Packers add 'mean guy' Cole Madison to OL mix

Ben Steele
Packers News
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FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, Washington State offensive lineman Cole Madison (61) lines up for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon State, in Pullman, Wash. Madison was selected to the AP All-Conference Pac-12 team announced Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)

GREEN BAY - Cole Madison has the ideal temperament for an offensive lineman: easygoing big man off the field and mauler in the trenches.

The Green Bay Packers hope the first pick in the fifth round (138th overall) of the NFL draft can fill some of their needs on the offensive line, specifically the right side.

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"At guard you need a mean person," Packers West Coast scout Sam Seale said Saturday. "I think he's a mean guy. I think he has the ability to hunker down and open up holes on the inside."

The 6-foot-5, 314-pound Madison will cop to that reputation.

"I think I'm a nice guy when it comes to it, but ultimately I'm not afraid to get my hands a little dirty," Madison said. "Playing this position, you've got a screw a little loose at least."

Madison, unlike most NFL draft prospects, doesn't have a Twitter account.

"I'm just kind of an old-school guy. I've not really dabbled in the social media stuff," he said. "Don't need to look at people's food they post and all that stuff."

Madison played right tackle at Washington State last year, making 13 starts and earning all-Pacific 12 Conference second-team honors. But he likely profiles as a guard in the NFL.

That makes him a good fit for the Packers, who started 34-year-old Jahri Evans as a one-season stopgap at the position last year.

"We think he’s a guy that has some position versatility," Packers director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan said of Madison. "He’ll probably line up first at guard, but if needed can slide out to tackle like he did (at Washington State)."

The Packers have a long history of converting college tackles into offensive guards, including Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Lane Taylor in recent seasons.

"We like taking tackles if we can and moving them inside because they’ve proved that they can play out there in space and do some things athletically that are strenuous," Sullivan said.

Seale cited another characteristic of Madison's.

"Great feet," Seale said. "And you know for offensive linemen, if you have feet and you have the ability to recover, you’re in the ballgame."

Madison certainly knows about pass blocking after playing under Mike Leach at Washington State. 

"If we run the ball eight times a game, that's a lot for us," Madison said. "It's one of those things that, people didn't really have a lot of tape on me in the run game. I always thought it was one of the big question marks for me, but I try to showcase that I could play with my hand in the dirt, that whole thing."

Madison's only experience at guard was during the Senior Bowl. But he's ready to get to work.

"I know the great longevity of the offensive line playing there, just the history of the Packers," he said. "I'm really excited about it."


Position: Offensive line. School: Washington State. Pick: Round 5, 138th overall.

Height: 6-5. Weight: 314 pounds. Age: 23. Hometown: Burien, Wash.

Lowdown: Madison is lauded for his pass-blocking skills, playing in the Cougars' spread offensive attack. He started all 47 games he appeared in at Washington State, tied for second-most in school history. Madison started 13 games at right tackle and was named to the all-Pacific 12 Conference second team in 2017. At Kennedy (Wash.) High School, he played tight end as a junior (15 receptions) before becoming a three-star prospect as an offensive tackle as a senior. He was also an all-conference basketball player in high school. "Kind of a shooting guard, that whole deal. Had a jumper," Madison said.

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