Analysis (Mike Wendlandt):
A 2nd team All-Big 12 selection, Ripkowksi is as traditionas you will find at fullback. A hard nosed blocker who seeks out contact and drives through his target. Great size at 6’1” and 257 lbs, he can also be an in-line tight end. Not much impact as a receiver, but he did score four times in 2014. Ran well at Pro Day (4.69) and reminds me of Vonta Leach. Biggest weakness remains that he sometimes tries to hard for the “wow” hit on a block and whiffs.
I feel that the value was low for this pick. He seems more like a undrafted player to me.
Team fit (Ross Uglem): Ripkowski immediately becomes the heir apparent to fan favorite John Kuhn. He’s absolutely a better run blocker than Kuhn right now, but also doesn’t provide anything close to what Kuhn does as a pass blocker or a pass catcher.
I had been hoping the Packers would move to more of an H-Back position when Kuhn rode off into the sunset, maybe with a player along the lines of a Nick O’Leary from Florida state. It appears that the team is going to move forward and refuse to let the true fullback position die.
The nice thing about the dying-off of the fullback position is that if you still use one it’s really easy to get a good one very late, which the Packers have appeared to do here.