It was a hard life if you were banking on a Green Bay Packers running back last season. Ryan Grant and James Starks split carries evenly, neither of them were all that great, and even if both had been really effective, it probably wouldn't have stopped the Pack from throwing on seemingly every play. They may do the same again this season, but at least the backfield situation is much clearer. Grant is not in the cards, and according to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert, the Packers are 'committed' to having Starks as their clear lead back. Head coach Mike McCarthy seems to be a definite supporter.
"He's a young raw guy that needs to play," McCarthy said of Starks. "If he can stay healthy, I think he'll make a significant jump as a player."
Starks is atop the RB depth chart in minicamp, much like he will be at the start of training camp, the preseason, and the regular season as long as he stays out of the infirmary. Alex Green is currently slated to be his backup. Again, Starks may not have a bunch of opportunities due to the offense he is a part of, but he is currently going in the eighth or ninth round in mock drafts. Starks' average draft position will move up as the summer plays out, but that's a lot of value for a clear-cut starting running back. I think he's a very intriguing semi-sleeper.