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2024 NFL Draft: Packers take hulking OL in Mel Kiper’s 1st mock draft

With left tackle being a major question mark, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave Green Bay a freak athlete bookend.

BYU v TCU Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The most famous draftnik in the world, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., just dropped his first mock draft of the 2024 cycle. In it, he gave the Green Bay Packers a high-upside bookend prospect who has been a notable name in football since he was a high schooler: BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia.

As a prep from Utah, Suamataia was graded as a five-star prospect by 247 Sports, the sixth overall tackle in his high school class and the 32nd overall prospect in the class. Originally an Oregon Duck, Suamataia was expected to fill in place for Penei Sewell — an eventual first-round pick for the Detroit Lions — as the team’s blindside tackle of the future.

As a true freshman, he didn’t allow a single sack in 361 pass-blocking snaps and started 12 games for Oregon, earning several Freshman All-American accolades. Then, he transferred closer to home as a true sophomore, making his move to BYU.

At BYU he has played both left and right tackle, showing his versatility as a bookend. Currently, Suamataia is talked about as a borderline first- or second-round pick who isn’t fully polished but has a high level of athleticism and strength that has translated to both the run and pass game.

Here’s what Kiper had to say about his selection:

As I mentioned earlier, this is a talented tackle class, and so if Green bay has a chance to get its blindside protector of the future, it should take it. David Bakhtiari has played just 25 games over the past four seasons because of knee issues, including one in 2023. The Packers can’t rely on him coming back.

The 6-foot-6 Suamataia started 23 games for the Cougars over the past two seasons, 12 at right tackle and 11 at left tackle. I love the potential he showed this past season when he gave up three sacks and only eight total pressures. He is a mountain of a man who can move to the second level and take on linebackers in the run game.

As Kiper mentioned, this is a strong offensive line class, which bodes well for the Packers — who might be in both the left tackle and right guard market. In total, Kiper had nine offensive linemen come off the board in the first round of his first mock draft of the year.

Mel Kipers’ offensive line selections

  • #7: Joe Alt, Notre Dame (#7 on the consensus draft board)
  • #10: Olu Fashanu, Penn State (#8)
  • #18: J.C. Latham, Alabama (#16)
  • #21: Troy Fautanu, Washington (#25)
  • #22: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State (#19)
  • #24: Jordan Morgan, Arizona (#33)
  • #25: Kingsley Suamataia, BYU (#39)
  • #27: Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma (#36)
  • #32: Amarius Mims, Georgia (#18)

One notable name missing is Graham Barton of Duke, a left tackle for the Blue Devils who likely will play guard at the next level. Despite being ranked 28th overall on the consensus draft board, over the likes of Jordan Morgan, Tyler Guyton and Suamataia, he was left out of Kiper’s mock draft.

At the moment, the top offensive linemen who are committed to playing in all-star games this draft season are Morgan, Guyton, Taliese Fuaga, Troy Fautanu and Suamataia, who will all be suiting up in the Senior Bowl, which now allows underclassmen declarations to participate in the all-star circuit. Practices for the game will start next week and be broadcast on both NFL Network and ESPN for those wanting to follow along.