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Packers Undrafted Rookies: Schneider, Moore Ready to Grapple for Roster Spot

Cole Schneider was a dominant pass protector UCF. George Moore started at left tackle and left guard as a seventh-year senior at Oregon.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – In 2016, the Green Bay Packers drafted two offensive linemen. They also signed an undrafted lineman named Lucas Patrick. After toiling on the practice squad as a rookie, he emerged as a valuable and versatile member of the team with 28 starts at the three interior positions the past two seasons.

With Patrick signing with Chicago in free agency, the Packers drafted three offensive linemen last weekend. They also signed undrafted free agent Cole Schneider of Central Florida. He started 47 games in four seasons, with 46 of those appearances at guard. As a senior, he started one game at center – the position at which he’s listed by the Packers.

“He can play any of the inside positions whether it be right guard, left guard, or center,” UCF offensive line coach Herb Hand told The News-Press. “I think that's been invaluable, that's going to pay dividends because you're bringing great value to an organization to be able to play multiple positions.”

Schneider was a two-time heavyweight champion at Riverdale High School in Palm Beach, Fla. After redshirting in 2017, he embarked on a career in which he earned all-conference accolades all four seasons. As a senior, he did not allow a sack, according to Pro Football Focus, and ranked No. 1 among guards in its pass-blocking efficiency, which measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-protecting snap. He even lined up at fullback and rushed for a touchdown.

Physicality is the bedrock of his game.

“He pulls with ill intentions and tries to kill people,” UCF right tackle Marcus Tatum, who signed with the Jaguars, told The News-Press at pro day. “You couldn’t ask for a better guard than that. I knew when he was pulling in front of me that the (defender) was going to get moved. He’s willing to put his body on the line for anybody and is an all-around good person. He’s always been there for me, always helped me. He let me lean on him the moment I got here.”

Including Schneider, the Packers signed four undrafted blockers. The other interior lineman, at least according to the Packers’ roster, is Oregon’s George Moore.

The top-ranked junior-college offensive tackle following the 2016 season at The College of San Mateo, Moore redshirted in 2017 and played a total of 69 snaps from scrimmage in 2018 and 2019 behind Penei Sewell and Tyrell Crosby. In 2020, he started all seven games at left tackle during the Ducks’ pandemic-shortened season. In 2021, he started 13 games – the first six at left tackle and the final seven at left guard.

According to PFF, he allowed six sacks – three at each position. He’ll be ready for the NFL thanks to regular practice-field battles with Kaylon Thibodeaux, who was the fifth overall pick in the draft by the Giants.

“Coach (Mario) Cristobal is a big believer in the whole ‘iron sharpens iron’ mentality,” Moore told SI.com’s The Spun. “Our front seven was amazing with Kayvon Thibodeaux and several others. All those guys are amazing football players, have high IQs, and made practices tough. We would go head-to-head every single day because we knew that’s what we needed to do to give ourself an opportunity on Saturdays. We knew that we’d need to be physical throughout the week to make sure it helps us have success during games.”

Moore’s college odyssey started in 2015 with a torn ACL and ended last year with his seventh collegiate season.

He will turn 26 on July 31.

“That year I came back from my ACL taught me that you can overcome so much,” Moore told The Athletic. “It just showed me that with time anything can happen, because it was going from sitting in bed every day and not being able to walk, to learning how to walk again and getting range of motion back in my knee and leg. One of my best years was coming back from that.”

On the interior, young starters Jon Runyan, Josh Myers and Royce Newman are back. So, too, are Jake Hanson, a sixth-round pick in 2020 and a former teammate of Moore at Oregon, Cole Van Lanen, a sixth-round pick in 2020 with guard-tackle versatility, and Michal Menet, a seventh-round pick in 2021 by Arizona who the Packers signed in January. One of the draft picks, third-rounder Sean Rhyan, was a three-year starting left tackle at UCLA but could wind up at guard. And that doesn’t include 2020 Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins, who could be back at his customary spot at left guard or swing out to right tackle once he’s beyond his torn ACL.

So, it won’t be easy. But nothing in life that’s worth having is easy.

“I told some of the guys that cage fighting would be the next thing I’m on,” Schneider told The Daily News. “I might want to be a chiropractor, as well. My head’s in a lot of different places. But right now, it’s straight-shot. It’s football.”

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