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Ranking the Roster: Nos. 29-30 – Patrick, Runyan Could Battle at Guard

After a solid first season as a full-time starter, Lucas Patrick might have to fend off Jon Runyan Jr. during training camp.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster ahead of July 28, the first practice of training camp. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.

No. 29: RG Lucas Patrick (6-3, 313; 27; fifth season; Duke)

During training camp in 2019, Patrick was struggling not only with the schematic change introduced by then-new coach Matt LaFleur but a crisis of confidence. Over lunch, quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled him aside.

Rodgers’ words of encouragement helped Patrick make the roster.

“If you feel like ‘12’ has your back, it’s like the whole state of Wisconsin has your back,” Patrick said after playing 54 snaps off the bench at Dallas in October 2019.

Fast forward to 2020, when Patrick started 15 games and ranked third on the offense with 939 snaps. Among the 60 guards with at least 350 pass-protecting snaps, Patrick finished 10th in ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-blocking efficiency, which measures sacks, hits and hurries per passing play. Of 48 guards with at least 250 run-blocking snaps, Patrick’s blown-block rate of 1.4 percent ranked 11th, according to Sports Info Solutions.

Those credentials should make Patrick the clear front-runner to keep the starting job at right guard. And that may be the case. But the Packers are starved for cap space and releasing Patrick could create almost $2 million. And there’s a fleet of potential challengers after the team drafted Jon Runyan, Simon Stepaniak, Royce Newman and Cole Van Lanen the past two drafts.

“I think each year, I’ve tried to show a progression in my career and what I can do on the field,” Patrick said during OTAs. “It’s only made me hungrier. I think any good team or any good player gets a taste of success and wants to go harder or go after things more. It was great to just build true working relationships with some of the guys on the field. I can take a thousand practice reps but there’s nothing like when it’s 30 degrees in Lambeau and you need a drive to score and really relying on the guy next to you. It’s already helped me this year having a full season or repertoire of plays to pull out of my memory bank.”

No. 30: G Jon Runyan (6-4, 307; 23; second season; Michigan)

The son of longtime NFL standout Jon Runyan Sr., Runyan’s professional career was years in the making. A sixth-round pick by the Packers in 2020, the wait wasn’t long. Due to injuries to Billy Turner and Lane Taylor, Runyan made his NFL debut at Minnesota in Week 1.

“It’s insane. I remember being in eighth grade and watching Aaron win the Super Bowl,” Runyan said afterward. “I was sitting there on my couch. Now, I got thrown in my first NFL game I ever dressed, I’m in charge of protecting him. It’s kind of crazy how life works sometimes. That was my first snaps with the first-team offense, first snaps with Aaron, with all the guys. I think I handled myself pretty well. It was a little nerve-racking at first. There weren’t any fans in the stadium, so that helped a little bit too with communication, but it felt good to get out there.”

Runyan got significant playing time in four games – including a combined 131 snaps in Game 8 at San Francisco, Game 10 at Indianapolis and Game 11 vs. Chicago. He played well enough in those games to potentially challenge Lucas Patrick in training camp.

According to Pro Football Focus, Runyan allowed four pressures in 81 pass-protecting snaps. His run blocking was just OK. As an athletic former college left tackle, he fits the zone-scheme mold.

“I wouldn’t say I came here thinking I belonged right away,” he said in December. “Coming into this strange offseason that we had, things just weren’t as normal as I thought they were going to be. That made it not just me but everybody uneasy. I took it in stride. I knew that I had this fall camp to put myself in the best position possible to make this roster. That meant coming in every day and making sure I’m getting my work done in the right way and, hopefully, by the end of it, it will pay off, and I think it did. I’m starting to feel comfortable here in Green Bay and having a fun time doing it.”

Ranking the Green Bay Packers Roster

Nos. 31-33: Royce Newman, Blake Bortles, Marcedes Lewis

Nos. 34-37: TJ Slaton, Tyler Lancaster, Will Redmond, Kamal Martin

Nos. 38-40: JK Scott, Josh Jackson, Vernon Scott

Nos. 41-43: Josiah Deguara, Devin Funchess, Equanimeous St. Brown

Nos. 44-45: Kylin Hill, Shemar Jean-Charles

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