Surprising pre-draft moves suggest Packers may break their own rules

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers have a philosophy in the NFL Draft, passed down from Ron Wolf to Ted Thompson and now Brian Gutekunst.

It's often possible to erase prospects from the Packers' board based on a combination of athletic testing, size, or even experience. It's no different along the offensive line.

Packer Report's Ross Uglem gave an excellent breakdown of the Packers' preferences at offensive tackle in a recent conversation with Cheesehead TV's Aaron Nagler.

He made a list of every tackle the team has drafted in the first four rounds since 1996 (who the Packers actually used at tackle), and Green Bay's philosophy is evident. In that time, they drafted nine tackles on Days 1 and 2. All of them weighed between 300 and 321 pounds, and all but one were between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-6. The only exception was John Michaels, who was 6-foot-7.

It's no coincidence. The Packers have strict guidelines, but they do rarely move away from their thresholds, and their recent pre-draft visits indicate they may do so this spring.

Packers' pre-draft visits with Amarius Mims and Tyler Guyton are surprising

The Packers are reportedly hosting two offensive tackles who would break their own rules. According to Cheesehead TV's Aaron Nagler, Green Bay hosted Georgia's Amarius Mims on Thursday, while Jacob Westendorf of Sports Illustrated reports that Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton also had a top-30 visit.

Both are potential first-round options for the Packers, but they would be surprising picks.

Mims meets Green Bay's athletic thresholds, earning an elite Relative Athletic Score of 9.58 out of 10. He ran a 5.07-second 40-yard dash. However, at 6-foot-8, 340 pounds, the Packers would be moving considerably away from their usual size thresholds, which they are strict with.

The Packers also prefer to draft offensive linemen with plenty of college experience—Mims started only eight games at Georgia.

It's a similar story for Guyton. He has the athleticism the Packers covet, earning an RAS of 9.73. However, he is 6-foot-8 and 322 pounds and has just 14 career starts in college. Again, the Packers would be making a dramatic shift from their strict philosophy when drafting offensive tackles in the early rounds.

While top-30 visits aren't the be-all and end-all and don't guarantee Green Bay will draft them, they do count for something. Over the past two years, the Packers drafted or signed 11 prospects they hosted for pre-draft visits. That's over 18 percent.

Mims and Guyton are currently the only offensive tackles who have reportedly had top-30 visits with the Packers, which suggests they are, at the very least, considering breaking their own rules in the first round.

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