Packers 2017 Recap: RB Devante Mays

It's likely you remember only one play from the 2017 season that starred rookie running back Devante Mays. Against the Baltimore Ravens in a forgettable 23-0 shutout loss, Mays played an offensive snap for the first time all season.

That snap was also the first time the rookie seventh-round pick touched the ball. Quarterback Brett Hundley tossed the ball to Mays and the running back dashed left. Mays had a hard time securing the ball from the pitch, and never got a good handle on it before it was stripped away by the Ravens’ Matt Judon.

It was the first time a Packers running back had fumbled since Aaron Ripkowski lost the ball in the 2016 NFC Championship Game against the Falcons.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in 8 games
  • 4 attempts, 1 yard
  • 3 receptions, 0 yards
  • 2 fumbles

Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Met

Analysis: Mays the odd man out in Packers backfield

When the season began, the first few weeks saw both Devante Mays and Aaron Jones rotating on the team’s active roster. When active, the rookies would play solely special teams.

It wasn’t a surprising role for either Jones or Mays, given how the Packers simply refuse to leverage a third-string running back since 2010. From 2010-2016, Green Bay’s third-string running back rushed for a total of 513 yards, with most of the yardage coming from DuJuan Harris in 2012.

Mays faced an uphill battle for playing time, especially early in the season. As a seventh-round draft pick, he began training camp as the team’s fourth-string back behind Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams and Jones.

Once Montgomery was lost to the season due to injury, Mays found himself on the active roster more often. His opportunity to showcase his skills came in the infamous Ravens shutout loss, but the fumble on the first snap ended the showcase.

After that game, head coach Mike McCarthy suggested to reporters that one reason the Packers did not run the ball more in the loss was that he didn’t trust Mays and was afraid to overwork Williams.

2018’s training camp will give the Packers a good idea as to whether Mays will be a contributing member of the team. If not, Green Bay was still able to grab two high-quality backs in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.