clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Packers draft pick reactions: Jake Ryan isn't flashy, but he's a highly productive player

New, comments

The Packers waited longer than expected to address a position of need in the middle of their defense, but got a guy who's always around the ball.

Leon Halip/Getty Images

Ted Thompson must not have seen a significant drop off from the higher rated inside linebacker prospects to others that would be available in the later rounds. Opting not to take a run stuffer like Denzel Perryman, the  Packers seemed to have a priority on a player that has upside in coverage ability. Jake Ryan is good in zone coverage, and time will tell if he'll be ready to step in next to Sam Barrington right away. Ryan was projected to go in the 4th or 5th round, so no surprises here.

The Packers clearly focused on ball-hawking, versatile players in the secondary during the first and second rounds. Ryan isn't going to turn any heads with his athleticism, like Randall and Rollins will. That being said, he was known to watch a ton of film at Michigan and he recovered from a torn ACL in remarkable time. Ryan is a player who is committed to his craft and possesses intangibles that have value this late in the draft. He is not a scheme-dependent player as he played outside and inside linebacker at Michigan.

I don't think it would've made sense to pair another run stuffing linebacker with Barrington, so I'm glad the Packers chose a player with some upside in terms of coverage ability. Ryan has a high motor and a knack for being around the ball, which is developing into a theme for this Packers draft so far. He is tied second on Michigan's all-time forced fumble list with 7.