Um, who is Alex Green? I have to admit, that was my first reaction to the announcement of the Packers’ third round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. I hadn’t really paid much attention to running backs in my pre-draft research. I can blame that on the CheeseheadTV Draft guide, which had me spending all of my free time studying offensive tackles and outside linebackers.
I did expect the Packers to take a running back, but not until day three of the draft. So when the Packers selected Green, I raised my eyebrows a bit, read a few scouting reports and was satisfied that it seemed like a decent pick. When the draft concluded, I have to say that there was a lot that I liked about how it had all worked out for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers took three players I was really hoping for (Sherrod, Cobb and Guy), and a few I consider very pleasant surprises (House, Williams, & Elmore).
But what about this Alex Green? Well, since the draft ended, I’ve been quietly compiling information and watching tape. I can now truly say – I like this pick as much as I do those of Sherrod and Cobb.
First, a little background. I’ve been watching football for over 40 years and I’ve always been a bruising running game kind of guy. I’ve always been drawn to teams that could run it down your throat and there was nothing you could do about it. The Packers with Taylor and Hornung. The Dolphins with Csonka, Kiick and Morris. The Steelers with Harris and Bleier. Of course, those were all a long time ago and it’s a different NFL now.
As recently as during the 2010 season, I was still steadfastedly holding to my belief that a championship caliber team needs at least a “consistent” running game. Of course, the Packers went out and proved that to be just a bunch of hooey, and finally broke though that wall of denial I had built around myself. Yes, I am now a believer. Running game, schmunning game – who needs it?
But while the Packers proved to me you don’t “need” it, I don’t think anyone would argue it would be a hell of an additional weapon to have. Well Good Golly Miss Molly, I believe the Packers agree. With their selection of Alex Green, adding to the Ryan Grant – James Starks mix, the Packers are saying to opposing defensive coordinators – good luck game planning us.