Aaron Jones isn't getting any younger (age 29), and AJ Dillon has been underwhelming as a complement to Jones in a contract season.
Despite logging six starts with Jones out injured, Dillon is averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry and has only found paydirt twice this season. Jones, however, has remained as dynamic as ever when he can stay on the field.
But with Jones turning 30 next season and carrying an abundant injury history, any remaining long-term deals are out the window. The running back position has taken hits in its market value, with stars like Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor struggling to reach agreements that match their output, and the Packers certainly won't be looking to pay top dollar at the position.
With Jones taking team-friendly deals, Green Bay will likely prioritize bringing him back again in 2024. AJ Dillon, however, is unlikely to receive similar consideration. A former second-round pick, Dillon has struggled to take the next step in his development while playing the complementary "thunder" role to Jones's "lightning."
In recent years, teams can find a premier running back in the second round of drafts. That's where the cream of this year's running back crop will be valued, creating a perfect opportunity for Green Bay to swipe Jones's eventual successor.
Ideal Pick: Trey Benson
According to Trevor Sikkema of PFF, Trey Benson posted a 91.3 rushing grade in 2022 and registered the highest missed tackles forced per attempt that PFF has recorded in the past 10 years (.51). In 2022, he averaged an incredible 6.9 yards per carry on 141 attempts. That number clawed back slightly in 2023, with a still wildly impressive 5.8 yards per carry and improving to 14 touchdowns.
As a "work-horse" and volume running back over his two years starting at Florida State, the stat that pops off the chart most with Benson is his zero fumbles over the last two seasons, appearing in 25 games with 301 carries.
Like Jones, Benson possesses elite vision, patience, and a knack for making people miss. The difference is that Benson has registered an unofficial 40-yard time of 4.37 at 6-1, 223 pounds. With his size, breakaway speed, and ability to take a screen pass the distance, teams will enamor at his potential RB1 skillset.
The Packers possess two second-round draft picks, setting them up to be positioned perfectly to land Benson at fair market value for a top rookie running back. As a running back who can also block well, quarterback Jordan Love will certainly love the pick (no pun intended).