BC’s leading tackler, Isaiah McDuffie, had to wait a bit but found a home in the NFL when the Green Bay Packers drafted him 220th overall in the 6th Round of this past week’s draft. McDuffie will join fellow Eagle AJ Dillon, as the Packers select Eagles in back to back NFL Drafts. To get an insight into what type of role McDuffie might fill in Lambeau for this season and seasons to come, we turned to our friend and Cheese-Head connoisseur at the Acme Packing Company, Jon Meerdink.
BCI: Do you believe the Packers got good value for McDuffie based on where he was drafted?
APC: I think it’d seem so. The general view at APC is that Day 3 picks are basically lottery tickets anyway, so taking a guy with the athletic profile that Isaiah McDuffie has seems like a pure upside move. There’s really no downside to taking someone with the speed he has at a position where the Packers have some fairly well-established needs.
BCI: Where overall do you see McDuffie fitting in with the Packers defense in regards to their defensive scheme? Does his set of tools match what the teams like to do, does he fit a need defensively, etc.?
APC: That’s honestly a bit of a mystery. The Packers have a new defensive coordinator in Joe Barry, and although he comes from the Brandon Staley/Vic Fangio tree, it’s not clear exactly what he plans to do with the Packers. In fact, based on his answers in his introductory press conference, it’s fair to wonder if he even knows.
That said, it does seem like Barry is going to play a more penetration-oriented style up front than Mike Pettine’s two-gapping fronts, so it’s possible that McDuffie might be a really good fit with his straight-line speed. If the Packers just need guys who can get to the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, that could McDuffie’s ticket to the field.
BCI: If not on defense, could McDuffie be a contributor on special teams?
APC: I think we should take it as a given that McDuffie is going to get his opportunities on special teams. Ty Summers, a 2019 seventh-round pick for the Packers, is somewhat similar to McDuffie in that respect. He’s a good athlete if a bit undersized as a traditional off-ball linebacker. But he’s been a core special teamer since the Packers drafted him, and I’d expect McDuffie to take a similar route.