NFL Camp Competition (07/25/13)

By John Ewing
With NFL training camps underway we check in on a few key position battles around the league including NFL rookies. (2013 projections for rookies are based on this analysis which projects rookie seasons for all NFL prospects as if they were starters on average NFL teams).


 
There are many position battles occurring around the league. This series will look at some of the most prominent clashes occurring in NFL training camps. Previous competitions: Jets QB, Bills QB
 
Green Bay Packers – Running Back Competition
 
Incumbent: Alex Green
2012 stats – 464 Rush Yds, 0 TDs, 125 Rec. Yds, 0 TDs
Green led the Packers in rushing attempts and yards last season. He was ranked 38th among all backs in the NFL with 464 rushing yards. His 3.4 yards/attempt ranked 41 out of 44 qualified backs. Do not expect much from the 2011 third-round pick this season as some NFL personnel believe the Packers may shop Green before the season starts (Rotoworld.com).
 
Incumbent: DuJuan Harris
2012 stats – 157 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 17 Rec. Yds, 0 TDs
Aaron Rodgers and James Starks had more rushing yards last season than Harris. While the Packers rushing offense ranked 20th in the league in total yards, Harris was efficient averaging 4.6 yards/attempt. Harris missed mini-camp due to a cyst on his lung but should be at full strength during training camp. Harris is a candidate for a change of pace back behind the rookies.
 
Challenger: Eddie Lacy
2013 projections – 1,065.0 Rush Yds, 4.5 YPC, 152.3 Rec. Yds
It has been running back by committee in Green Bay for the last few seasons but that could all change after the Packers selected Eddie Lacy in the 2nd round. Lacy, considered the best back in the draft, slipped due to injury (toe) concerns. Nonetheless, reports out of camp are that Lacy looks fast and powerful. It has been 43 straight regular-season games since the Packers had a 100-yard rusher. 
 
Challenger: Jonathan Franklin
2013 projections – 976.4 Rush Yds, 4.1 YPC, 257.0 Rec. Yds
The UCLA product was the eighth back taken in this year’s draft, we had him as the 6th best available. We gave Franklin a 7.0 rating (0-10 scale) entering the draft. A score of seven or better generally means that a player can outperform a replacement player in the NFL at his position as a rookie.