With the Green Bay Packers ranking in the top half of the league in rushing yards in 2015 despite a disappointing performance from feature back Eddie Lacy, running back does not seem on the surface to be a pressing need heading into next season.
Make no mistake, though, Green Bay needs to bolster its backfield. If not for the present, then certainly for the near future.
Lacy’s weight ballooned heading into the 2015 season, and the 5-foot-11, 231-pound back watched his production take a coinciding hit. After compiling 3,001 yards from scrimmage and 24 total touchdowns during his first two years in the NFL, the 25-year old found the end zone only five times while recording just 946 yards from scrimmage in 2015.
Backup James Starks stepped up in a big way throughout Lacy’s struggles, recording career-highs in rushing yards, receiving yards and total touchdowns.
The Packers re-signed Starks this offseason, and Lacy has displayed a commitment to returning to premier football shape in recent months. But with Starks entering the season at 30 years old and Lacy entering the final year of his rookie contract, Green Bay must prepare for changes at the running back position.
Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon would be an excellent candidate to help the organization ease into such a transition.
As a three-star prospect coming out of high school, Dixon chose Louisiana Tech over the likes of LSU, Arkansas and Ole Miss. The decision paid off for the versatile back, as he led the nation with 27 rushing touchdowns as a freshman.
After taking a step back during his sophomore campaign, Dixon emerged as a multi-dimensional threat during his final two seasons with the Bulldogs. He combined for 849 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns during this stretch, adding 2,372 yards and 41 touchdowns on the ground.
For Packers fans dismayed over the team’s failure to sign longtime Bears running back and respected receiving threat Matt Forte during the offseason, Dixon would serve as a worthy consolation prize.
Next: Round 4