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The Rookie Report

Welcome everyone to the first regular season installment to the Rookie Report. In case you missed the report during the preseason, each week during the preseason and regular season, the report will cover topics, trends and a game by game analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s 2007 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.

This week we will analyze the

Green Bay running back situation, specifically as it pertains to the fantasy value of Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn.

So sit back, but don’t get too comfortable because here we go with our first regular season week’s installment of this report on the

Green Bay running back situation…

Green Bay RB Situation

With Ahman Green leaving for the Houston Texans this offseason,

Green Bay is left with a lack of experience at the RB position with two main contenders:

Vernand Morency and rookie

Brandon Jackson

DeShawn Wynn also figures into this committee as well due to Morency recovering from his preseason knee injury.

Brandon Jackson was drafted in the 2nd round by

Green Bay in this year’s NFL Rookie Draft, and comes to the Packers with quite a bit of fantasy hype. Brandon Jackson was never a workhorse in college with only his Junior year at

Nebraska to base his prospects on. 

Jackson carried the ball at

Nebraska 188 times for 989 yards and 8 TDs last year. Despite

Jackson’s quickness and burst, he only accounted for roughly 38% of the Corn Huskers’ carries and 40% of the team’s rushing yards. These college numbers are hardly anything to base a lot of confidence on

Jackson’s NFL prospects as he never carried the whole load in college. Despite the lack of experience, the Packers committed a second round pick to the

Jackson, and are willing to give him a chance to secure the starting job.

Many believe Brandon Jackson is a natural fit for the Packers system.

Morency missed most of the preseason with a knee injury allowing Brandon Jackson significant time with the first team offense to secure the starting job. Despite this opportunity, Brandon Jackson struggled in camp with picking up pass protections and finding running lanes in preseason games. He finished his inconsistent preseason with 40 carries for 131 rushing yards (3.3 yards per carry) and 6 catches for 35 yards.

Vernand Morency was acquired from the Houston Texans at the beginning of the 2006. Morency was given a chance at the starting position in

Houston. Despite this opportunity, Morency never could grasp the zone blocking schemes and lost the positional battle to a 6th round rookie Wali Lundy and perennial Heisman disappointment Ron Dayne. Morency has a tendency to be hesitant behind the line of scrimmage, and likes to dance in the backfield instead of bursting through the hole in the line when it opens. Morency possesses decent speed and receiving ability out of the backfield.

In 2006 with the Packers, Morency split backup duties with Noah Herron and Ahman Green. He accounted for 91 carries for 421 yards and 16 catches for 112 yards. Reports in early training camp indicate that Morency gained 10 lbs to his frame to prepare his body for additional carries during the season; however, it is unclear whether he has kept this additional weight after missing most of the preseason with a knee injury that appears to still be lingering going into the Packers opening week match up versus the Eagles.

With Vernand Morency struggling to recover from a knee injury, DeShawn Wynn appears to be the primary backup and third down back for Week 1’s game versus the Eagles. In training camp, the Packers coaching staff was impressed with Wynn’s ability to pickup the blitz in pass protection situations. Wynn only played in the fourth preseason game where he had 21 carries for 54 rushing yards. If Morency’s knee injury continues to linger past Week 1 of the regular season, Wynn will likely remain as the primary backup to Brandon Jackson.

The Packers are willing to give Brandon Jackson every opportunity to secure the starting running back job in Morency’s absence. A solid week one performance would have given

Jackson the leg up on Morency for the first part of the season, and possibly the entire year with how much time Morency missed in camp. 

Jackson turned in a mediocre performance finishing the game with 15 carries for 40 yards and 4 catches for 35 yards.

Even if Brandon Jackson becomes the primary running back for the Packers, he is likely no better than a RB3 on your fantasy teams as their situation appears to be headed towards a RBBC in some capacity. DeShawn Wynn is also a guy that may have value on fantasy rosters at some point this season as Jackson’s backup and a third down back, given Morency’s lingering knee injury.

The following section of the rookie report will recap performances by rookies each week for each game.

New Orleans Saints vs.

Indianapolis Colts

There were no notable rookie performances in this game.

Denver Broncos vs.

Buffalo Bills

Bills’ rookie RB Marshawn Lynch was impressive in his regular season debut with 19 carries for 90 rushing yards, 2 catches for 9 yards and a touchdown.

Broncos RB Selvin Young rushed 2 times for 7 yards and had 1 catch for 11 yards.

Tennessee Titans vs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars’ rookie WR John Broussard produced 2 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.

There were no notable rookie performances on the Titans.

Miami Dolphins vs.

Washington Redskins

Miami WR Ted Ginn, Jr. had one rush for 7 yards and 7 total returns for 90 yards.

There were no notable Redskins rookie performances.

Carolina Panthers vs.

St. Louis Rams

The only notable rookie performance in this game was Rams’ RB Brian Leonard’s 3 catches for 12 yards.

New England Patriots vs.

New York Jets

There were no notable rookie performances in this game.

Minnesota Vikings vs.

Atlanta Falcons

Vikings rookie RB Adrian Peterson benefited from Chester Taylor’s early injury. Peterson finished the game with 19 carries for 103 yards, 1 catch for 60 yards, and a touchdown.

Falcons WR Laurent Robinson finished the game with 3 catches for 32 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs.

Cleveland Browns

There were no notable rookie performances in this game.

Green Bay Packers vs.

Philadelphia Eagles

Packers’ RB Brandon Jackson finished with 15 carries for 40 yards and 4 catches for 35 yards. WR James Jones caught 4 passes for 29 yards. RB DeShawn Wynn had 1 carry for 8 yards and 1 catch for 18 yards. PK Mason Crosby went 3 for 3 on field goals with the game winner and also was 1 for 1 from extra points.

There were no notable rookie performances for the Eagles.

Houston Texans vs.

Kansas City Chiefs

Houston WR Jacoby Jones had 1 rush for 4 yards; 2 catches for 33 yards; and 4 punt returns for 14 yards.

Chiefs’ WR Dwayne Bowe had 3 catches for 42 yards after Eddie Kennison left the game with a hamstring injury. PK Justin Medlock went 1 for 2 on field goals missing an opening drive field goal.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs.

Seattle Seahawks

There were no notable rookie performances in this game.

Chicago Bears vs.

San Diego Chargers

Chargers WR Craig Davis was the only notable rookie performance in this contest. He finished with 2 catches for 15 yards and a fumble lost.

Detroit Lions vs.

Oakland Raiders

Lions WR Calvin Johnson had 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in his impressive regular season debut.

Raiders’ TE Zach Thomas caught 3 balls for 23 yards.

Dallas Cowboys vs.

New York Giants

Cowboys PK Nick Folk connected on his only field goal attempt from 31 yards and went 6 for 6 on extra point attempts.

Giants WR Steve Smith caught 3 passes for 16 yards.

Due to the timing of this report, a recap of Monday night games will not be included in the Rookie Report.

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