Nebraska's Brandon Jackson (selected No.63 overall) will look to help usher in a new era for the Packers' rushing attack now that Ahman Green has departed via free agency. With Jackson, and top veterans Vernand Morency and Noah Herron, the Packers will enter training camp with a much different look and style at running back. Jackson fits the mold.
"With his size (5-feet-9, 210 pounds), he's a back that fits our run scheme," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "We're not a big patterned scheme where we're loading up and running the ball downhill 25-30 times a game, so I think he fits our lead-zone scheme."
Scout.com's draft guide had Jackson rated as a third-round back. Not one of the more noted running backs coming out, he appears to have all the right things to succeed in the Packers' offense.
"He's a guy that looks like a running back when you watch him on film," said offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. "I don't think you're going to have a ton of training to get this guy. He has a natural ability. It won't take (running backs coach) Edgar (Bennett) three years to teach him how to run the ball. There are some guys in the draft that maybe are physically bigger and maybe ran a faster 40, but I don't know if you can teach those guys how to run the football. This kid probably was a good football player when he was eight years old in the backyard. Hopefully he will be good when he gets out here on Sundays."
Unless the Packers add another veteran back headed into training camp, they will be short on experience and long on uncertainty at the position. Like Morency in the NFL, Jackson has never really been a full-time starter at Nebraska and his NFL projection is more of a backup. With Green gone, there is a good chance the Packers will head into the 2007 season without a featured back. Said general manager Ted Thompson: "The role that Ahman played and the job that he did is going to have to be shared by some people. I think it's going to be more of a group effort."
Note: The rest of this story and on Jackson and more on Green Bay's draft picks will be featured in the upcoming Summer issue of Packer Report magazine. Call (888) 501-5752 to subscribe, or Click here for more information.