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Meet the Packers 2013 Rookies—Johnathan Franklin, RB

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Meet the Packers 2013 Rookies—Johnathan Franklin, RB

Of course Ted Thompson double-dipped on running backs by getting Johnathan Franklin in the fourth round to pair with Eddie Lacy because "Ted Thompson".

With some questions about Lacy's durability and a lack of solid options in the backfield beyond DuJuan Harris (for who the jury is still out no matter what Aaron Nagler and I say), Franklin late in the fourth was just too good to pass up.

I went back and forth between Franklin and Stepfan Taylor all off-season, finally leaning towards Franklin because while he's a bit more raw, his ceiling is far higher.

Franklin had an up and down UCLA career, with a big sophomore year followed by a middling junior year and capped off by a fantastic senior campaign.

He can run tough, has learned to hold onto the ball and can catch as well. He does many things well, but none really perfectly. Still, he has a lot of untapped potential to offer.

Here's a closer look at Franklin and what he brings to the table.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac3444's picture

Seems like he could be a better version of Brandon Jackson.

Stroh's picture

I agree. He'll be a better rusher than Jackson, a better pass receiver than Jackson but not quite as good a pass blocker. Franklin has a similar skill set but is just a better all around player than Jackson. Problem is he has Harris in front of him for now. Like to see Franklin on punt/kick returns this season.

andrewgarda's picture

I think the pass blocking is something which he can improve upon and, if Lacy is healthy, not as immediately critical.

As I said in the video if he can stay on for 3rd down, he will be a pain in the ass for defenses.

Stroh's picture

Jackson was one of the best pass blocking RB in the NFL. Franklin isn't anywhere near that good. He is a better runner and receiver tho. I think Franklin will be hard pressed to find the field as a rookie. He'll have Harris ahead of him in the role that suits him best.

The poster formerly known as Bearmeat's picture

Yeah Stroh, but Jackson didn't mature as a pass blocker until his 3rd year in the league. Rooks take time.

nick perry's picture

I disagree. M.M. is going to find ways to get this kid the ball. As long as his fumbling issues are a thing of the past like he showed last year, he'll be on the field, especially on 3rd down. M.M. will try to get this kid the ball more and more as the season wears on.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I really think Franklin will become a major weapon out of the backfield for the Packers this year. I really like his ability as a receiver.
Packers have been lacking a RB with that type of ability in a long time. If teams want to run cover 2, just run more screen or swing passes to Franklin and after he starts to gain a lot of yards, that will take teams out of the Cover 2.
Great pick up by the Packers.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

He will be the better pro of he and Lacy, and Lacy's gonna be good.

Robert's picture

I really do not like all the hype about Franklin. I hope Lacy shows everyone else they missed out on what the Packers got. Maybe Franklin can become a great thrid down, maybe punt and kick return option, it is hard to deny his ability to make defenders miss.

andrewgarda's picture

I think Lacy will probably be fine though long term I have some worries as he's been banged up a bunch. That's why I think the drafting of Franklin is smart - a guy who can fill in and keep Lacy from being overwhelmed.

cow42's picture

i like the player but i don't like the pick (because of harris).
coulda' filled a need there.

would have been fine with

lacy
harris
late round pick
green or starks

RC Packer Fan's picture

I loved the pick and still love the pick. Biggest reason why I love it is because I thought their RB's were the biggest weakness on the team the last couple of years.
Adding Lacy helped but also adding Franklin, to go along with Harris and probably either Starks/Green, I feel the position went from a weakness to a strength.
Also they got both as value picks. Many project Lacy to go in round 1 to early 2. and Lot picked Franklin to go round 2-3. So for the value they got great value on both players.

andrewgarda's picture

I'm a huge believer in Harris, so I know where you're coming from. That said, I think this was more about 1) lacy's durability 2) Franklin's value in thr 4th which was pretty huge 3) Harris' lack of history.

That said I still believe Harris will be a part of the backfield, especially as Franklin improves his pass blocking which, aside from fumbling issues earlier in his college career, is probably his biggest issue.

Stroh's picture

Lacy never missed a start in college and according to teammates never a practice. Lacy's injury "concerns" are way over-rated. That doesn't worry me a bit. THe toe thing is much ado about nothing. Far as I'm concerned, he is a proven durable RB!

MarkinMadison's picture

+1

nick perry's picture

Absolutely right about that Stroh. Steelers are the team that started all the talk about Lacy and why he was passed over. Week 16 at Lambeau, when the Steelers come to town, I hope Mr. Lacy shows them exactly what they missed.

Jamie's picture

We already drafted Lacy.

Cut him

Spiderpack's picture

Editors Note: You mean a 4.46 40, you said 4.64 40 in the recording.

Fish . Crane's picture

wow nice catch a big difference

hayward4president's picture

Only my opinion...but I honestly think we would have been fine w just Franklin.

The TKstinator's picture

I would hesitate to use the word "dominant". How about "reliable"? "Respectable"?

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