GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers used the first of their sixth-round picks on Wisconsin offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen. Here’s a look at his five-year career with the Badgers.
Cole Van Lanen’s Stats with the Badgers
Van Lanen started 18 games at left tackle during his final two seasons, including 13 games in 2019, when he was second-team all-Big Ten, and five games in 2020, when he was first-team all-conference despite missing two games due to an undisclosed injury.
In all, the native of nearby Suamico played in 45 games with 19 starts. While he started only once in 2018, he played 560 snaps and paved the way for Jonathan Taylor’s 2,000-yard rushing season. In 2019, he helped power another 2,000-yard season by Taylor. Along with the on-the-field accolades, he was a four-time all-Big Ten selection in academics.
“Very athletic big man,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “He has the athleticism to play outside at tackle and dance with those athletes out there. He doesn’t have great length, but his athleticism makes up for it. And then inside, he’s got the quickness to handle the guys inside. Just a ton of versatility. He’s a smart kid. He’s been through Bay Port and Wisconsin, two excellent programs. So, football’s been a major part of his life for a long time. He fits our room. He’s going to fit in with those guys.”
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Van Lanen looked like the next great Wisconsin tackle while playing extensively off the bench as a sophomore, when he allowed two sacks and six total pressures in 223 pass-protecting snaps (2.7 percent). However, he took a big step back in 2019, and that’s concerning. Exposed by Ohio State dynamo Chase Young, Van Lanen gave up five sacks and 15 total pressures in 371 pass-protecting snaps (4.0 percent). He rebounded nicely in 2020, with one sack and three total pressures in 181 pass-protecting snap (1.7 percent).
While there’s some concern about his pass protection, which is why he might wind up at guard, his run blocking was superb. Sports Info Solutions charged him with six blown blocks as a sophomore and five as a junior but just one as a senior. On runs to his gap, he had a positive-block rate of 56 percent, a big jump after being at just 45 percent in 2019.
“I think I have raw power coming off the ball in the run game,” he said. “I do really well in gap/power schemes, zone schemes, as followers, as leaders, getting to the hip, getting up to the second level and creating those holes. I think that’s an area of my game that I excel at and I can bring to the Packers to help this offensive line and team.”