The Green Bay Packers love taking offensive lineman late in the draft and generally, they have found a way to make them productive. That means good things for 2016 sixth-round pick Kyle Murphy.
Murphy, who was a Second Team All-Pac 12 right tackle in 2014, then a First Team selection at left tackle last season, is a massive prospect at 6-6, 305 pounds. And with his selection, along with that of Jason Spriggs in round two, the Packers are suddenly loaded with a deep offensive line.
Green Bay already had its top seven guys from last season: Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Corey Linsley, Bryan Bulaga, J.C. Tretter and Lane Taylor back in the fold. And with Spriggs and Murphy competing with others like Matt Rotheram, Josh Walker and Don Barclay, the Packers should be in good shape.
Generally, the Packers have had solid depth inside and with Sitton and Lang, they haven’t needed it much. However, tackle is where Green Bay has run into problems. Spriggs will help with that — Murphy may be able to as well.
Murphy, who told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that 60-70 percent of the teams he talked to in the draft process saw him as a right tackle and that’s where he played most of his snaps at last year’s Senior Bowl. Yet, Murphy expressed confidence in himself that he can play guard if needed.
“I think I can play guard, tackle, center, wherever the coach needs me,” Murphy said to Jsonline. “I’m definitely not going to pigeonhole myself anywhere. I’ve only played tackle throughout my career, but the NFL is a different game.”
To me, Murphy has a strong future as a swing tackle. I don’t know if he will ever be a starter, but he looks like a solid backup, who has the versatility to play both positions in a pinch. And if he can add some strength, he may be a fit at guard if Sitton or Lang or both move on after this season in free agency.
Sitton, Lang and Tretter were all college tackles, who converted to interior players in Green Bay and Murphy could be a candidate to follow in their footsteps. If not, he has the solid feet and bend required to be an NFL tackle, the question is simply whether he can be a starter.
Regardless, Murphy’s presence on the roster, means the competition on the offensive line will be better come training camp and that’s a good thing for the Packers, who are going to have some tough decisions to make.