The Green Bay Packers had a lot of issues at running back last season. Eddie Lacy got injured and struggles with his weight. James Starks was alternately injured and ineffective. Eventually, they had to turn to Ty Montgomery, a converted wide receiver.
Montgomery will stay at running back moving forward, but he's on the smaller and slighter side, so the Packers needed a big-back complement to him. In the fourth round of this year's draft, they got just that in BYU's Jamaal Williams. The selection received an "A" grade from NFLDraftScout.com's Spencer Hall.
"A four-year starter that leaves BYU as the school´s leading rusher," Hall said. "Patient and decisive reading his blocks. Will battle Montgomery for the starting RB job as a rookie for the Packers."
Williams ran for 3,901 yards in 43 college games, averaging an excellent 5.6 yards per carry. He also added 35 touchdowns and showed during his freshman season that he could catch the ball out of the backfield as well. (BYU didn't throw to him very often during his final three years in school.)
Because Montgomery is clearly a back that should be operating in a time-share, it was noted very quickly by draft analysts and Packers writers on Twitter that Williams has a very good chance for early playing time.
Good landing spot for Year 1 value for Jamaal Williams. Can earn the big back role alongside Ty Montgomery.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 29, 2017
Jamaal Williams won't blow anyone away with speed, but he's a solid runner who can pass protect. Packers have their Montgomery compliment.— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) April 29, 2017
The Packers added another back in a slightly mold later in the draft with Aaron Jones.
Spencer Hall gave the Jones pick a "C" grade, not liking it quite as much as the Williams selection.
"Averaged 7.7 yards per carry with good speed and elusiveness, though his power is less than ideal and will limit short yardage opportunities," Hall said.
Jones totaled 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns last season for UTEP before testing out as the third-most athletic back at this year's NFL combine, according to the popular SPARQ athleticism rankings. He should provide a different look than either Williams and Montgomery in the backfield, and the Packers have now crowded what was a pretty empty running back room prior to Saturday.