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Josh Myers’ toughness, athleticism, and intangibles made him an Packers target

Myers appears to check all of the boxes that the Packers look for in their linemen.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 19 Big Ten Championship Game - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL teams love toughness; Josh Myers played through a painful turf toe injury in two College Football Playoff games. The Green Bay Packers love athleticism; Myers didn’t test at his Pro Day because of that injury, but his movement ability shows up on tape. Teams also love leaders; Myers was a team captain at Ohio State in 2020.

For all of those qualities, Myers’ fit with the Packers makes sense when looking at his selection with the 62nd overall pick in hindsight.

Of course, following another Ohio State center, Corey Linsley, doesn’t hurt the narrative.

“I do know Corey,” Myers told reporters shortly after his name was announced late in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. I’ve watched him play over the years on film and I’ve seen him in passing several times at Ohio State and I’ve talked to him on several occasions.

“It would mean everything to me to come in and be able to (take over Linsley’s spot). He’s just such a great player. To follow him up is a big task that I’m excited to get a shot at.”

Center was perhaps the biggest hole on the Packers’ offensive line, though the team has plenty of versatile players capable of playing that spot if needed. Myers is versatile as well, moving to center at the request of his coaches after two years as a reserve guard at Ohio State and stepping into the starting lineup as a redshirt sophomore. “Really, they needed me to do it and I did what was best for the team in that situation,” Myers said. “I ended up falling in love with the position — I love the physicality of it, I love the fact that you have to be a leader and make the calls.”

While Myers will have a chance to compete for a starting job on day one, the Packers see him as a player who can contribute at any position on the interior of the offensive line. Director of college scouting Matt Malaspina weighed in on that versatility after the pick, saying “I know he can play all three” interior spots. His athleticism surely helps give him some of that flexibility, and his experience in a zone running scheme just as surely indicates a good fit in Green Bay.

“He’s quick to snap and step, he can run the zone stuff. He’s got good body control in space,” Malaspina added. “Being able to use your quickness and strength and move your feet is his skill set.”

6-foot-5 centers are uncommon even in today’s NFL, so Myers will literally and figuratively stand out — Linsley was about 6-foot-2-1/2, for example. But he says that his size isn’t a problem for his ability to work on the move: “I think my ability to move at the height that I’m at is kind of what separates me. I have the height, I have the size, but I have the athleticism as well to get the job done.”

While the on-field qualities seem to make sense, perhaps Myers’ mental makeup and attitude are his strongest characteristics. Malaspina noted that Myers’ being voted a team captain as a Junior was a major positive, as was his academic record. “He’s a 2020 team captain there, and that’s a big deal, especially as an offensive lineman. He’s gonna graduate in consumer science this May. He’s a good student, he’s smart, he’s a perfect representative for Ohio State. He’s what you want whether you are running a corporation or a football team.”

Myers looks at his captaincy as one of his proudest moments as well, saying it was the “greatest achievement” so far in his life — at least until receiving the phone call from Green Bay. “It’s hard for me to even put into words what that feeling is like,” he said. “It’s just the biggest rush of emotion I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Whether he starts out in the starting lineup or finds his way into the lineup gradually, Myers is ready to work. But there should be plenty of opportunity for him to make a mark with the Packers early on in his career — perhaps even starting in week one as a rookie, as Linsley did.