The Green Bay Packers selected running back MarShawn Lloyd in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The former USC star was considered one of the top backs in this year’s draft class by most scouts. Of course, Lloyd will have to prove himself at the NFL level and battle for playing time behind the newly acquired Josh Jacobs, and returnees A.J. Dillon and Emanuel Wilson. Here is a look at what MarShawn Lloyd needs to do see significant playing time for the Packers this season.

What Packers RB MarShawn Lloyd Needs to do to See Playing Time: His Skill Set and College Performance

Lloyd spent three seasons at the University of South Carolina before transferring to USC. His most impressive season came in 2023 with USC where he gained 820 yards in 116 carries for an impressive average of 7.1-yards per carry.

At the scouting combine, Lloyd ran a 4.46 40-yard dash. His ability to make quick cuts and change direction made him a shifty, elusive runner.

The Packers believe Lloyd can give the offense another dimension if inserted into the lineup.

“I would like to get [Lloyd] out there as much as possible,” offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich said. “He’s got a skill set that’s a little bit different than AJ’s as far as his speed. He’s not quite the bruiser that [Dillon] is obviously, but he’s got a different type of skill set. So, it’ll be nice to get him the ball in space and just see what he can do because I think he’s going to add a good explosive element to the offense as well.”

Lloyd at OTAs

Lloyd looked strong at OTAs. He was getting some reps with the starters especially when Josh Jacobs was not present.

Overall, Lloyd was pleased with his first NFL experience. “I feel like they’ve been using me pretty good and in different ways,” Lloyd said during OTAs. “I’m super-excited about the season. I’m just going to keep pushing throughout this whole break and just getting better and better each day.”

According to the depth chart, Lloyd will be competing with Dillon and Wilson for playing time behind Jacobs.

What Packers RB MarShawn Lloyd Needs to do to See Playing Time: The Needed Skills

Few people doubt Lloyd’s ability with the football in his hands. He can turn a short run into a long gain. But to see the field in Green Bay, he will have to improve the other aspects of his game.

One of the most important is pass protection. Keeping Jordan Love upright and giving him enough time to throw is critical to Matt LaFleur’s offense. This is something Lloyd didn’t have to do often in college.

When he first broke into the NFL in 2017, Aaron Jones faced a similar problem. Jones worked hard to improve his pass blocking and eventually became quite good at it despite his lack of size.

Lloyd will also have to improve at identifying blitzes and picking up stunts.

Another key area for Lloyd to work on is ball control. He fumbled eight times in his three seasons in college. If he continues to struggle to hold on to the ball, the Packers coaches will be more reluctant to use him. Turnovers are something every offense wants to avoid.

One More Question About MarShawn Lloyd

One more thing the Packers don’t know about Lloyd is his receiving ability. He wasn’t called on to catch passes out of the backfield very often. He never caught more than 18 passes in any of his three seasons in college. In 2023, he did average a healthy 17.8-yards per catch on just 13 receptions.

Obviously, getting a fast and shifty runner like Lloyd the ball in space is something that the coaching staff would eagerly anticipate. They believe Lloyd has the ability to do it, but he hasn’t proven it in college due to a lack of opportunities.

Overall, the Packers are very excited about Lloyd’s potential. If he works hard and shows what he can do in training camp and during the preseason, he can carve out a role in the Green Bay offense as a rookie and realize his potential.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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