Developing tackle Matthew Peart proficient at protecting the quarterback
Latest in a Packers Prospects series looking at players Green Bay could select in the April 23-25 NFL draft.
GREEN BAY - It started to become clear at the NFL scouting combine that the Green Bay Packers and longtime starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga were headed for a separation when it was learned the sides had not had any conversations about keeping the 2010 first-round draft pick in the fold.
The question then became would the team elect to entrust the long-term future of the position to an up-and-coming free-agent signing or perhaps invest in a high draft pick. The signing of soon-to-be 31-year-old Rick Wagner to a two-year deal indicates the team will try to address the future of the position in the April 23-25 draft.
Enter University of Connecticut tackle Matthew Peart, who could use some time to develop his technique and body for the NFL level. Peart is used to change as he played under two head coaches and five offensive coordinators, but it means he could use some consistent coaching. At 6-7 and 303 pounds, he can move smoothly and has positional versatility having played guard in the past.
Age next season: 23.
Combine vitals: 5.06-second 40-yard dash, 26 reps on the bench press, 8.01-second three-cone drill.
Stats: 90.1 run-block grade, 86.0 pass block-grade, 8 sacks allowed.
Pro Football Focus analysis: Since becoming a starter as a freshman in 2016, Peart has done one thing particularly well: protect the quarterback. In his first two seasons at left tackle he earned pass-blocking grades of 77.3 and 80.1. His last two seasons at right tackle he earned pass-blocking grades of 75.5 and 86.0. While level of competition is obviously a concern, that's a pretty nice grading profile. What's even more encouraging is that we've seen his play strength improve greatly over that span as indicated by his run-blocking grade. He went from 70.7 in 2018 all the way to 90.1 this past season. That's the sort of trend you need to see at offensive line.
Draftniks say: “Swing tackle prospect with outstanding length and athleticism, but lacking play strength and hand usage to survive against NFL competition at this time. It is important to note that Peart has the potential to get stronger and that issues of concern are mostly correctable. He has the physical traits that put him in position to get better and better as a pro, but after four years as a collegiate starter, teams may wonder whether he has the necessary demeanor and grit at the point of attack to stick around as a pro.” — NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein
Quotable: “I feel I have decent technique but whenever you transcend to another level there is always a learning curve. The game is just that much faster. You have to equate that in your own way. From that standpoint I understand there are definitely things I need to learn. The game is faster, that is something I really look forward to honing in on when I make that next step.” — Peart on how he refined his technique.