The word on the street is that Green Bay Packers running back Marc Tyler has looked good so far during offseason workouts.
A USC standout and son of former NFL All-Pro Wendell Tyler, Tyler signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent after failing to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. Although once considered a top running back talent, Tyler lacked the explosiveness and playmaking ability that helped elevate his father to the top of the NFL ranks.
And yet, there are reports indicating that Tyler is making a name for himself at Packers’ offseason practices.
More than anything, this seems like a comment on how the rest of the Packers’ running back stable is performing rather than how well Tyler has looked thus far.
Sure, the kid has talent; heck, he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and the No. 1 running back prospect in the nation. But then he got to USC and never lived up to the billing.
Throughout his career at USC, Tyler racked up only 1,751 yards and 15 touchdowns on 334 carries. Although his 5.2 yards per carry was impressive, he never managed to take the reins as the Trojans’ top running back and was always overshadowed by USC’s passing attack. Then, in 2011, he was forced to share carries with fellow runner Curtis McNeal.
Despite his average college career, hopes were high that Tyler would make a splash at the NFL Combine. You know, prove that his production at USC was only the tip of the iceberg. And then he ran a 4.72 40-yard dash while measuring in at 5’11’’, 219 pounds and reminded NFL coaches of why he never appeared to be the dynamic runner he was dubbed as coming out of high school.
If you’ve ever watched Tyler run the ball than you know it’s like watching a minivan drive down the slow lane going 50 mph while the rest of traffic is racing by at 75 mph. Just watch some of Tyler’s film at USC and half the time you’ll see defensive lineman catching him from behind. For how good of a runner he is, the fact that he’s so slow is what makes him mediocre.
It’s not out of the question for Tyler to push for a practice squad gig or even a roster spot. But don’t expect him to be out on the field busting out 100-yard performances anytime soon. He’s just too slow.
This is the NFL; slow and steady rarely wins the race.