In any discussion I have seen of the current Green Bay Packers running backs, the theme is the same: Can Ryan Grant return to the form of his rookie year and if not, will they finally give Brandon Jackson a chance to start?
In a recent interview, Packers beat writer Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal was asked why Brandon Jackson did not get more of an opportunity to play last year. Bedard stated without hesitation that there were people in the Packer organization that wanted Ryan Grant to be the starter last year, even as he was struggling on the field and battling a hamstring injury.
All indications are that it was not the coaches, but the Packers front office pushing Grant as the starter to justify the new contract he was given.
So as Packer fans continue arguing Grant vs. Jackson, I am here to throw a monkey wrench into the debate. Neither one of them is the best running back on the Packers. Lurking in the wings and waiting for his chance could very well be the best running back on the Green Bay Packers roster—Kregg Lumpkin.
As a running back from the University of Georgia, Kregg Lumpkin is in good company. Herschel Walker, Terrell Davis, Rodney Hampton, Garrison Hearst and other top NFL running backs have all came out of “Tailback U”.
Lumpkin was expected to have as good a college career as any of them. But that did not happen. Lumpkin made the Packers roster as an undrafted rookie, and then ended up spending most of the season on injured reserve.
So what has he done for me to say he is the Packers’ best running back? Why would I go out on such a precarious limb? What evidence is there to support this hypothesis?
Well, a lot of it may be circumstantial, but let me present my case.
Kregg Antonio Lumpkin was born in Albany, Georgia, about 60 miles North of Talahassee, Florida. His family later relocated to Stone Mountain Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Lumpkin played High School football there at Stephenson HS.
He started all four year at running back, and rushed for 2,088 yards during his junior season and 1,456 yards with 15 touchdowns as a senior.