Packers draft bio: Simon Stepaniak, guard, Indiana
With the 209th overall pick in the sixth round of 2020 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Simon Stepaniak, guard, Indiana.
The Packers were not entirely thrilled with how effective the run game was last season in Matt LaFleur’s first as head coach and play-caller, so after adding starting guards Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins before last year, GM Brian Gutekunst is reshaping the rest of the room with young players that can play — and provide depth — at multiple positions. Likely needs time to consistently move his weight-room strength to the field and fine-tune his pass blocking.
- Height: 6-4
- Weight: 313
- Arm length: 32 inches
Reps on the bench press at the NFL scouting combine
- Team captain
- Third-team All-Big Ten (media)
- Honorable-mention All-Big Ten (coaches)
The Packers selected another Big Ten guard just before Stepaniak in Michigan’s Jon Runyan, so the rookie out of Indiana is likely going to be asked to work at both interior spots and provide depth behind Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner.
Allowed a 3.3% pressure rate in 2019 per Pro Football Focus, an improvement from 5.3% in 2018.
"My aggressiveness and getting after guys, and that’s definitely a huge part of what I take pride in my game. In my final season last year, there wasn’t plays I was taking off and getting after the guy across from me as much as I can and try to make his day not a good day, you know what I’m saying? Just really playing with relentless effort and getting after guys."
"I’ll be able to play any of the three interior spots. But I’m focused on just getting as good as I can and learning the new playbook and just giving everything I can for the guys on the team and doing my part helping the team out. And I talked to Jon Runyan at the combine a little bit but we haven’t had any previous relationships. I know him from playing hinm every year, me being at IU and him being at Michigan but I’m looking forward to him being my new teammate and excited to see what the future holds."
PFF analyst Mike Renner: “For any Big Ten offensive lineman, I suggest turning on the Ohio State and Michigan film first. ... In those two matchups, Stepaniak got resoundingly exposed. While he can line up and rock a sitting-duck-type target, Stepaniak's game was completely different when asked to react on the fly. He has the upper-body strength to play guard in the league, but that will only get him so far.”
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein: “Burly and strong with the ability to play either guard position in a gap-scheme attack. He's productive on double teams and combo blocks. Stepaniak comes off the ball and into opponents with some pop when he's singled up and he's a nasty block finisher, but he may not have enough length for NFL-block sustain. His ability to recover in pass pro is limited by both his wide base and exaggerated slide steps out to the edge. Despite his bench-press strength, Stepaniak gives too much ground to power rushers who push him into the pocket. It's possible to correct some of his pass-protection issues and his physicality in the run game helps his cause as a late-round guard with backup potential.”