In case you haven’t noticed, there hasn’t been a lot of big-money deals for free-agent running backs around the NFL. Consider the fact that Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings remains unsigned. That is due in part to the fact that any number of teams are looking to get some fresh legs at the position via April’s draft. The big names from the available talent pool are LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook. And while Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has addressed the backfield situation this offseason in a variety of ways, is it possible that the franchise takes a running back in the first round for the first time since 1990?

Backfield status

A look at the running back depth chart of the Green Bay Packers finds converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery now a full-time member of the backfield. Earlier this week, the organization brought back Christine Michael, who finished the season with the club. As we know, running back Eddie Lacy signed with the Seattle Seahawks and seven-year veteran James Starks was released by the club. This was a Packers’ club that ranked 20th in the NFL in yards per game on the ground. If quarterback Aaron Rodgers is to have another successful year, he and the team have to get more support from this area in 2017. Or it could be a longer year than expected if this is a one-dimensional offense once again.

Immediate impact?

It’s hard not to be excited about what the former Seminoles’ star could possibly bring to the Green Bay Packers. As a freshman, he ran for 1,008 yards and eight scores on only 170 carries. That workload would increase dramatically each of the next two seasons. In 2015, he played in a dozen games and racked up 1,691 yards and 19 scores on the ground on only 229 attempts.

This past season, it was 13 outings, 288 carries, 1,765 yards rushing and another 19 touchdowns. And in case you’re wondering if Cook can catch the football, he’s totaled 79 grabs for 935 yards and two scores in three seasons. In 2016, the Packers’ big free-agent addition was tight end Jared Cook – now a member of the Oakland Raiders. But could a young prospect with the same last name be the answer for Green Bay’s ground attack in 2017?