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The Book on Packers Fourth-Round Pick Jake Ryan

Jake Ryan

In the fourth round of the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers went back to the defensive side of the ball, drafting Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan.

This is literally the first pick in this draft that the Packers have made that makes total sense.

Ryan is listed as an outside linebacker, but played inside linebacker for the Wolverines in 2014 after spending his first three seasons in Ann Arbor at outside linebacker. Ryan’s build (6-2, 240) tells us he’ll be most effective as an inside linebacker in the Packers 3-4 defense.

Ryan had 112 tackles, including 14 for loss and two sacks in 2014. He also had an interception and two forced fumbles.

This certainly appears to be a high value pick for the Packers and it gives them additional depth — something they sorely needed — at inside linebacker. We certainly don’t expect Ryan to come in and start as a rookie, but he as the potential to do so in a year or so.

Here’s the NFL.com scouting report.

He’s got the size, physicality and commitment to film work to play inside, but his instincts still need work. Ryan is a little stiff and stays blocked for too long, but his disengagement from blocks will improve with more reps inside. Faster than quick, he is scheme versatile and can fit inside or at the SAM linebacker spot in a 4-3. Ryan’s productivity comes from toughness, play demeanor and physical tools. Teams could pigeonhole him as a “try-hard” linebacker, but they shouldn’t.

Here’s my favorite Jake Ryan highlight.

Also food for thought — the last time the Packers drafted a linebacker from Michigan, it was John Anderson. He was one of the best to ever play the middle for Green Bay.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Big B May 2, 2015

    Still pissed at Ted… Should have taken ILB in first round! He screwed up and was forced to take CB in 2nd because nobody left, and now forced to take this guy because talent is 4-5th round level, not first round.

  2. Zwoeger May 2, 2015

    Is she a Molly Ringwald clone?

    1. ferris May 2, 2015

      Jake Ryan was the name of the kid in the movie idiot. Geez some people.

  3. ILB’s are becoming more and more 2 down guys. there really was no one worth a first round pick in the entire draft. So this pick is good, I like it. Maybe we can play Sean Richardson at some ILB on passing downs. 6′ 02″ , 220 can cover TE’s & RB’s.

  4. Zwoeger May 2, 2015

    And now we have drafted a QB, Brett Hundley.
    How about that.

  5. Howard May 2, 2015

    Like this guy. He is faster than many may think. Saw several of the games with him (Just in case your wondering Mr. Bob) in them. He has the ability to be a three down linebacker, but not this year. He is around the ball a lot. He did get better as the year went on. Captain at Michigan says a lot about his desire to be the best at what he does and that is ILB.

  6. sloth May 2, 2015

    The crying about not getting anew ILB early is overblown. Behind FB there is no other position in the starting 22 that is less important than an inside backer. Plus no one was rated highly in this draft for a mike. I like Ryan, Michigan tried to use him in. a Clay Matthews role but there was very little talent around him and he had some injury issues later. If he can stay healthy he can provide versatility on the inside and another potential pass rusher on the outside.

  7. Richard May 2, 2015

    “Behind FB there is no other position in the starting 22 that is less important than an inside backer.”

    That is some fantastic foreshadowing right there.

    1. Fritz May 2, 2015

      i am hoping that one of our new speedy DB/WR explodes on the scene in our opener in Chicago, and do to them what Devon Hester did to us when he debuted in the nfl.

  8. I only clicked on this article in hopes of a Sixteen Candles quote. Kudos, Monty!

  9. Fritz May 2, 2015

    he looks like he was separated from CM3 at birth. i hope he gets no. 53 so that opposing QB get confused as to which side the real blonde bomber LB is coming from.

  10. Howard May 2, 2015

    The Tavarus Danzler signing will bring in another ILB. I know he is out of Bethune- Cookman and competition may not be the best but damn he looks good on film. Not sure why he wasn’t drafted. Must be some problem, however 6-3 240 and 4.5 to 4.6 forty not bad. Steelers and Patriots were also looking at him.

  11. jtmax May 4, 2015

    TT hoping for next Chris Borland here? Passed up all the athletic freaky ILB for this guy. Hummm.
    Stephone Anthony was closest to CM3 as far as measurables so you’d think TT would take him instead of this AJ Hawk like guy.

  12. rebelgb May 6, 2015

    Oh no its AJ Hawks cousin!!!

    Save us please!!