The Green Bay Packers were ranked 21st in rushing last season, averaging 106.4 yards per game in 2012 with an average of 3.9 yards per carry. On top of that, the Packers have not had a running back rush for more than 1,000 yards since 2009, when Ryan Grant did it. Green Bay has the 26th pick in the draft this season, but to get Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, they may have to move up in the draft.
Ball has been projected anywhere between the first and second rounds for the 2013 draft, but after his strong showing at the combine, he will most likely end up being drafted in the first round. A lot will depend on where Alabama running back Eddie Lacy will be drafted, but teams such as the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals–both ahead of the Packers in the draft–may be willing to take Ball higher up in the draft to make they get the star running back.
The Packers have plenty of needs on the defensive side of the ball. However, as they proved with cornerback Casey Hayward last season, there are plenty of quality defensive players available later in the draft. While the same can be said for running backs, Ball is a player with the potential to be one of the top backs in the league. He had 77 rushing touchdowns in his four years at Wisconsin and rushed for almost 4,000 yards in his last two seasons.
At the combine, Ball ran a 40 time of 4.66 seconds, which is clearly not the best time, but all-time leading rusher Emmit Smith ran a 40-time of 4.70, which proves that 40 times aren’t everything. Ball excelled at all other aspects at the combine, including his 6.88 shuttle time, which shows how well he is able to cut.
Ball has no “wow factor” about him, but he is very consistent and quietly get the job done. At Wisconsin, he rushed for more than 5.0 yards a carry for three of his four years. He has the size and durability to be a three-down back in the NFL and would instantly make the Packers offense significantly better.
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