The Green Bay Packers are rumored to be having a tight battle at running back, with rookie Jamaal Williams now having a great chance to leapfrog the depth chart and steal the starting spot.
Coming into training camp, the Packers had penciled in Ty Montgomery at the starting spot in what was otherwise considered an open competition. But so far, Williams has emerged as the sharpest running back in camp and now is taking the bulk of snaps with the first-team offense, ESPN reported.
The fourth-round draft pick has shown that he can be an all-round weapon in the Packers’ pass-heavy offense, the report noted, showing a deft ability to catch balls out of the backfield and to pick up blitzing defenders while staying in protection of Aaron Rodgers. Those could be skills that keep him at the top of the depth chart once the season starts.
Jamaal Williams has also been earning praise from the Packers coaching staff as well.
“Obviously running the football, that’s important,” Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett told ESPN. “Catching the football as a receiver out of the backfield as well, [and] going back to the pass protection, you can’t stress it enough as far as the overall importance of being able to be in sync with that protection unit, the offensive line and understanding the role they play in the protection game.”
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) August 5, 2017
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) July 31, 2017
While the rumors point to Jamaal Williams making a bid for the starting position, there is still plenty of competition in the Packers camp. The team had a running back-heavy draft, snagging Aaron Jones after Williams in the fifth round and Devante Mays in the seventh round. They also picked up Kalif Phillips and William Stanback in the undrafted free agency pile. For Williams to continue taking first-team snaps, he will need to keep up the performances once the hitting picks up at camp and the team moves into preseason games.
As Lombardi Ave noted, Ty Montgomery is still considered the starting running back and appears likely to hold that role once the season stars. But if the rumors coming out of Green Bay Packers camp hold true, he could find himself in a platoon with Jamaal Williams splitting the carries. And if Williams can continue to show his value to the passing game — especially in protecting Aaron Rodgers — then the BYU rookie could see even more playing time.
[Featured Image by Matt Ludtke/AP Images]