Here are some Day 2 options at guard, with none of the top prospects being selected in the first round. The Green Bay Packers own two picks in the second round (Nos. 33 and 61) and one pick in the third round (No. 93).
The Packers like athletic guards. These are the 20-yard shuttle times of the guards who developed into starters under general manager Ted Thompson: T.J. Lang (4.42), Josh Sitton (4.50), Jason Spitz (4.55) and Daryn Colledge (4.56). It’s slim picking to find that type of elite athleticism in this draft class, which is why it was such a key move to sign Jahri Evans.
(Note: The position listed in front of their names shows what they played in 2016.)
LT Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky (6-3 5/8, 309; 5.00 40; 4.62 shuttle; 34 bench): Lamp was a four-year starter, with all but three of his 56 starts coming at left tackle. He was a second-team All-American as a senior. Lamp was first-team all-Conference USA as a junior and senior. He capped his decorated college career with a touchdown. He finished first among all offensive tackle prospects in 2016 in ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-blocking efficiency, which measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-blocking snap. According to data in PFF’s Draft Pass, Lamp allowed no sacks, three hits and two hurries for five total pressures. Yes, competition played a role in that, but he allowed only one hurry against Alabama. He finished No. 1 in PBE among our top prospects.
Lamp played football and basketball at Venice (Fla.) High School. At the end of his junior year of football, he weighed 210 pounds. Recruiters weren’t exactly knocking down Lamp’s door to get him to come their school. But Lamp’s coaches at Venice saw the big picture. And that required Lamp to get bigger. “I had to quit basketball just because I had lost so much weight playing basketball. My high school staff was unbelievable. They sat down with me at the end of my sophomore year — what I had to eat, when I had to eat it. ... It included everything my family would cook, those three meals a day. But in between that, eating a peanut butter and jelly every hour. Muscle Milk. I would go to the weight room and the coach would have a fridge full of Muscle Milk for me. I’d have one of those between classes. The teachers would let me leave real quick for five minutes.”
Lamp is a first-round fit for the Packers beyond his talent and shuttle time. The Packers, like many teams, prefer drafting collegiate left tackles and moving them inside. Of Green Bay’s five starters last season, Lang, Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari were left tackles. Of Thompson’s 20 offensive line selections, 13 played left tackle in college. Some teams are considering him as a tackle but 32 1/4-inch arms might necessitate the move inside.
G Dan Feeney, Indiana (6-3 7/8, 5.24 40; 4.68 shuttle; 26 bench): Feeney was a four-year award-winning guard, punctuated by first-team All-American honors as a junior and senior. According to the school’s coaches, he allowed two sacks in four seasons. According to PFF, he gave up one sack as a senior but ranked only eighth among our group of top prospects in PBE (10 total pressures). He is a good but not great run blocker. Feeney started at right guard in 2012, 2014 and 2015 — a foot injury sidelined him in 2013 — before splitting time at right guard and right tackle as a senior. Feeney is just the fourth two-time All-American in program history. He was extremely well-coached and should be a ready-made starter who will go in the second round. “I think just from doing a whole bunch of punch drills at Indiana. (Line coach) Greg Frey was big on having hand play; I think that’s one of my games I can improve on. Just placement, and being more precise with them. So I think Coach Frey did a great job at Indiana trying to improve those. I think baseball (in high school), scooping balls at first base might have helped with a little more accuracy, I think.” One scout compared him to former Wisconsin and current Bengals standout Kevin Zeitler.
LT Dion Dawkins, Temple (6-3 7/8, 314; 5.11 40; 4.78 shuttle; 26 bench): Dawkins started two games at tackle as a true freshman in 2013 before suffering a broken foot. He wound up starting at left tackle in each of the next three seasons, earning first-team all-conference as a senior and second-team honors as a junior. His mentality? “I must win. I have to be great at everything, and if I’m not, what do I have to do to change in order to be great at it?” Length (35-inch arms) and athleticism have him considered a tackle by some teams. Whatever the position, he’ll go in the second round. He’s a powerful player who finished fifth in PBE among our top prospects (two sacks, nine total pressures). He’s also an excellent run blocker — perhaps the best among our top four guards. Dawkins was headed to Cincinnati to play on the defensive line before new Temple coach Matt Rhule made a recruiting visit. Rhule left the Dawkins family house without offering a scholarship, then returned before hopping in his car. Dawkins was arrested in March 2015 for his alleged role in a fight but the assault charges against him and a teammate were dropped. “It was very emotional. I watched practice from my window every single day. In Philly, the facility is right across the street from (his dorm) and I picked a room where I could watch the football field. Every morning, my brothers were on the field grinding, and I'm sitting in a room and I'm a captain, I'm one of the big dogs, and I'm sitting there watching somebody else play my position. I could be there if I'd just made a better decision.”
G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State (6-4 1/4, 319; 5.35 40; 4.56 shuttle; 28 bench): First thing’s first: No, Siragusa is not related to former NFL defensive lineman Tony Siragusa. Siragusa was a three-year starter at guard and helped power Donnel Pumphrey to the all-time FBS rushing record. Run blocking is his forte. “Heck, yeah, I love run blocking. I love getting around pulling, I love double-teaming, I love being-one-on-one. I feel like I’m the people mover.” With that said, in our group of top prospects, he ranked second in PBE (one sack, three pressures in run-heavy offense). He was first-team all-Mountain West as a junior and senior. His power makes him a stalwart against bull rushes; he’ll have to hone his technique and better harness his athleticism to win against athletic defensive tackles. Siragusa turned down offers to play in the Pac-12 so he could stay home and be nearer to his father, Ramon, who waited for more than seven years before getting a kidney transplant. “He’s all good. I’m just glad he could come watch me play football. For a couple years, I didn’t know if he was going to make it to the end of college.”
G Danny Isidora, Miami (6-3 3/8, 306; 5.03 40; 4.90 shuttle; 26 bench): First, an important note: Isidora improved his shuttle to 4.70 at Miami’s pro day. We’re going with that time because it’s more in line with how he played at Miami. After redshirting in 2012 and missing almost all of 2013 with a foot injury sustained the day before the start of fall camp, Isidora started the final 39 games of his career at right guard. He was a two-time all-ACC selection, including a second-team choice as a senior. He ranked sixth in our group in PFF’s PBE (four sacks, nine total pressures). That’s his forte. Isidora and Siragusa look like third- or fourth-round options. Isidora might be more NFL-ready than Siragusa because of, one, better competition, and, two, his experience in the Hurricanes’ NFL-style dropback passing game. Three, he’s a better second-level blocker than Siragusa. Four, he’s got zone-scheme experience. However, Isidora doesn’t play with Siragusa’s power in either phase of the game. That’s a concern because the Packers can’t afford to have the pocket constantly collapsing.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.