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Don't discount Packers spending high pick on RB

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted April 08, 2010 @ 5:02 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

While it appears the Packers have much more immediate needs at four other positions — offensive tackle, cornerback, strong safety and outside linebacker, in no particular order — insiders in Green Bay are not ruling out the possibility that the team might spend a high pick on a running back, if there's one available that it really likes. We hear there are a couple of reasons the Packers might seriously explore the RB route. The most obvious one is that, aside from featured back Ryan Grant, who ended up having a very solid 2009 season (finishing third in the NFC with a career-high 1,253 rushing yards), the team's RB situation is currently mediocre at best. Primary backup Brandon Jackson really can't do anything well except pass-block, and unrestricted free agent Ahman Green, who is currently third on the depth chart, is clearly on his last legs.

But another compelling reason the team could make the backfield one of its bigger priorities is the contract status of Grant, who could pocket as much as $9 million with escalators included in 2011 if he matches his '09 rushing total next season. As solid as Grant appears to be at the moment, the consensus seems to be that a figure that hefty could be pretty hard for the Packers to stomach two seasons from now short of a contract extension or pay cut. There is, however, one more thing worth noting: Most draft experts agree that, while the draft is extremely strong at a number of positions this season, running back isn't one of them. 

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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