What is going on with the running backs?
Seemingly most of the league spent the last few seasons mindlessly shouting “give Aaron Jones more carries” at their TVs, and in 2019, the team finally acquiesced. Jones almost doubled his total touches from the previous year and saw the most production season of his young career, recording his first 1,000 yard season and tying for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with 16.
And even then, as the Packers have proven they still can’t learn, another running back continued to take valuable production away from Jones. Jamaal Williams, a solid player in his own right, still pulled over 100 carries from Jones; subsequently, despite Jones’ clear edge in talent as a receiver out of the backfield, Williams still drew 45 more targets away and finished with only ten fewer catches than Jones.
While the easy excuse is the league’s extended love affair with the running back-by-committee, the fact remains that it was yet another season where Jones showed elite levels of production…and was somehow still not given the workload he deserves. The fault does not fall with “overworking” him; Jones barely cracked the top 15 in rushing attempts and took nearly 400 fewer snaps than league leader Christian McCaffrey.
Even stranger still, Green Bay selected yet another running back with their second round pick, taking Boston College standout AJ Dillon with the 62 overall selection. While some would excuse the Jordan Love selection as a realization that Rodgers’ career is reaching its twilight, the Dillon pick befuddled even more who saw the second round as an easy opportunity to trade up for names like Laviska Shenault, KJ Hamler, or Denzel Mims.
It can only be expected that Dillon, as a higher pick, will also begin to siphon touches away as well. As the team continues their mind-boggling draft strategy and ignores their true offensive talent, the question must be asked: what is Green Bay doing with its backfield?