BREAKING: Green Bay Packers take Indiana OT Jason Spriggs, 48

Analysis (Kelly Hodgson): In classic Ted Thompson fashion, the Green Bay Packers moved up in the second round to take the 48th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft to select Indiana OT Jason Spriggs. In a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, the Packers moved up in exchange for picks 57, 125 and 248, the Packers chose to protect their franchise player quarterback Aaron Rodgers and elected to tap the 6’6′, 301 pound Hoosier brick wall. He’s taller and leaner than anyone else currently on the offensive line, and may be the insurance policy keeping Rodgers upright through the end of the season.

Thompson always seems to be on the hunt for the next tackle to shore up the offensive line and may have found that long-term investment in Spriggs, and with a fairly shallow depth chart on the OL, the Packers pulled the trigger to shore up that deficit and add both speed and strength to the line. A four-year starter, he brings a wealth of experience to the table and will be ready to get to work day one of training camp.

A second-team All-American (Pro Football Writers of America) and Associated Press third team, Spriggs can technically play both the blindside and the right. But he is known as a formidable blindside blocker that will give his all through the entire play. Pro Football Focus ranks him as having the third highest pass blocking efficiency among the Power-5 left tackles and could very well give David Bakhtiari a run for his money.

Spriggs shined in the Senior Bowl, winning 60% of his one-on-ones and stood out among the tackles. He has a high football IQ and can not only adjust but also improvise as the play demands. He likes to jab and has active hand skills to neutralize opponents. In a Packers offense that rises and falls with the Rodgers’ aerial game, the offensive line can only get stronger with a pass-pro specialist.

Team Fit (Taylor Hildebrand):

Earlier today, Tony Pauline reported that there is a belief that the Packers would like to move Bakhtiari inside to guard and upgrade the Left Tackle position. While it is not likely that will happen this season, it appears that Thompson has his eyes on the future after trading up nine spots in the second round to draft Jason Spriggs out of the University of Indiana.
After the end of the upcoming season, both Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang will be free agents. It is hard to imagine that Green Bay would pay both, especially with concerns surrounding Sitton’s back. With the addition of Spriggs to the Packers, Bakhtiari could realistically make the move to guard next season to make room for Aaron Rodger’s future blind side protector.
Spriggs is a converted tight end with the natural athleticism to excel in the Packers’ zone blocking scheme. He was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy in 2015, and allowed only two sacks in 431 passing plays. Blocks well on the move, and should help Eddie Lacy at the second level. Barring unforeseen injuries (knock on wood), Spriggs may not see the field this season, but will have time to add strength and work on technique as he transitions from Indiana’s spread offense.

NFL Player Comp (Mike Wendlandt) – Nate Solder, New England Patriots:  Spriggs is a lot like Nate Solder with is feet and athletic ability. A natural pass protector, Spriggs ran extremely well and uses his length better than most tackles. Like Solder, he was underrated for his entire college tenure before blowing up at the Combine. When he on his game, he will allow very few sacks and doesn’t commit many pelanties. Hand placement is almost identical to the New England tackle.

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Kelly Hodgson is a writer for PackersTalk.com and you can listen to her as a Co-Host of Out of the Pocket. You can also follow Kelly on Twitter at @ceallaigh_k

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