I was very determined. I felt like I had a point to prove, and I felt like I did that. I feel like I’m one of the best backs in the country, and my goal is to show that on the field.
That’s what Los Angeles Rams' undrafted free agent running back Aaron Green had to say at TCU's Pro Day.
Green, who was not invited to the NFL Combine, was out to prove a point. And while Green’s resumé wasn’t enough to have his name called prior to Mr. Irrelevant, it appears he did enough to catch the eye of Rams’ GM Les Snead, who was on hand that day.
Green is quicker than he is fast, but can effectively keep would-be tacklers off balance as a result of great footwork and ankle-breaking cuts. He struggles, however, to break tackles. He lacks the power to be an every down, between the tackles, rusher but could serve as a nice complement to Todd Gurley, especially on third down. Per Pro Football Focus' 2016 NFL Draft Guide, Green had a perfect 100% pass blocking efficiency in 2015, and was the only player in the nation not to give up a pressure while having at least 40 pass block snaps.
The film shows that Green has incredible agility and an impressive ability to change direction. Here’s a glance at what Green is capable of doing, at least at the college level, as a runner...
While it’s very easy to get excited about Green’s play-making ability, making the roster will be no small task, as he’ll find himself competing for a backup spot against Tre Mason and a few other notable UDFA’s.
Mason served as the team’s primary backup in 2015, and despite a drastic decrease in workload from the season prior, the job, it appears, is his to lose this year. Benny Cunningham doesn’t figure into the run game as much, but has done very well as the team’s top kick returner. Chase Reynolds is a special team’s ace, but won’t factor into a battle for carries. Malcolm Brown, an UDFA from 2015, was a complete non-factor in his rookie season, but figures to be in the mix this year.
The good news, for all of these guys, is that I don’t think the primary backup spot is going to be handed to Mason, who could be facing a league suspension due to an arrest in early March. All of these guys should assume the backup spot is up for grabs, and whoever wants it most this offseason will ultimately be the guy getting the carries in September.
I don’t imagine there being a great deal of "buzz" surrounding the running back battle for obvious reasons. But that’s not to say Green can’t turn a few heads. Doing so will certainly help his chances of making the final roster, amidst a group of guys who have a few years (as pros) under their belts.
It’s good news for Green that he isn’t vying for the starting spot, because of his limitations as a first or second down ball-carrier. But what he does bring to the table, and how his skill sets complement those of Gurley, make him an intriguing guy to watch as the offseason progresses.
Chances of Making Final Roster: 5/10
As it goes for many undrafted free agents, Green will have to show serious versatility this offseason, to include participation on special teams units. If he can do that, show the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and create a few "oh my" moments with his shiftiness, I think he stands a decent chance of cracking the roster. I’m thinking Trey Watts...without all the suspensions.
For now, I really like what Green brings to the table, and that’s why I’m placing him atop my "Andrew Helmick UDFA Standout Award" watch list.