last couple years, a competition that the Packers have always come last in since the Dorsey Levens era, or debatably the Ahman Green prime era. The Minnesota Vikings have the best running back in league in Adrian Peterson, winning MVP in 2012. The Chicago Bears have Matt Forte, who always comes down with a leg related injury, but is impressive when on the field. The Detroit Lions just acquired the speedy, high-flying Reggie Bush this past offseason. All three teams outside of the Packers are trying (if have not already) to build a running game.
Now, where do the Packers fit into this equation? Reggie Bush vs. Matt Forte vs. Adrian Peterson vs. Eddie Lacy, per say. Probably not a very fair comparison for the rookie in Lacy. Now, Reggie Bush is running a new offense, so is Lacy. Reggie Bush has the NFL experience, though. How will Lacy fit into the Green Bay system? The Packers are a pass-only team it seems as of late. Now, we draft Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin? Something's up, Cheeseheads. We have a new game plan, and I'm excited. Aaron Rodgers doesn't need all the attention from the defensive players. If Lacy can become a threat, the game plan is a success. That's the goal. Franklin will bring a presence as possibly a third down back, if he beats out James Starks in camp. You heard that correct, two rookies could be leading the running back core for the Packers. Why is that bad, though? Eddie Lacy played behind not one, not two, but three (okay LeBron) offensive linemen that were picked in this year's NFL Draft. Franklin, on the other hand, played behind one. Also, this is a different ball game. Both need to greatly step up their games and pound the ball.
Now, elaborating on the third-down back situation; Jonathan Franklin is a good running back, yes. James Starks is okay, considering last year was not good at all for Starks fighting injury off-and-on all year. The chance of the Packers resigning a deal with Cedric Benson is close to nothing. Therefore, we're down to James Starks and Jonathan Franklin. Now, who do I think is going to win; I do believe Franklin will with the fact that Starks is very injury prone and inconsistent. The second Second-Team All-Pac-12 member, Franklin, will get a shot, despite being ineligible for Organized Team Activities this offseason.
If this is going to be a competition at all in the NFC North, the two rookies are going to need to be two great ones.
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