In the sixth round the Packers continued their draft trends and selected another big man, Kyle Murphy out of Stanford. Kyle is an athletic, versatile offensive lineman. Murhpy is 6’6” and 305 lbs. He is another tackle who can get to the defense’s second unit to lead block for our running back, as he shows the mobility to make multiple blocks in our running game. Last season, he moved from right tackle to left tackle being given much more responsibility in the pass game. As he was mostly known as a run blocker, the move to left tackle required improvement in his game. He was named 1st team All PAC-12, with his quarterback, Kevin Hogan, being drafted in very good health by the Chiefs in the 5th round. I’m pretty sure Kyle rose to the occasion.
Murphy needs time to develop. He was able to hold his own against the average college defenders, but he wasn’t dominating anyone. If he was forced to play due to injuries his rookie season, the average NFL defensive lineman would be able to push him back at the snap. Not holding his own creates holes to attack with a delayed blitz. Improving his strength is the most important thing he can do his rookie season. Without improvement, Kyle will probably end up being a long term back up for us, which is still fair value for a sixth round pick.
After drafting Jason Spriggs in the 2nd round, who seems like the natural fit to develop into our next left tackle, it’s unclear which position Kyle Murphy will play in the future. Considering he’s already an NFL level run blocker, the transition to guard may make sense. With most of our offensive line up for free agency after this season, the versatility of Kyle Murphy is his greatest asset. He has the athleticism and football IQ to be plugged in where needed. Barring injury, the Packers have a solid offensive line for this season, but next year we’ll probably have a hole or two to fill. Provided he fills out, Kyle Murphy will be in the conversation for a starting position.
If the team wants to win a Super Bowl anytime soon, they needed to address our issues on the line. Aaron Rodgers gives us a chance every year to go all the way, but it’d take his very best to do so. Improving our teams’ big guys on both sides of the ball was probably the best way we can bandage the roster. Last season, we lost the battle up front, making it very difficult to be aggressive on offense. Towards the end of the season, Rodgers had multiple games where the offense just had nothing. By the end of the inevitable loss, I’d be pleased it was finally over and I could continue my day. The weird thing was that Rodgers didn’t even play bad in most of those offensive no shows. As an individual, a couple of his worst career games were impressive. He may have only thrown for 97 yards, but almost any other quarterback would have thrown for less had they played for the Packers that week. Our offensive line and receivers were that bad/injured.
For now, Kyle Murphy provides us with a capable back up in case things go nutty again. The Packers should be all in pursuing a championship this season, meaning Aaron Rodgers needs to be as safe as possible, doing Aaron Rodgers things. The more depth the better. Murphy has the potential to provide the offensive line a player that sets the tone opening holes for our running game. The better run blockers we have, the longer Eddy Lacy’s career will last. As usual, Ted Thompson picked a talented player with some potential. He may not work out, but you can see what Ted sees in him.