According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, former Washington State tackle Abraham Lucas is visiting the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, one of the 12 pre-draft visits that the popular bookend has scheduled. Per Garafolo, Lucas has risen from a potential third-round pick before the combine to a clear second-round selection and a potential first-rounder.
Lucas, a four-year starter with the Cougars, was a Second-Team All-Pac 12 tackle three times and was named a First-Team All-Pac 12 tackle as a senior. In total, he started in all 42 of the games that he played in at Washington State. As a prep, Lucas was a defensive lineman and a tight end until his final year of high school, due to the advice of college recruiters, which led to his transition to the offensive line and his eventual redshirt year in Pullman in 2017.
It is worth noting that Lucas’ testing numbers match well with what the Packers typically target. Generally, the Packers only draft offensive linemen who run a 4.75-second short shuttle (52nd percentile) and 7.77-second three-cone (47th) in the first four rounds of the draft. The only exception in the top 135 picks of the draft over the last 15 years, stretching over the Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst eras, was 2021 second-round pick Josh Myers, who did not run in the pre-draft process due to a toe injury.
While they have a great hit rate for offensive linemen, this also means that the pool of players they tend to pull from on the line is very limited. This is where the checked box for Lucas is significant, beyond the team bringing him in on a visit.
Abraham Lucas is a OT prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.5 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 58 out of 1146 OT from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/SaRaMhGFtv #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/Ku0qb3GSPc— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2022
At the combine, the only top-100 offensive linemen who both run and met these thresholds, with several skipping the agility drills altogether, were Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning, Boston College’s Zion Johnson, Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann and Lucas. With Penning and Johnson projected to go somewhere in the first round, there’s a chance Green Bay looks at Raimann and Lucas in the second round to fill out their offensive line depth chart.
This offseason, the team released starting right tackle Billy Turner, saw center Lucas Patrick sign with the Chicago Bears, let tackle-guard Ben Braden walk to the Denver Broncos and did not re-sign tackle Dennis Kelly. At the moment, the team has six offensive linemen on the roster who should be considered roster locks: David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, Myers, Royce Newman, Elgton Jenkins and Yosh Nijman. Bakhtiari and Jenkins are notably coming off of ACL injuries, with Jenkins likely starting the season on PUP. Nijman, a quality swing tackle, is on a one-year tender and will likely hit free agency in 2023.
The drafting of Lucas could address the right tackle position, which is now left open following the release of Turner, and could potentially keep Jenkins at guard long-term. A left-to-right offensive line of Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Jenkins-Lucas would keep Newman, who struggled as a rookie, on the bench when all starters are healthy.
On film, Lucas is a savvy pass-blocker who clearly has learned from his four years of experience as a starter. Unlike Newman, has a great handle of how to deal with stunts and blitzes in pass protection.