Part-way through the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, it’s hard to get a firm picture on what kind of player the Green Bay Packers are going to go after in the first round. However, once the Packers get into Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey might be the perfect addition to the team’s defensive and special teams units.
Foskey was a 4-star recruit coming out of the 2019 high school class with offers from all of the top-tier programs, including Alabama, Ohio State, and USC. However, he ultimately decided to commit to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The 6’5, 262-pound edge rusher leaves South Bend with an impressive résumé that includes a consensus All-American selection in 2022 along with 25 sacks and 121 total tackles over 37 career games.
Along with great size for the position, Foskey comes into the pre-draft process with impressive play strength, extension, and explosiveness that makes him a legitimate asset as both a pass rusher and run defense. These back-to-back goal line stops against North Carolina are a great example of the kind of power and strength that Foskey can bring to a defense.
You probably already know that Isaiah Foskey (EDGE, Notre Dame) is one of my favorite prospects.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) February 24, 2023
These back-to-back goal line stands against UNC are a great example of what he can bring against the run. pic.twitter.com/px8uhLx9ol
Foskey turned it on in his final two college seasons, racking up 20.5 sacks in 25 games. However, as impressive as he is as a defensive prospect, it’s his abilities and love of special teams that could help him find the field early on in his NFL career.
The Notre Dame prospect blocked his first punt as a freshman against Stanford, then went on to block three more during his college career including two blocks in one game against UNLV this past season.
When asked about his contributions on special teams at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Foskey lit up. He is adamant that he wants to be in on punt block situations at the next level, and credits Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Mason for his help this past year.
Those special teams contributions are a big reason why the Packers should consider looking at Foskey in Day 2 of the draft. With special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia staying in Green Bay, the Packers have a chance to continue building upon a promising turnaround from that unit in 2022. According to Football Outsiders, Green Bay climbed all the way from dead last to 17th in the league in special teams DVOA.
On defense, Foskey will give the Packers another solid EDGE who can play alongside Preston Smith and JJ Enagbare. It will also give the Packers a solidified second unit of EDGE defenders once Rashan Gary is able to return from his torn ACL.
Teams like the New York Jets thrived last season with significant depth on the outside. The Packers severely lacked that depth, having to lean on players like Jonathan Garvin and Justin Hollins for significant stretches of play this past season.
With Foskey, the Packers could get that EDGE depth while adding a key contributor on special teams for Bisaccia, and that’s the perfect kind of four-down player the Packers would love to take on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.