Fri Mar 31 8:50pm ET
Field Level Media
Three-time Pro Bowl running back John Brockington died Friday in San Diego, the Green Bay Packers said. He was 74.
Brockington, a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first three NFL seasons (1971-73) and was NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year and an All-Pro selection in 1971. He played six-plus seasons with Green Bay and finished his final NFL campaign (1977) with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brockington is the fourth-leading rusher (5,024) in franchise history. The players with more are leader Ahman Green (8,322 from 2000-09), Hall of Famer Jim Taylor (8,207 from 1958-66) and current Packer Aaron Jones (5,284 from 2017-2022).
The cause of death was not revealed.
Brockington received a kidney transplant from fellow San Diegan Diane Scott in 2002 to save his life. Brockington and Scott married two years later.
"The Packers family was saddened to hear about the passing of John," Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. "One of the great runners of his era, John was an exciting player to watch with his powerful running style. Fans enthusiastically welcomed John back to Lambeau Field over the years, fondly remembering the 1972 division championship as well as the bright spots he provided in the less-successful seasons.
"I enjoyed getting to know John during his return visits to Green Bay and greatly respected his work in support of organ donation through the John Brockington Foundation. He leaves a wonderful legacy. We extend our condolences to his wife, Diane, and his family and friends."
Brockington, a bruising 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, finished his NFL career with 5,185 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns in 95 games (84 starts). He added 157 receptions for 1,297 yards and four scores.
Brockington was a first-round selection (ninth overall) in 1971 after a standout final season at Ohio State when he rushed for 1,142 yards and 17 touchdowns.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brockington was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is projected to be one of the first off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. But according to BetMGM, the signal-caller is the new favorite to be taken No. 1 overall by the Panthers. Alabama's Bryce Young was the favorite. However, the odds shifted in Stroud's favor after Carolina landed the top selection from the Chicago Bears. The 21-year-old has an impressive resume, so if he doesn't end up in Carolina, Houston will be knocking at the door. One thing is certain, Stroud has a clear path to immediate playing time with either club.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young continues to receive rave reviews ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. While many have the Houston Texans taking the signal-caller with the No. 2 overall pick, reports surfaced that seemingly have things going in a different direction. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Young "absolutely blew away" Panthers head coach Frank Reich when they recently "sat down and talked football." Only time will tell how this situation will culminate. However, it appears Ohio State's C.J. Stroud isn't a lock to be taken at No. 1. That said, Young has a chance to play immediately, regardless if he goes to Carolina or Houston.
Free-agent running back Darrynton Evans inked a one-year deal with the Colts. Tennessee selected him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, he hasn't done much since then, appearing in just 12 games for the Titans and Bears in the last three seasons and totaling 125 yards off 30 carries. Of course, Jonathan Taylor is the No. 1 option on the Indianapolis depth chart. But unless Taylor gets hurt, Evans won't receive much work, assuming he's on the roster come Week 1.
According to Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, running back Rachaad White is expected to be a "complete three-down back" this season. The 2022 third-round pick had a productive rookie campaign, amassing 481 yards off 129 attempts and 50 catches for 290 yards. He also totaled three touchdowns. Of course, ball security was a significant issue, which Bowles knows the 24-year-old needs to address. However, White appears to have a firm grasp on the starting job, so his fantasy stock continues to trend north.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (elbow) reported rehab is "going as planned." The signal-caller had surgery on March 10 to repair a torn UCL suffered in the postseason. The plan remains for throwing to commence in three months. Of course, Purdy will clearly need to prove he's ready to move to that phase of his recovery effort. There will be more updates surrounding the 2022 Mr. Irrelevant. However, he's currently viewed as the starting quarterback, assuming things go as designed. If not, there will be some hope for Trey Lance (ankle) to reclaim the job, at least until Purdy is 100%.
Dynasty | According to BackCAST projections, Zach Charbonnet is the most overrated running back in the 2023 NFL Draft Dynasty Analysis: The BackCAST model projects running backs based on successful statistics from the past in order to gauge future success. According to this model, Charbonnet ranks 12th in this year's class. In his case, his score takes a significant hit due to workload share. While not purely scientific in nature, the BackCAST model remains popular and does have roots in what has worked in the NFL in the past. Charbonnet, still possesses a three-down skillset and, while not overly dynamic, has a blend of power, vision and hands as a receiver to excel in the right situation. He's found as DLF's rookie RB3.
Dynasty | According to BackCAST projections, Bijan Robinson is not a generational talent similar to Saquon Barkley or even Jonathan Taylor. Dynasty Analysis: The BackCAST model projects running backs based on successful statistics from the past in order to gauge future success. In fact, according to BackCAST, Robinson most favorably compares to Travis Etienne and Reggie Bush. While Robinson remains unquestionably the strongest back in a somewhat weak BackCAST class, he doesn't appear to excel in any one metric which provides for a higher score. Robinson remains the top rookie prospect without question and is certain to remain so following the NFL Draft.
Dynasty | According to BackCAST projections, DeWayne McBride is the second best rookie running back in the 2023 draft class. Dynasty Analysis: The BackCAST model projects running backs based on successful statistics from the past in order to gauge future success. The gap between McBride and top-overall back Bijan Robinson is huge. In fact, McBride's score places him firmly in fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. McBride's BackCAST score is pushed higher almost solely due to YPC. average (7.3) though he also does possess good size. Beyond that, lack of agility, uninspiring long speed and very little work as a receiver will tamp down his value in both the NFL Draft and dynasty rookie drafts to follow. He's found as DLF's rookie RB14.
Dynasty | According to BackCAST projections, Jahmyr Gibbs is the third best running back in the 2023 NFL draft class Dynasty Analysis: The BackCAST model projects running backs based on successful statistics from the past in order to gauge future success. Gibbs is behind the obvious selection of Bijan Robinson but also DeWayne McBride. For detractors of BackCAST, here is where the projection system falls a bit flat. With NFL comps to both Alvin Kamara and DeMarco Murray, BackCAST places Gibbs as a fourth or fifth round grade. Should the metric accurately predict his comp, he's clearly a top talent. Due to workload and production, Gibbs' score is lowered, a fact dynasty coaches are likely to wave off with confidence. Drafted situation will be key for Jahmyr Gibbs, DLF's rookie RB2, and it's not out of the question his value slides on draft day if he's drafted into a poor situation.
Dynasty | Bucs head coach Todd Bowles wants sophomore running back Rachaad White to be a three-down player Dynasty Analysis: Bowles' words read more as a desire for the back to continue to develop into a three-down player more than it does an expectation that he will. That said, Leonard Fournette is out of the picture and there's little in the way of White, other than the upcoming NFL Draft, to keep his workload from increasing. An accomplished receiver with good size, White will need to improve in areas of ball security and acceleration to the hole if he is to lock down a three-down role. The Bucs could also address the position in the upcoming draft, the free agent market or outright trade, all of which have multiple notable names available. While White, DLF's RB26, is a risk-on acquisition prior to the NFL Draft, the longer the team goes without addressing the position, the greater White's prospects become.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins continues to operate without a new contract, despite months of extension talks. The wideout doesn't seem concerned, though, as he discussed the situation on The Pat McAfee Show. "I'm not really worried about the contract," said Higgins. "Obviously, I want to get a deal done." The 24-year-old had a productive 2022-23 campaign, amassing 74 catches for 1,029 yards and seven touchdowns. Cincinnati recently began contract negotiations with quarterback Joe Burrow, so it's likely he's the focal point. However, it would be surprising if the organization couldn't reach an agreement with a player who could easily be the No. 1 receiving option for nearly every club around the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks have withdrawn the restricted free agent tender from safety Ryan Neal. The 27-year-old is now a free agent after being tendered by the team in mid-March. It's uncertain why the team decided to move on from Neal. Last season, he recorded 66 tackles, eight passes defended, and one interception in 14 games (10 starts) with Seattle. Neal has played well in each of the last three seasons. He should have a handful of suitors in free agency.
Free-agent tight end Pharaoh Brown has signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. The 28-year-old has bounced between the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns since 2019. Over his career, Brown has 51 receptions, 478 yards, and two touchdowns in 55 games. He'll join Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, and Jelani Woods in the tight end room. None of these players have run away with a starting gig in Indy. Brown will probably end up as a depth player.
Free-agent wide receiver Laquon Treadwell worked out for the Dallas Cowboys on Friday. It appears the Cowboys aren't done adding to their wideout room after acquiring Brandin Cooks earlier this month. Treadwell was a former first rounder of the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. He hasn't really done much since entering the league. Treadwell posted his best season in 2021 with 33 receptions, 434 yards, and one touchdown in 12 games (seven starts) with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 27-year-old is basically a depth option and probably won't be a factor in fantasy leagues.
Free-agent running back Darrynton Evans is scheduled to meet with the Indianapolis Colts this week. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Sadly, injuries and a lack of opportunity have held Evans back early in his career. Through 12 games, Evans has 30 carries for 125 scoreless yards. The Colts could certainly use another body behind Jonathan Taylor. That being said, Evans could have a real chance to compete for snaps in Indianapolis. His only real competition at a backup role is Deon Jackson. It remains to be seen if the two sides can come to an agreement, but Evans could do well with a move to Indy.
Dynasty | Mac Jones' dynasty stock continues to fall Dynasty Analysis: Jones' ADP has slipped to 225 from 181 as questions remain about his ability to hold off 2022 rookie Bailey Zappe for the starting role. Famously unwilling to add high priced free agents in the past, it seems as if the Bill Belichick and the Patriots have decided it's time to invest in receivers to help Jones take the next step and it stands to reason that if the team has a slow start to 2023, a change could be made. As DLF's Q23, it's clear dynasty coaches don't have high expectations.
Dynasty | Russell Wilson's dynasty value continues to fall Dynasty Analysis: Wilson's most recent ADP value fell to 164 from 101 as dynasty coaches continue to fade the veteran on the heels of a terrifically horrible 2022. The Broncos added Sean Payton at head coach and still have noteworthy receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy in place, though both have been rumored to be available via trade. Now 34, it's unclear if if Payton is willing to invest or the long term in Wilson and the once-great star is clearly at a crossroads in his career. Russell Wilson is found as DLF's QB16.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said signing a running back in free agency this offseason is a "possibility," but he also likes the progress of running back Trayveon Williams, who recently re-signed with the team. "We have high hopes for him. He understands what it takes to compete in this league," Taylor said. The Bengals also have Chris Evans, who is entering his third year. Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt remain on the open market, but it sounds like the Bengals don't necessarily feel the need to sign them. As things currently stand, Williams is the direct backup to Joe Mixon in Cincy. The 25-year-old former sixth-round pick in 2019 has just 47 carries for 238 yards and no touchdowns in his four NFL seasons, adding eight catches for 64 yards in 34 games. However, he could be looking at a more prominent role in 2023.
New England Patriots quarterback Bill Belichick remained non-committal during the owners meetings this week on whether quarterback Mac Jones will be the starter in 2023. "Everybody will get a chance to play. We'll play the best players," Belichick said when asked if it was fair to say that both Jones and Bailey Zappe will be competing for the job in training camp over the summer. Jones, a former first-rounder, took a big step back in 2022 in his sophomore season, but the fact that the team spent so much draft capital on him likely will mean he's still the favorite to start to open the 2023 season. The addition of offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien this year should have fantasy managers cautiously optimistic that Jones can bounce back, but he shouldn't be considered anything more than a low-end QB2.
The Cincinnati Bengals have begun discussions with quarterback Joe Burrow on a long-term contract extension this offseason. Head coach Zac Taylor told the media that talks have started and "the process is underway," according to a team source. This could take a while to finalize, but the Bengals appear fully committed to securing Burrow's future. Burrow led Cincy to the Super Bowl in just his second NFL season in 2021 and was excellent again in 2023, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,475 yards, 35 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 regular season starts. He led his squad to the AFC title game for the second straight season and will easily be a top-five fantasy QB1 in 2023.