Analysis (Mike Wendlandt): Jake Ryan is the definition of a tough, blue-collar middle linebacker. He is a high-motor guy who will make tackles in space and plug gaps. He is a diligent study and has spent hours in the film room to improve his game after he was moved inside as a senior. Good size for the position and ran well (4.65) at the combine. Solid coverage guy but stiff hips can lead to struggles in man to man coverage.
Ryan did miss the 2013 season with a knee injury but came back strong in 2014. Sometimes struggles to disengage from blocks and isn’t as quick as he is fast. Can be overaggressive and overpursue the ball, but great value in the fourth round. Had 112 tackles on a bad team and also had 14 TFL. Very comparable to AJ Hawk.
The value here is excellent. Ryan was a guy who was seen anywhere between the early 3rd and 5th rounds and his limited quickness is perfect for the fourth round.
Team fit (Ross Uglem): Again, perfect. Thompson got his guy at a position of need well still being able to make the picks that he wanted to in early rounds. Ryan has the ability to start next to Barrington in the base, right now. Believe me. His presence on the roster allows Clay Matthews to move back to the outside, and play inside whenever he wants.
Ryan is very fast, he’s not quite as quick as he is fast but his speed should allow him to develop into a coverage linebacker. With his size and tackling ability he’s already ready to contribute against the run. Inside linebacker is a position that can be found in the middle rounds, there’s no question about it, and if Ryan can give the Packers even league average play at the position, he’s going to seem like a revelation.