3 reasons the Packers should go all-in on Aaron Jones at running back
Last season, the Green Bay Packers had yet another year of mediocrity. They finished the season 6-9-1, sitting third overall in the NFC North division. The season was marred by the firing of head coach Mike McCarthy 13 weeks into the regular season. The team was dysfunctional – franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers had lost his relationship with McCarthy.
This offseason the team decided to bring in offensive mastermind Matt LaFleur. He had most recently been the offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans. However, his roots lie elsewhere. He’s another member of the Sean McVay coaching tree, having spent time with the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Rams as well.
This change allows the Packers to modernize their offensive attack. At the same time, it extends the career of Rodgers. Last season, Rodgers threw for 4,442 yards with 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions. His completion percentage sat at 62.3 percent and his quarterback rating was a solid 56.8. His completion percentage was the second-lowest since his rookie year, and his quarterback rating the lowest.
3. The Packers need consistency at running back
The 2018 Packers had a two running back committee. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams split time at running back for the team. Jones had 943 yards from scrimmage with nine total touchdowns. Williams had 674 yards from scrimmage and only had three touchdowns. Even though these numbers aren’t very impressive, the Packers still trusted Jones in key situations.
Jones proved in his sophomore season to be an excellent running and receiving back. He averaged 5.5 yards per attempt on the run and has shown flashes. He has the talent to be a lead back. Pro Football Focus ranked him 12th among all starting running backs this past season. All he needs is an uptick in carries.
2. The Packers don’t have a lot of cap room
The Packers come into this offseason with around $34 million in cap space, per Over the Cap. They don’t have a ton of roster flexibility, and they desperately need to add depth to their front seven. The front office will likely use their resources on solidifying the defense and letting LaFleur use the current players on offense.
Plus, there aren’t many cost-efficient options in free agency. Outside of LeVeon Bell, the big names are C.J. Anderson and Jay Ajayi. Why spend money on the depth you already have.
1. He’s a very well-rounded running back
Not only does Jones rack up carries and catch passes out in the backfield, but he can also be a serviceable pass-blocker as well. Halfway through the season, Jones was one out of five running backs who didn’t allow a pressure. His size allows him to pick up blitzes off the edge with ease.
Having a player as versatile as Jones gives LaFleur the chance to use him in even more offensive possessions.