When was the last time the Green Bay Packers drafted a notable player in the 3rd round? Except for a small flash here and there, the Packers’ history of third round picks has been very forgettable. In my opinion, the last notable player to come out of the third round for the Green & Gold is Morgan Burnett in 2010. There were ten picks between then and 2022, and each of them were only average at very best. Some of them below average not even ending finishing their rookie contracts before being released. In a round that should still produce contributors most of the time, this is a terrible track record. How will the Packers break this 3rd round curse?
2017-2021 may have produced the worst bunch of those ten picks. Montravius Adams and Oren Burks may be having some success with other teams currently, but their Packers careers were definite busts. Then we come to Jace Sternberger and Amari Rodgers who didn’t even make it past two seasons in a Packers’ uniform. And then we have Josiah Deguara who I thought could see a 2023 rise with Jordan Love at the helm. Well, I was wrong.
But help could be on the way. We could break this curse.
With the tight end picked the round before him, Luke Musgrave being the number one tight end this season, it was being questioned whether or not Kraft would contribute to the curse. He almost seemed to be an afterthought in the passing game. But with Musgrave going down with an internal injury for an indefinite time, Kraft has found himself as the guy.
Against the LA Chargers, Kraft nearly had his first career touchdown on a 27-yard catch and run but it was found he stepped out of bounds just before the endzone. He didn’t have to wait long though, as he found the endzone for real this time the next game on Thanksgiving against Detroit. Perhaps Kraft has a bit more in his bag we didn’t really see before.
Kraft’s best college season in 2021, he averaged over 11 yards per catch with 65 receptions. Kraft is no stranger to being a passing threat. I wouldn’t be too surprised if until this point Kraft has only been limited due to the offense mainly catering to one tight end in the passing game until Matt LaFleur knows what he has in both Musgrave and Kraft. After the showing Kraft has had so far, I’d urge LaFleur to explore more two-tight end passing sets.
Sean Rhyan is famous for testing positive for PED’s around this time of year last year which resulted in a six-game suspension. This shelved his rookie season before he could even get in any real experience. In some people’s eyes, his career was already over, and they thought he was taking steroids. They’d written him off all together as a terrible pick. But it wasn’t steroids. To Rhyan’s defense, he still doesn’t officially know what he took that tested positive as all he’d been taking were vitamin supplements.
Since then, Rhyan decided to completely cut out all supplements from his diet and instead just eat foods rich in the vitamins he needed, naturally. He says it’s really helped him as his body feels good and his mind is clear. Well, in the time he’s received on the offensive line this season, it’s certainly looked that way too.
Sean Rhyan has logged only 34 offensive snaps so far this season, but he’s been turning heads with his work. Zero penalties, zero sacks allowed, and several drives with him on the field that have led to touchdowns. It’s unclear why Rhyan has only been on the field sparingly as he’s seemed to definitely out-play his fellow linemen Jon Runyan Jr. and Royce Newman. Perhaps they’re trying to bring him along slowly since Runyan and Newman are still serviceable for the time being. But I say it’s time to see what Rhyan is capable of for an entire game. What’s there to lose? At worst you find out he still needs some work, and you continue with Runyan or Newman. At best you find out you have your right guard of the future and can perhaps easily have a decision of whether or not to extend Runyan and Newman during the next two years. At least, you still have those guys to start, and you continue to polish Rhyan until he’s ready.
Let’s take the training wheels off and let Sean Rhyan roll.
Break the Curse
Unlike those before them, I believe Sean Rhyan and Tucker Kraft have a legitimate chance to break the 3rd round curse. If so, it can’t come a moment too soon with the Packers having three third round picks next draft. It would be nice to have two more bright spots in the draft for once.
Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.