The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects who could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, Brian Gutekunst selected Elgton Jenkins with the 44th overall pick. The Mississippi State offensive lineman has quickly become the most versatile offensive lineman in the NFL.
A player who can play all five positions along the offensive line is invaluable. He’s a big reason the Green Bay Packers had one of the best offensive lines in football during the 2020-21 season.
One player who offers Jenkins-like versatility in the 2022 NFL Draft is Kenyon Green. The Texas A&M offensive lineman checks in at No. 70 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown.
Green came to College Station as a five-star recruit. In freshman year, Green started at right guard. In 2020, Green moved to left guard.
Last season, Green started games at left tackle, right tackle, left guard and right guard. According to Pro Football Focus, Green played 408 snaps at left guard, 142 at right tackle, 106 at left guard and 81 (mostly against Alabama) at left tackle. The former five-star rookie has the versatility to play all five positions along the offensive line.
“He did everything A&M asked of him, including playing center for some snaps during the 2020 Orange Bowl,” said AggiesYell.com reporter Mark Passwaters. “He was the starting right tackle at the start of the season, but that group wasn’t working. He was put on service at left tackle against Alabama and had a great game. But when he was on guard, he was at his best. He is a capable and solid tackle. He’s an elite guard.
Green is a fast and powerful run blocker. He has a powerful bottom half and is able to direct defenders in any direction he chooses. He easily passes to the second level and manhandles the defenders.
“Green is an elite run blocker,” Passwaters said. “He has huge lower body and huge leg strength, so he can get off the snap and start moving people around. If he gets leverage, he’s going to get you out of the way.
In pass protection, Green has a solid base. He is rarely out of balance and holds his own against bull rushers.
The versatile offensive lineman has the quickness of the foot to protect the corner when playing tackle. Green has strong hands. The three-year-old starter has a high football IQ and is not fooled by stunts and twists.
“Green is just a big guy and you’re not going to move him,” Passwaters said. “The only weakness he had was that extremely fast ends could beat him from the edge. When he came back inside, and in that tight space, no one was passing him. He’s too strong, too fast and too smart He has long arms, so he gets his hands on the guys and dictates how the game goes from there.
Green is combat tested. Playing in the SEC, Green faced some of the top passers in the country on a weekly basis. He also faced Texas A&Ms, DeMarvin Leal, Michael Clemons and Tyree Johnson. Despite facing elite competition, Green has only allowed one sack in the past two seasons (zero this season).
“His power is arguably his greatest strength,” Passwaters said. “He took on some of the elite defensive linemen in the country and physically roughed them up.”
Fit with the Packers
Jenkins suffered a torn ACL in November and could miss the start of the 2022 season.
With Jenkins sidelined, there are questions about what the starting offensive line will look like for the Packers when the season kicks off in September.
It’s reasonable to expect the Packers to deploy a starting five, David Bakhtiari (left tackle), Jon Runyan (left guard), Josh Myers (center), Royce Newman (right guard) and Billy Turner (right tackle).
However, what if the Packers choose to cut Turner? Newman has had a strong rookie season, but could they be looking for an upgrade to right guard via the draft?
Drafting a player like Green could give the Packers great flexibility along the offensive line. The Texas A&M product would be a plug-and-play starter at right guard or right tackle.
“He has the potential to be the Brandon Scherff of this generation,” Passwaters said. “He’s so good. If you want a guard, you can hook him up and let him work for 10 years, Green is your man. He’s powerful, durable, a great player in the locker room and a sponge when it comes to learning. He’s already very good, but he hasn’t played his best football yet.
Green turns 21 in March. If he can slip to the Packers in the first round, Gutekunst can sprint to the phone to select the versatile offensive lineman.
Green is a plug-and-play starter and could give the Packers their long-term starter at right guard or right tackle while being able to switch positions seamlessly.