One of the closest competitions throughout training camp for the Green Bay Packers had been waged at running back between incumbent John Crockett and rookie free agent Brandon Burks.
Burks and Crockett were among a slew of others looking to be third guy on the depth chart behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks. And after three preseason games, the battle was still neck-and-neck.
Yet, Crockett suffered a significant injury against the 49ers and was going to miss an extended period of time. That injury, led to his release Tuesday. It also opens the door for Burks to wind up on Green Bay’s final 53-man roster.
But even though Crockett’s injury may have ceded the competition to Burks, the truth is, the former Troy State standout, may have won the job anyways.
Crockett was having a good preseason and had potential. But the downside to him, was that he was very similar to Lacy and Starks. Burks, on the other hand, has some wiggle to him, he’s also very good as a receiver, as evidenced by 88 receptions in college.
Here’s what a personnel man for an NFL team recently told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn about Burks:
Burks can change direction and make something happen,” one personnel man said. “Crockett cannot. There isn’t anything there with Crockett. Burks is a threat.”
Burks has the ability to make big plays and he has shown that in the preseason, carrying the ball 19 times for 89 yards (4.7 YPC) with a long of 19 yards.
Without Crockett’s injury, the Packers may have had a tough decision to make, but as often happens, attrition won out and because of it, Green Bay will get a potential-filled back, who can provide a different threat than Lacy and Starks going forward.