Packers: Predicting the depth chart at running back in 2019
The Green Bay Packers’ run game could be very good in 2019. Here’s a look at the potential Week 1 depth chart.
The Green Bay Packers added depth at running back by selecting Dexter Williams in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
But the starting job in Week 1 will likely belong to one of the two 2017 draft picks, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
Here’s how I think the depth chart will look at the start of the season:
- Aaron Jones
- Jamaal Williams
- Dexter Williams
- Danny Vitale (fullback)
Staying healthy is key for Aaron Jones, but if he can play all 16 games, I think he’ll stand out as the Packers’ clear number one running back. He has improved as a receiver (206 receiving yards and one touchdown in 2018 compared to 22 receiving yards in 2017), and also in pass protection.
Even if new head coach Matt LaFleur opts for a running back-by-committee initially, like last year, Jones will make it difficult to keep him off the field. And in LaFleur’s offense, I think Jones will keep getting the football.
Jamaal Williams will still have an important role to play. He’s the Packers’ best running back in pass protection, is excellent in short-yardage situations and also has 472 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Williams proved at the end of the 2018 season that he is more than capable of starting if needed.
Unless Dexter Williams outperforms the other two running backs at training camp, he’ll likely start the season third on the depth chart and will get more opportunities as the season goes on. But as Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote in his draft profile, Williams “offers exciting upside with the talent to become a productive, NFL starter”, so it might not be long until he expands his role in LaFleur’s offense.
If the Packers decide to keep a fullback, it’ll be Danny Vitale. Green Bay didn’t keep a fullback on the initial 53-man roster last year, but that could change with LaFleur as head coach.