Green Bay picks Jason Spriggs at No. 48 overall #iufb

As he watched the television and anticipated the phone call that would change his life, Jason Spriggs tried not to get lost in the wait.

Viewed as a potential first-round talent, the former Indiana left tackle was left to go to bed Thursday with his future on hold for yet another day. But what happened Friday made the suspense worth the trouble.

The Green Bay Packers selected Spriggs in the second round with the 48th overall pick, sending him to a winning organization that values outstanding play up front.

“It was indescribable how excited I was to be part of such an organization and have an organization believe in me that they wanted to pick me up and bring me onto the club,” Spriggs said on a conference call with reporters Friday. “There are no words to describe the feeling.”

Green Bay traded up to get in position to land Spriggs, swapping the No. 57 overall pick, along with a fourth- and seventh-round selection to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 48 overall pick.

Spriggs, who was believed to be a late-first round option for a handful of teams late Thursday night, is the highest Hoosier draft pick since the St. Louis Rams selected tackle Rodger Saffold with the first pick of the second round in 2010. Spriggs is the ninth Hoosier selected by the Packers and the first since defensive back Jimmy Thomas in 1983.

Though it required an extra day of waiting, Spriggs is happy to have his new home decided.

“There were some teams that had me graded in the second round and maybe sneaking into the first, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference per se,” Spriggs said. “For me, that’s not where most of my attention is. I just wanted to get to a club that I fit well in.”

In Green Bay, Spriggs has a organization where he can grow.

Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst confirmed that Spriggs was an option for the team at No. 27 overall on Thursday, but Green Bay selected UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark instead.

When an opportunity to jump up and land Spriggs presented itself midway through Friday’s second round, the Packers made their move.

“He’s very athletic,” Gutekunst said. “He ran really fast, benched a lot and when he was down at the Senior Bowl, I thought he handled himself very, very well. It’s a good ‘Big Guy’ draft, and we were able to add two of them. That was a goal of ours.”

Spriggs may not be pressed to play immediately this fall. Green Bay still has left tackle David Bakhtiari locked into his rookie contract for one final year, but if Bakhtiari leaves in free agency, Spriggs could assume his spot on the left side of the line.

Otherwise, Spriggs could move around.

“We’ll see how that goes,” Gutekunst said. “He hasn’t played a snap yet. He’ll compete with our guys and we’ll see how it shakes out … We think he can play all over the line and we’re excited to get him.”

According to spotrac.com, Spriggs’ estimated contract value will be more than $5 million, with an expected signing bonus of $1,839,486.

Spriggs earned first team All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of American after a stellar senior year in Bloomington. He anchored arguably the best offensive line in the Big Ten, teaming with fellow first team All-American Dan Feeney at right guard to help the Hoosiers become the first team since Ohio State in 1995 to lead the conference in total, passing and scoring offense.

Spriggs allowed only two sacks in 475 called pass attempts, finishing with 79 knockdowns in a team-high 1,074 snaps. The 6-foot-6, 301-pound prospect started 28 consecutive games to begin his career and made 47 starts in 48 games at left tackle.

The Elkhart native played football, basketball, lacrosse and participated in track and field in high school. He was undersized for his position when he arrived on campus at Indiana as a three-star recruit, but compensated for what he lacked in bulk with his top-end athleticism.

Spriggs’ quick feet and command of the position allowed him to become a four-year starter under coach Kevin Wilson, who with the help of nationally-recognized offensive line coach Greg Frey, built IU’s line into a consistent and formidable unit.

After blocking the past two seasons for quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who could be drafted in the latter rounds Saturday, Spriggs will get to work with Aaron Rodgers at the next level.

“With a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, there’s a whole new level there that I’ve never seen,” Spriggs said. “Im really excited to get the chance.”

Never mind the wait.

3 comments

  1. First, it’s a great organization.

    Second, it’s in Wisconsin and they play well into February.

    Overall, it sounds like a great opportunity. When you are blocking for Aaron Rodgers everyone is paying attention.

  2. I along with many people were disappointed NFL teams didn’t pick Spriggs in the first round but for those that are patient good things happen. Jason got selected by great organization that lands in the plays-offs every year or close to every year. Jason will be able to show his talent and he will develop his talent with the Packers. I wish him good luck and other teams will regret not getting him with their first round pick.

  3. I think you’re right, v13, other teams will regret not taking him sooner. But it all depends on two things, staying healthy and being in the right system with the right coaching staff. As much as I hate to say it, Green Bay is a good system.

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