Packers: Despite suspension, Aaron Jones top breakout candidate for 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Aaron Jones /

Despite being suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season, running back Aaron Jones is set for a breakout year for the Green Bay Packers.

Sayre Bedinger of NFL Mocks recently named five breakout candidates for the Green Bay Packers this season. Top of the list is Aaron Jones, and I couldn’t agree more.

Injuries kept Jones off the field at times last year, but when healthy, he was far and away the Packers’ most efficient running back.

An impressive 5.5 yards per carry set him apart from Ty Montgomery (3.8 YPC) and Jamaal Williams (3.6).

Jones found the end zone four times, despite only carrying the football more than five times in just four games. He also had an impressive six runs of over 20 yards, again setting himself apart from the other running backs on the roster.

Jones will miss the opening two games of the regular season due to suspension, but when he returns, he could have a breakout season and become the Packers’ lead back.

How Mike McCarthy rotates his top three running backs will be interesting, but if one of them stands out, they will continue to get the football. Of the trio, Jones is, in my opinion, the most likely to do so.

The Packers haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Eddie Lacy in 2014, who hit the milestone in consecutive seasons. Lacy struggled to play at that high level following the 2014 season, and he was replaced last year with Montgomery as the starter, as well as draft picks Jones and Williams.

Bedinger of NFL Mocks also wrote about Josh Jones and Kevin King‘s potential to have big second seasons, and he made some great points, but it’s Aaron Jones who excites me the most.

Green Bay’s offense has the potential to be dominant this year. Many will talk about Jimmy Graham‘s arrival in free agency, or Davante Adams‘ elite level of play. Those are two great reasons.

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But don’t forget about the backfield. In particular, Aaron Jones is a player to watch once he returns in Week 3.