Packers prospect: Marshawn Lynch

Cal running back destined to be selected by Packers in first round

If the Green Bay Packers do not re-sign Ahman Green, look for general manager Ted Thompson to select California running back Marshawn Lynch with the team's first round pick in the April 28-29 NFL draft.

The Packers are in need of a little more go-power in the backfield, and Lynch, who is projected by a number of draft experts to be selected by the Packers, has the ability to give the Packers a boost.

Thompson, while at the recent NFL Combine, said the Packers will take the "best player" available when it is their turn to select in each round. If Lynch is available when the Packers are on the clock in the first round, they will take Lynch, especially if they are unable to re-sign Green, who became an unrestricted free agent today. Who knows? Maybe Thompson will opt for Lynch even if the Packers re-sign Green.

"I believe strongly that if you draft good players, even if you have a multitude of those players on your team, you never have enough good players," Thompson said. "So we will always try to take the best player."

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Lynch chose to forego his senior season at Cal after he rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the last two seasons, becoming only the second player in school history to accomplish that feat on the ground in consecutive years. He played in 35 games for the Golden Bears, starting 20 times. He became the fourth player in school history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a career, carrying 490 times for 3,230 yards (6.6 avg.) and 29 touchdowns. He caught 68 passes for 600 yards (8.8 avg.) and six touchdowns.

Lynch has good upper body strength and is a powerful runner with speed (4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, though, he said he has run a 4.36) and quickness. He seemingly would be a good fit in Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme.

Lynch, an Oakland, Calif., native, said at the Combine that he met with Packers representatives and realizes that he likely will be playing in Green Bay in 2007.

"I don't really pay too much attention to that," Lynch said. "Down at API where I was working out at, the guys come in and tell me, 'Get ready to pack your ear muffs, your gloves and a big coat, you're going to Green Bay.'"

The Packers would welcome him with open arms. Vernand Morency and Noah Herron are the top two backs behind Green at the present time. Morency proved to be a good backup, and Herron is a good third-down back, but the jury is still out on if either can be a No. 1 back.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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