GREEN BAY, Wis. — The last player drafted by the Green Bay Packers who spent time at Butte Community College worked out pretty well.
Guy named Aaron Rodgers. Maybe you’ve heard of him?
If Alex Green turns out to be half as good as the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLV, the Packers will have made a steal in the third round of the NFL draft.
Green Bay selected the running back from the University of Hawaii with the 96th overall pick Friday.
“I’m very excited,” Green said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s a great honor to be part of a great organization and to play for the defending Super Bowl champions.”
Green, 6 feet and 224 pounds, was timed at 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He is considered a versatile back who runs hard and has good hands and could provide a third-down change of pace for the Packers.
“The thing I do best is catch the ball out of the backfield,” he said. “After that, I get downfield quickly. I get to the hole quickly and hit the hole hard.”
Green, a native of Portland, Ore., rushed for 1,199 yards as a senior last year, becoming the first player to top 1,000 yards at Hawaii since Travis Sims in 1992. He ran mostly out of spread formations for the Warriors, who had the top-ranked passing attack in the nation.
He said he didn’t think it would be a major adjustment to run out of the power sets the Packers favor.
“Hawaii was my first time in a spread offense,” he said. “High school and junior college was downhill, smash-mouth football.”
Green caught 27 passes for 363 yards (13.4 average) last year.
He played 27 games for the Warriors and started the last 14 at tailback, finishing his two-year career with 232 carries for 1,652 yards (7.1 average) and 20 touchdowns.
Asked what he liked about Green, Packers general manager Ted Thompson said, “He’s a big back. He runs. He catches. I think he’s got very good feet, very good instincts. . . . We saw him at the East-West game and he clearly was the class of the group.”
Green had some fumbling issues at Hawaii and said he had to learn to run with his pads lower but felt he improved in that area.
“Just as with any young kid coming out of college, one of the primary things we stress is ball security,” said Jerry Fontenot, the Packers’ running backs coach. “We stress it every day and he will not be any different.”
If Green is going to play as a rookie, he’ll also have to improve his pass-blocking and become adept at blitz recognition and pick-up.
“He wasn’t called on very much to perform those duties at Hawaii but what I saw of him, he is aggressive,” Fontenot said. “He is not afraid to stick his nose in there and get dirty.”
Green said he never met Rodgers but did play with the quarterback’s younger brother, Jordan, at Butte Community College in Oroville, Calif.
Green played two years at Butte and led the school to a 12-0 record and the junior college national championship in 2008.