Packers 2013 NFL Draft – Fourth Round Pick: Johnathan Franklin, RB UCLA All Green Bay Packers All the Time

With the 125th pick in the 4th round, the Packers select Johnathan Franklin, RB UCLA


Johnathan Franklin


CAREER NOTES:Franklin was a little-known three-star recruit out of high school and redshirted in 2008 before becoming a four-year starter for the Bruins. He produced quality numbers as a freshman, sophomore and junior and needed a strong senior season in order to grab the attention of NFL scouts.  That’s exactly what Franklin did, setting new school single-season records for rushing yards (1,734), all-purpose yards (2,062) and career records for rushing (4,403), all-purpose yards (4,920).  Franklin thrived in 2012 as part of UCLA’s zone-read offense, routinely making something out of nothing with his fast, tough and energetic running style. Although he doesn’t have the frame to get much bigger than 205 pounds, he has good muscle definition and has stayed durable over the years, leaving UCLA with 45 career starts.  Franklin loves to bounce runs outside with this vision and explosive lateral movements, reminding many of another former Bruin running back with a smaller stature, but very balanced attack (Maurice Jones-Drew).



4.49 40 yard dash, 18 bench, 31.5″ vertical, 115.0″ broad, 6.89 3 cone, 4.31 20 yard shuttle, 11.33 60 yard shuttle


  • While Eddie Lacy doesn’t fit the mold of a Packers running back, Franklin definitely does.
  • More of a one cut and go runner but shows some wiggle
  • Runs low to the ground and gets lost behind his linemen.
  • Great balance
  • Good hands, is a option in checkdowns and wheel routes
  • Not a burner but has the speed to turn the corner.
  • Very thin frame
  • Fumbling problems

Senior Bowl: During the week-long practices in Mobile, Alabama, Franklin quickly separated himself from the other running backs in attendance. He greatly impressed NFL personnel with his pass blocking skills, adding to his reputation as a solid ball carrier. He compensated for a lack of explosion after the hand-off with a good burst through the holes and the leg drive to consistently break tackles.

Franklin also continued to show natural hands catching the ball out of the backfield. “He does a really nice job of using his hands and his feet to block,” a team scout told CBS Sports. “He’s got good speed and is just big enough to handle pass protection. We’ve had our eyes on him for some time.”


COMMENTARY: Just like 2nd rounder Eddie Lacy, another player widely predicted to be targeted, albeit in the earlier rounds.  Franklin provides fantastic depth and now gives the Packers a multitude of options in the backfield.



UPDATE: Apparently James Starks is now on the trading block.  It’s probably unlikely that there will be any takers, so chances are good Starks is cut soon.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


24 thoughts on “Packers 2013 NFL Draft – Fourth Round Pick: Johnathan Franklin, RB UCLA

    1. Darn, I liked the idea of a RB at 6’4 298 running vision and explosion.

      Now we need a 6’5″ 365 NT that run a sub 5.0 40 (hee hee)

      1. yah sorry, we got caught off guard with Thompson trading up. I think Adam is still working on the Tretter pick.

  1. Watching the highlites on ESPN, he looks like an athlete that might be able to gain another 8-10 lbs. That would make him more than just a change of pace kinda RB.

    Has ball security issues and isn’t a good receiver out of the backfield. Probably why he fell from the 2nd.

    1. As long as he is available for games (unlike toe turf wonder) He will learn to catch – I’m sure.

      1. By now if you should have developed good hands. Not generally something that is developed this late. Some might have periodic issue w/ drops due to concentration lapses, but good hands aren’t generally developed in the pro’s.

    1. Tom Silverstein via Twitter:
      #Packers’ trade was with Denver: they received No. 125 and gave up No. 146 (fifth) and 173 (sixth).

      1. lol thank god, I was dreading having to work on the final 53 man roster article if Thompson drafted all 12 picks.

  2. GB gave Denver the 5th rounder (#146) they got from Miami and the 6th rounder (#173) they got from San Fran.

  3. seems like he gets around and acclerates up the edge pretty quick . destroys db persuit angles.

  4. Curious why you think Lacy isn’t a Packer kinda RB. He seems very much like Benson, bit different skill set but very similar size to Green and Starks. Franklin is a Harris clone IMO. Not real big but quick.

    I would say Lacy is more of a Packer kinda RB than Franklin.

    1. I would agree with that. Lacy is the physical back MM has always liked. One really ggo thing about Lacy, this likely means the end of John Kuhn fullback dives on 3rd and short…

      1. What MM has talked about and what the Packers have historically stocked their roster with could be construed as two entirely different things! 😉

    2. I hate to say it but the prototypical Packers running back is Brandon Jackson; They like RBs who aren’t necessarily the best runners, but are more “multifaceted” i.e can catch the ball, run screens, pass protect. Lacy is more of the big, power, battering ram type back, and I don’t think Thompson has ever drafted that type of runner before. Franklin is more like Harris and Saine, where the Packers have shown a preference

      1. I think the prototype for Packer RB is more the bigger power RB. Starks, Green, Benson, Ahman Green a little. I don’t see Jackson as a prototype just a good 3rd down RB which I think is what he was drafted to be for the most part IMO.

  5. Could someone tell me why Thompson traded out of the 3rd round completely, got the short end all 3 trades and then traded up in the forth? That just doesn’t make much sense. On the positive side, I love this pick. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Franklin beats out Lacy as the Packers starting RB.

    1. Trades are almost always based on a particular war room’s projections on who might still be available and who probably won’t still be available. When you consider there are 31 other war rooms constantly weighing those same factors, why is it hard to understand that the landscape of the draft changes constantly and where a team may or may not see opportunity would also therefore change constantly?

      These guys are professionals. They don’t just randomly make moves. Are there misjudgements and counter moves? Sure, because it’s a constantly changing environment. But just because a team trades down and then later moves up doesn’t necessarily imply it was nonsensical or a mistake has been made.. It just as often means they are seeing opportunities emerge or fade and are reacting as needed.

    2. i guess the question is if the Packers love the pick, does it really matter if they “lost” value? Another interesting idea is, say the Packers wanted to draft Lacy, but were confident that he wasn’t get picked for another 10 picks, in that case trading down and “losing” value is still a net gain since you still manage to get Lacy plus a bonus pick

      1. IMO that’s actually gaining value since you still get the same player and pick up another pick.

Comments are closed.