Over the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company takes a look at each position group on the Green Bay Packers and provides grades and insight on how they performed in the 2015 season. Today, we examine the tight ends. Follow along with all of our positional breakdowns here.
The Green Bay Packers added just a single tight end to their active roster in 2015, using a late-round draft pick to bolster a position that was held down by second-year pro Richard Rodgers and veteran Andrew Quarless.
In addition to the draftee discussed below, undrafted rookie Mitchell Henry was impressive in training camp, but he was a victim of the last round of cuts. Henry was picked up by the Denver Broncos and spent a few short weeks on their active roster, but when he was released he made his way back to the Packers' practice squad and is on a Reserve/Futures contract for 2016.
Here is our look at the one new tight end who spent time on the Packers' 53-man roster in 2015.
How Acquired: 6th-round draft pick (#213 overall)
2015 Stats: None
It was a bit of a surprise for Backman to make the 53-man roster out of training camp, but GM Ted Thompson kept him over the likes of undrafted rookie Mitchell Henry or second-year pro Justin Perillo. Backman's role was restricted almost exclusively to special teams, as he took the field for just 11 snaps on offense all season and did not see a pass thrown his way.
Even when opportunities presented themselves - namely Andrew Quarless landing on short-term Injured Reserve with a knee injury - Backman was passed over as Perillo was promoted from the practice squad. Perillo, the second-year Packer, racked up ten times the offensive plays, though that was likely due in large part to a better knowledge of the playbook.
At this point, we still have very little idea what to expect from Backman. If the Packers choose to bolster the position through the draft or free agency, he may have a tough time making the 53 for a second year unless he shows significant improvement in the offseason and training camp.