Brian Gutekunst and the Green Bay Packers definitely have a type. They drafted Texas A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke in the fifth round of the draft on Saturday, and Keke brings the common theme of athleticism and versatility to a stout defensive front.
Keke ran the 40 in 4.95 in Indianapolis this year, not bad at all for someone who is measured in at 6’3 and 288 pounds at the Combine. He also ran a 7.55 cone drill and 4.46 20 yard shuttle. While he doesn’t have a great pass rush, he does have a quick initial step that will help getting off the ball and creating contact to read and react at the NFL level.
As for his versatility, Keke can play anywhere on the defensive line and makes sacrifices for the team to do so. While he started out as an interior defensive linemen at TAMU, he dropped 20 pounds and moved to end when injuries limited the team. After being drafted he discussed the move with the press in a conference call: “The coaches wanted me to do it because our starting end got hurt in the preseason. He kind of told me, and I did it for the team ... we had a solid 3-tech but we didn’t have a solid end out there.”
He has gained a little weight from the combine and also addresses where he sees a good fit for himself, “I’m weighing right now 293, but most comfortable (weight) depends what they see me as. If they want me to play 3-tech, probably 300, 295, I might just stay here. I’ve been at 330, 325 (when I played nose tackle), I’ve been at 290. My most comfortable would probably be at 300, 295.”
Keke brings a team-first attitude and more athleticism to team that desperately needs it. While he will be a rotational player to start, if his work ethic matches his attitude, he could wind up being a great value pick for the Packers as he adapts to the NFL.