The Green Bay Packers have agreed to terms with Ohio State running back Brandon Saine, a deal that was tweeted by his representatives at XL Sports Management on Tuesday.
Saine did not visit Green Bay before the NFL draft, but he reportedly picked the Packers over a handful of teams that were interested in acquiring him.
At the NFL combine, Saine ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 22 times. His vertical leap was 34.5 inches. Saine stands 5-11 and weighs 220 pounds.
Saine was a four-year contributor on offense for the Buckeyes, but he never took command of the Ohio State backfield despite all his physical traits. It didn’t help that Saine was constantly in competition with some pretty talented running backs at Ohio State. His best season in Columbus was 2009, a year in which he rushed for 739 yards and caught 17 passes for 224 yards. He was named second team All-Big Ten for his efforts.
Despite starting the 2010 season on the Doak Walker award watchlist and being named a team captain, his production dropped considerably last season. He became more of a pass-catcher in ’10, and Saine posted 23 catches for 195 yards and five touchdowns out of the backfield. His rushing numbers went from 739 yards to just 337 on 75 less carries.
Overall, Saine rushed for 1,408 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 55 passes for 616 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons. He also has limited experience on special teams, as he returned 17 kicks for 302 yards.
While Saine has the body type to be an every down back in the NFL, that scenario never came to fruition at Ohio State and it won’t with the Packers. He was a complimentary player with the Buckeyes and that has to be the expectation as he enters Packers camp. Saine could be an effective change of pace option, however, as he can hit the edge with his speed and is a weapon out of the backfield. His hands are also as good as you could want from a first-year back.
The Packers obviously have a crowded backfield as it stands currently, but Saine will be someone to watch in camp. The Packers offense could find a bunch of different ways to use him if he progresses down the road. Saine should be a solid practice squad possibility.——————
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2