For over a decade under general manager Ted Thompson, the Green Bay Packers prized experience as a blind-side tackle for their offensive linemen draft picks. In fact, it became such a running joke that the team would only draft college left tackles that one could seemingly exclude any lineman who had not suited up there from consideration.
That seems to have changed under new GM Brian Gutekunst, at least somewhat. The team’s lone offensive line draft pick a year ago, Cole Madison, was a right tackle at Washington State. Now as the team prepares for the 2019 NFL Draft, they are researching a right tackle from the in-state rival of Madison’s alma mater.
That school is the University of Washington, and the player is Huskies tackle Kaleb McGary. The team reportedly has a top-30 visit set up with McGary, according to Aaron Wilson, which will be held in the coming days after the Huskies’ Pro Day on Monday.
McGary is an impressive athlete who had an excellent workout in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. There, he ran a terrific 40-yard dash at 5.05 seconds and posted the second-best vertical jump of any offensive lineman in attendance at 33.5 inches. McGary also posted great agility times in the 3-cone drill (7.66 seconds) and the short shuttle (4.58 seconds), all while measuring in at 6-foot-7 1/8 and 317 pounds.
A redshirt senior, McGary started every game in his final three years for the Huskies, while adding six starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015. Every one of those starts came at right tackle, however. As a senior, he earned the Pac-12’s Morris Trophy, which is given to the top offensive lineman in the conference as voted on by opposing teams’ players. He was also a first-team all-conference player in 2017 and 2018.
McGray is currently projected as a second-day draft pick, which could put him squarely in the Packers’ consideration with pick 44 in round two or pick 75 in round three. If the team drafts him, that would immediately make him the favorite to take over for Bryan Bulaga in 2020, when his contract is due to expire, as well as a top backup option if Bulaga misses any time due to injury in 2019.