Cory's Corner: Keep An Eye On Sean Rhyan

The Packers have a potential gem in their versatile third round pick. 

Everyone is still hung up on wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. 

But the pick that will raise the most eyebrows is Sean Rhyan. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman started all 12 games at UCLA this past season and was ranked by USA Today as the No. 7 offensive line prospect entering the draft.  

That’s pretty good value for a guy that was drafted 92nd overall. 

We have hit on this time and time again, but one of the most important qualities that you can have, especially on the offensive line, is versatility. And that’s exactly what Rhyan provides by being athletic and strong enough to start at both guard and tackle. 

And the simple reason is because of rugby. 

“Well, rugby, you know, there’s not really set plays,” Rhyan said. “You’re kind of on the field the whole time, running around tackling. You’re playing defense and offense the whole time. What I think rugby taught me at a young age was not to be afraid of contact really. No matter the opponent, or how big they were or how big I was, that we’re both on the field at the same time and whoever plays the hardest for the longest is going to come out on top. So I think that gave me a baseline for football.”

That was proven right away at UCLA as he became the first true freshman to start a season opener at tackle for the Bruins since 2012. 

The Packers’ offensive line was ranked No. 14 by Pro Football Focus last year and that was with David Bakhtiari playing just 27 snaps in Week 18 and Elgton Jenkins missing nine games. Both should be back at some point this season, but having depth at offensive line is very important — especially for a team that relies on the running game and play-action to set the table. 

Which should be perfect for Rhyan because he has had perfect attendance at UCLA. 

“I’m extremely versatile as well as available,” said Rhyan. “I never missed a snap in college due to an injury.”

Rhyan may have been drafted in the third round, but don’t let that fool you. He’s going to push for a starting job. That could be in place of Royce Newman at right guard or it could be at right tackle until Jenkins is back from his ACL injury. 

So while many opine and worry about the wide receivers, be confident about the offensive line. Especially Rhyan, who only allowed two sacks during his collegiate career.

He may have never seen snow fall, but thanks to his rugby instincts, he is going to put many NFL defensive players on the ground. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

7 points

Comments (12)

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Handsback's picture

May 07, 2022 at 07:17 am

Cory, thanks for this story about Rhyan. I was planning to use him as an example of why what we read and see of a player doesn't seem to translate into a ranking that matches his abilities. Before the draft I couldn't figure out why he was ranked below guys in lower rated conferences based on potential.
This kid has hands of steel with good size. I may be wrong, but I see him starting unless there's something between his ears that keeps it from happening....after all he is a rugby player!

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HarryHodag's picture

May 07, 2022 at 08:09 am

I agree with Cory's base assessment: don't be afraid of the offensive line. It is going to be good.

That said, I checked with the website he quoted who said the Packers had the 14th ranked offensive line. Take a guess who they rated number one: Dallas. They also had the Eagles ahead of Green Bay. The eventual Super Bowl champs, the Rams, were 7th.

What a freakin' joke. More than Cory's assessment of the Packers line, I have to call out all of you who sit back and pour over nearly meaningless numbers as a real indicator of success. With the 'best' offensive line the Cowboys should have consistently controlled the line of scrimmage and dominated the time of possession with an outstanding running game and passing game. In short, they should have won a wide majority of their games. Wrong. Even with a backup QB they should have won much.

Without spending a lot of time pouring over numbers, look at the Packers offensive production. Rodgers had more than 4,000 yards. The running backs had 1,900 yards. Aaron Rodgers was barely touched all season.

Numbers must translate into reality. The Packers had/have a really good offensive line. 14th in the league?
Take your spreadsheets and put them in a spot where you can't see them.

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GregC's picture

May 07, 2022 at 11:56 am

Well, the Packers OL did get destroyed in the playoffs two years in a row, so there's that. But during the regular season, yeah, it seemed like they were at least top 10 last year. Depends how you measure it, though. It's a hard thing to quantify because offensive production depends so much on the QB, RBs, and receivers, in addition to the OL.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 07, 2022 at 02:18 pm

Hodag, I agree that we had/have a really good line. But..............

Three of the guys who suited up for us last year are gone. Turner and Patrick were starters. Kelly also is gone. So that's three, AND we don't know when Jenkins returns or how Bakhtiari is yet, or whether Myers can play an entire NFL season.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 07, 2022 at 08:13 am

Rugby, Wrestling... which is better for an OL background?

I will take either.

rhyan looks like he might be susceptible to speed rushers at the NFL level, however if that isn't a weakness then watch out.

I have a hard time believing that he is 6-5 and 320 looking at his action pictures. He looks like a 6-2, 300 guy. He is deceiving to the eyes and his production is just off the charts.

I most like the report I read that he is a no-holds-barred battler and fights his ass off to keep defenders away from his QB. Thats some nasty and I likey nasty!

This draft class looks like a complete series of home runs. Not every player selected always makes good, but couldn't it happen just once?

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BirdDogUni's picture

May 07, 2022 at 09:46 am

Sean Rhyan is going to be hard to keep out of the starting OL.

I played Inside Centre for the Newmarket Old Studs, 85' - '91. (Union Rules.) Greatest team sport I ever played. Anyone can be the hero in any given match. I imagine Rhyan would make a great Tight Head Prop, but hoping he can play RT for us! ; )

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 07, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Cool B-Dog! Makes sense...you and Studs-Service...I tip my cap, you lucky dog you....

>^••^<

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PatrickGB's picture

May 07, 2022 at 11:02 am

John, that was my take as well. Because he is so thick he looks like a fireplug guard. And I read draft stuff that had him slated inside. Yet I see a rock at LT and expect that he would do well as RT as well as the inside. He is definitely an asset to the line and the perfect replacement for Patrick (not me, the player).

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greengold's picture

May 07, 2022 at 02:36 pm

I could not agree more, Johnblood27.

NASTY should be measured at the Combine, goddamit!!! LOL.

Regardless, as you say, intangibles do come into play that set players apart at countless positions in the game throughout NFL history. You just mentioned 2 with Rhyan.

Couple those with immensely powerful, practically foot-long hands, insanely nimble, quick feet, and proven, remarkable mirroring abilities, taken altogether are my reasons for thinking he may stick at OT.

Sean Rhyan STONING Thibodeaux is proof he can handle speed rushers. So is his allowing just 1 sack in 3 years of Power 5 LT play - EXCLUSIVELY. He’s never played OG.

Let’s put it this way, he could make an insanely powerful & effective OG. That alone may trigger a push of Royce Newman to a development plan with more emphasis at his natural RT position.

There’s also the chance, knowing Gutekunst drafts with a 2-3 year development plan in mind, that they see Rhyan OR Tom as Bakhtiari’s successor in a year or two.

LaFleur said straight away they were going to try Rhyan out at OT first for a reason, because he was that good at LT for UCLA. That means they feel Rhyan may really have what it takes to play there effectively at the NFL level. If he passes that test, with 32 5/8” arms, it will be for the intangibles you mention, JB.

OUTLIER. Make no bones about it. Jason Peters is considered the greatest outlier to date as a 6-Time ALL-PRO & 9-Time PRO BOWL OT with 33 1/8” arm length.

Yes. Rhyan is going to most likely wind up at OG, BUT…

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 07, 2022 at 12:05 pm

J-Blood, give me 3 scoops of nasty...nope, 5 scoops of nasty on the o-line cone, sprinkled with the right amount of nutz. Nasty and nutz, I likey.

"Hey bar keep, pass the beer nuts please"

Go, go, gooo

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Mark King's picture

May 07, 2022 at 11:14 am

Excellent Article !! This pick caught my eye as well !!

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rempel's picture

May 28, 2022 at 11:29 pm

That was also my opinion, John. He resembles a fireplug guard due to his size. And I read draft material with him slated within. Nonetheless, I see a rock at LT and believe he would perform well at RT as well as on the inside. He is a valuable addition to the line and the ideal substitute for Patrick (not me, the player).

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