Packers pick Oklahoma FB Ripkowski in 6th round

Robert Zizzo
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Oklahoma fullback Aaron Ripkowski, the first of the Green Bay Packers' three sixth-round draft picks.

Even Aaron Ripkowski had to be surprised when he was chosen by the Packers with the No. 206 overall pick in the draft Saturday. After all, fullbacks are on the NFL's endangered list.

"As a fullback, realistically, you always look at free agency as our only option," the 6-foot-1, 257-pound Oklahoma senior said. "I heard a few things through the grapevine here and there, and going on visits, and I had my hopes up a little bit on getting drafted and it just turned out the way I wanted to."

Now, he'll likely be competing with 10th-year veteran John Kuhn for a roster spot. Kuhn played only 18 percent of the offensive snaps during the regular season, although his playing time increased in the playoffs.

Where he will have to separate himself from Kuhn is with his blocking ability.

"I think you just have to love the sport, love the contact if you're going to be a lead blocker and that's really why I play," Ripkowski said. "I love to get in there and move guys out and help open up holes for people to score touchdowns and help the team win."

Ripkowski is from Dayton, Texas, a small city near Houston and played in Norman, Okla., for the Sooners. He got a good feeling about Green Bay when he visited last month.

"I got the small-town feel about it," he said. "And I really liked that coming from Oklahoma, it kind of had the same big history, small-town feel organization. I really loved that. It's just a great organization. I can't wait to come here and help them out."

Aaron Ripkowski At A Glance

Position: Fullback.

School: Oklahoma.

Height, weight: 6-1, 257.

Overview: The Dayton, Texas, native is viewed by most scouts as one of the top at his position in this year's draft class. The Packers were interested enough to bring him in for one of their 30 allowed player visits. He ran a 4.70-second time in the 40-yard dash at his Oklahoma Pro Day. Ripkowski played in all 26 games over the past two seasons with 16 starts. He had six carries for 13 yards and scored four touchdowns as a senior. Ripkowski also earned the team's Don Key Award, an honor given to Sooners who exemplify on- and off-field dedication.

Quote: "We thought he was a pretty functional blocker, a square guy that stays on his feet. We think he can be an effective player in the role we're going to try to use him." – Ted Thompson, Packers general manager

-- Overview information from Weston Hodkiewicz

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