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Green Bay Packers: Breakout Candidate – RB Aaron Jones

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The Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers to run the show on offense. As long as he is the man behind center, the team is likely to be considered a pass first team. However, that doesn’t mean the run game is completely useless. Especially with the drafting of Aaron Jones.

This offseason, the team cleaned house in the backfield. The likes of Eddie Lacy, James Starks, and Christine Michael are all gone. As a result, the Green Bay Packers are expected to turn to converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery as their main back.

Montgomery was the team’s leading rusher a season ago, with 77 rushes for 457 yards on the ground. There is no denying he is a good runner, as he is shifty and elusive. When he hits a hole, he knows how to make a man miss. However, his six foot, 216-pound frame makes him fragile. As a result, he is not viewed as an every down back.

This would explain why the team went out and drafted three backs in the NFL Draft. Those three include Jamaal Williams (4th round), Aaron Jones (5th round), and Devante Mays (7th round). Williams is more of a power back. As a result, he is expected to be a good compliment to Montgomery’s speed. But he isn’t the rookie back you should be paying attention to in this Green Bay Packers backfield.

That honor belongs to Jones. The fifth rounder out of UTEP is more of the whole package. Given Montgomery’s frame, having him go down to injury would not surprise anyone. When that happens, Williams will not be able to shoulder the load on his own. So Jones should certainly get his chance to shine at some point this season.

During his time at UTEP, Jones rushed for over 4,000 yards. He stepped right into the role of being the team’s go to runner in his freshman year, despite missing some games with an injury. He was a second team All-Conference USA honoree his sophomore year, averaging five and a half yards a carry and scoring 11 times.

His junior year was a wash thanks to an injury, but he picked right back up in his senior season. He ran for 1,773 yards, which put him fourth in the FBS. In total, he hit the end zone 17 times, three of which came throw the air. He also hauled in 28 receptions for 233 receiving yards.

To conclude his collegiate career, Aaron Jones ran for a total of 4,144 yards, which was good for an average of 6.3 yards an attempt. He scored more total touchdowns than games played, with a combined 40 TDs in 35 games.

He is a quick runner who can explode when he hits the hole. Like Montgomery, he has a small frame, however, so he will certainly be an injury risk. But when he is on the field, he is a pure talent. He can catch the ball out of the backfield as well, meaning Montgomery needs to keep an eye over his shoulder.

Williams may be the power back, but it is Jones who is more likely to steal Montgomery’s carries. The two profile fairly similar, with Jones having more experience coming from the backfield. So keep an eye on Aaron Jones, as he could very well emerge as one of Aaron Rodger’s newest weapons.

Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.

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