GREEN BAY, Wis. – With the first of their three picks in the sixth round, the Green Bay Packers selected the son of a great offensive lineman.
At Michigan, Jon Runyan started at left tackle as a junior and senior, earning first-team all-Big Ten in both seasons. If you recognize the name, yes, he’s the son of former NFL standout Jon Runyan. A fourth-round pick in 1996, the elder Runyan started 192 games in 13 seasons. The younger Runyan was merely a three-star recruit.
“Growing up, it was kind of hard, especially trying to play football in the Philadelphia area,” Runyan said at the Scouting Combine. “People were always giving me these unfair comparisons against my dad when I was just a 14-year-old kid just trying to find my way. I didn’t even know what position I was good at yet. It was really difficult, and I still get those comparisons to him. I feel like sometimes they’re unfair. I’m still going into my own. Feel like I’m at the point my whole life I’ve been living kind of in the shadow, but I’m trying to step outside that shadow and cast a bigger one over that one.”
As a little kid, he watched the games. Just not his dad. That changed over time.
“I never really watched him,” he said. “I’d always watch the ball – Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, guys like that, because they’re the show. My mom was talking to me one time, and I was like, ‘Mom, don’t you watch the ball?” and she said ‘No, I don’t watch the ball at all. I just watch your dad.’ When I was younger, I started just watching my dad. I didn’t understand any of the technique at all when I was a little kid, but I’d always see him doing the kicks backward, the kick steps and that was something I was so interested in. I thought it looked funny at the time. I thought it was funny and tried to emulate. I didn’t understand what it was for but I knew they did that when they threw the ball, so that was one of my earliest memories from when I was younger looking at my dad’s technique.”
Runyan (6-4 1/4, 306; 33 1/4-inch arms) had a strong Combine with an impressive 4.69 in the shuttle. He allowed two sacks but 16 total pressures for a pressure rate of 3.9 percent.
“I see myself projecting more inside at the next level, but I still feel like I will always have the capability of kicking out to tackle based on my athletic ability. I even did kind of play center my first year at Michigan, so I still have that. I’ve been pitching my versatility as an offensive lineman. Teams tell me not to push off the tackle idea. It’s something I’m fine with. I don’t care. My whole career, I’ve always just wanted to get on the field.”
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