Green Bay looks poised to lean heavily on their backs throughout the 2022 season and ask them to take an expanded role in their offense. This doesn’t necessarily mean through more carries, as they should be involved through the air as well.
Matt LaFleur has briefly exposed us to two-back sets in the past and has had some pretty good success in doing so. Could this be the year he unveils it on a full-time basis? Let’s check out the position before we get too far ahead of ourselves.
Here is a position-by-position preview of the Green Bay Packers this summer continuing with their running back situation.
Currently on roster: BJ Baylor, AJ Dillon, Tyler Goodson, Kylin Hill, Aaron Jones, Patrick Taylor
Although Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are the big names people know, the rest of the position shouldn’t be overlooked. Kylin Hill, BJ Baylor, Tyler Goodson and Patrick Taylor all have the potential to make the roster coming out of the preseason, making for a very eventful summer.
Taylor was a disappointment in 2021, but knows the playbook much better than Baylor or Goodson. However, the latter two could quickly make some noise once training camp begins. Baylor was extremely difficult to tackle in college and could show off some of that wiggle in the NFL. Goodson is more of the pass-catching threat, something the Packers need more of considering their wide receiver situation.
Projected depth chart: 1A. Aaron Jones 1B. AJ Dillon 3. Tyler Goodson PUP: Kylin Hill
Jones and Dillon are locks this season. The only question is what the split will look like? Dillon seems to be ascending and Jones may have plateaued. Will Dillon get more opportunities and take over as the unofficial starter? Only time will tell.
I think it’s a real possibility Green Bay keeps four running backs, but I went with three to begin the season while they place Hill on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Hill tore his ACL last October and might not be completely ready to return. They’d give him six extra weeks by placing him on the PUP and kick the can down the road about how many backs they should keep.
I don’t think there are any running backs of note that the Packers would sign, so I won’t highlight any free agents. Green Bay seems to like their current room, as they have skill at the top of their depth chart and intriguing prospects throughout the bottom.
Jones and Dillon will do the heavy lifting this season, but LaFleur loves to have three capable backs. Hill flashed throughout the preseason and as a returner last year and the Packers hope he can get back to that level and then some this season. The other players might turn out to be decent no. 3s, but can’t be counted on to contribute on a regular basis in 2022.