Continuing our series looking at the Green Bay Packers’ 90-man roster prior to training camp, we examine the quarterback position and reveal our pre-camp predictions for the team’s 2017 53-man roster. Ten APC contributors submitted full roster predictions, and we will present the consensus predictions drawn from those individual guesses over the next two weeks.
The APC crew thinks the Packers carry 4 running backs into the regular season, including two new faces.
In 2016 Montgomery proved he has what it takes to excel as a running back, and he is locked in as the starter. A rare breed of player who can slide out into the pattern with full knowledge of the route tree, Montgomery was one of the major cogs in the second half resurgence of the Packer offense, and in fact did not receive enough of the credit that instead went to Jared Cook. As long as he’s healthy, he will play the majority of snaps in at the position, but I expect 2017 to shake the hard barrier between starter and backup as the Packers take a more situational approach to the position in general. Montgomery will likely enjoy a plurality, if not a majority of carries.
In a way it’s odd to call Ripkowski a starter at all. Montgomery will almost always be the first back on the field, and though it may have happened, I cannot recall a single instance of Montgomery lining up in a 2-back set with Ripkowski in 2016. That said, to the extent the Packers employ a fullback, it’s all Rip this season, and given that power running sets will likely be used liberally in short yardage and against small fronts, why not give Aaron his due.
Williams will essentially be the power starter, and don’t be surprised to see him as the actual starter a few times if the Packers find themselves facing a power-weak defense. Rip and Williams will likely be called on to line up and punish people together while Montgomery serves as a run-pass complement for the base offense. Expect Williams to have plenty of opportunities to succeed in 2017, and to perhaps serve as a LaGarrette Blount-esque touchdown vulture.
Should anything happen to Ty Montgomery, here’s the guy you use your waiver priority on in fantasy football. Jones can do a little bit of everything, and he is likely to spell Montgomery in the base offense while serving as his immediate backup. With advanced passing game chops and unusual shiftiness for a later pick, Jones has breakout potential should the opportunity present itself.
MISSING THE CUT
Joe Kerridge (FB), Devante Mays, Kalif Phillips, William Stanback
Some may take issue with the extreme youth at the position, but running back is a young man’s game, and in almost all cases, youth, especially drafted youth, will serve you better than your Christine Michael retreads. The Packers were wise to not bring in a veteran while still adding cost-effective, high-upside depth to the position. Running back is currently a Packer strength, and Ty and company should facilitate the continuation of a gangbusters offense next season.