Green Bay Packers running back Emanuel Wilson has earned a spot on the roster as the RB3 behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Despite the fact that there were more experienced players like Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson ahead of the rookie to start training camp, the young RB has worked his way onto the 53-man roster. Wilson, who led the league in preseason rushing yards with 223, posted to his Instagram account yesterday in celebration of making the roster.

Ever since the new practice squad elevation rules went into effect in 2020, roster construction has changed. It is often hotly contested whether or not the Packers should even include a third RB on the initial roster. In the 2022 season, the Packers did not in fact keep three running backs, with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon being the only backs to make the roster.

Many people predicted that the Packers would repeat their thought process from last season. This being due to the fact that if any injury were to hinder a RB’s potential availability, one could be elevated from the practice squad the day before the game anyways. This is an easy way to keep an extra roster spot free, especially if you only ever plan on using two RBs during any given game.

Emanuel Wilson beats out Patrick Taylor

While consideration for an RB3 spot may have been close between Patrick Taylor and Emanuel Wilson, it is possible that the Packers felt that Wilson was more likely to be poached off of the practice squad. After an impressive outing against Cincinnati in the preseason, topped off by an 80 yard rushing touchdown, the undrafted rookie may have been turning too many heads for the Packers to feel comfortable letting him hit the open market.

Emanuel Wilson carries the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals

Wilson appears to have the build of an NFL running back, and his athleticism is uncommon for an undrafted player. Towards the end of his college career Wilson was being scouted as a player who was dynamic and could catch out of the backfield, and he impressed at the very end of his collegiate career by scoring a whopping 14 total touchdowns as well as accruing over 900 total yards in only five games.

For now, Emanuel Wilson will sit as an RB3 behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon with an opportunity to get real playing time the moment either of them gets banged up. The fact remains however, that Jones and/or Dillon may see the end of their tenure with the Packers in the next year or two. The Packers clearly like what they see in Wilson, and there is a possibility that he is a part of the future plan for the position.


Zack is a college student and cheesehead from California. When he’s not in class or writing, you can find him talking about the Packers on Twitter at @Zack_Upchurch.