After releasing quarterback Danny Etling, the Packers had an open roster spot that has since been filled by signing running back Nate McCrary.
McCrary went undrafted in 2021 after spending his college career at DII Saginaw Valley State. McCrary measures in at 6’0″, weighs 220 pounds, and posted an elite Relative Athletic Score of 9.4 coming out of college. He has spent time in the NFL with Denver, Carolina, Baltimore, and most recently Cleveland.
During his final season at Saginaw Valley State, he averaged 6.3 yards per rush with 10 touchdowns, recording over 1,000 yards while being named a first-team All-GLIAC member. McCrary was used primarily as a ball carrier, totaling just two receptions for 46 yards that year.
Below is what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had to say about McCrary’s game in his scouting report when he was coming out of college:
"“A well-built, small-school running back with good burst and change-of-direction quickness, McCrary needs to prove he can play with the big boys. He has good speed flowing to the perimeter, but his vision is average and he doesn’t run with enough decisiveness, which works against his potential for becoming an outside-zone runner. The physical ability is a plus, but the tape isn’t special considering his level of competition.”"
At the NFL level, McCrary just one regular season snap, carrying the ball for minus-one yard. He has 55 preseason carries, averaging 3.8 yards per carry with three receptions and 29 special teams snaps, according to PFF.
The addition of McCrary gives the Packers some perhaps needed depth at the running back position. Lew Nichols did not participate in the last two practices with a shoulder injury after taking a big hit on Thursday. With the preseason approaching, and likely Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon not seeing any snaps in those games, the Packers would be short-handed at the position without Nichols. At this time, it is not known what kept Nichols out of Saturday’s practice or how long he will be sidelined for.
The third running back spot is still very much up for grabs. To help determine who will win that role, Matt LaFleur said last week that Nichols, Tyler Goodson, and Patrick Taylor would each be featured in one of the preseason games. Along with the traditional running back responsibilities, pass-catching, blocking, and special teams will be deciding factors in this decision.
With the addition of McCrary, the Packers roster is now back at the 90-player maximum.