Reviewing the breakout season for Green Bay Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones.
Selected in the fifth-round of last year’s draft, few could have predicted the impact Jones would make so early in his career.
It was an impressive debut campaign for Jones.
Season in review
Jones had to wait until Week 4 to get his first NFL carry. Injuries to both Montgomery and Williams opened the door for the fifth-rounder, and he took full advantage.
Jones impressed against the Bears, carrying 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown.
And this was no fluke. Handed the starting job in Montgomery’s absence, Jones dominated at Dallas, carrying 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. In just two games, the Packers knew they had found something special on the draft’s final day.
Jones showed impressive burst, good vision and an ability to make big plays. He’s particularly tough to defend in the open field.
Two weeks after his excellent afternoon in Dallas, Jones did it again versus New Orleans, rushing 17 times for 131 yards and a touchdown.
An injury on the road at Chicago sidelined Jones, which led to an impressive end to the season for fellow rookie Williams. Outside of a game-winning 20-yard touchdown run against Tampa Bay and a 23-yard burst against Carolina, Jones was limited for the remainder of the season.
He finished his rookie season with 81 carries for 448 yards and four touchdowns, running at an excellent 5.5 yards per carry.
Looking ahead to 2018 season
Like Montgomery, Jones must prove he can stay healthy. The fifth-rounder impressed when he was on the field.
Jones will form a strong 1-2 punch in Green Bay’s backfield with Williams.
Williams is a powerful back, suited to short-yardage situations. Jones is an explosive player, a home-run hitter and a perfect complement to Williams. Together, the two could form one of the league’s top rushing duos.
Staying healthy is the key for Jones.