With the 212th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers took another Georgia boy, from the University of South Florida, right tackle Kofi Amichia. And the crowd went…wild? We all expected that at some point Ted would go after a lineman. It is, however, one of his specialties. But who in the heck was this guy? Unless you’re an alumnus of USF, or from East Point, Georgia, I highly doubt you knew who this kid was.
Luckily for you, I am here to fill you in on the mysterious 6th round pick that you may not want to forget about. Ted Thompson has been quite successful at drafting offensive lineman in later rounds of the draft. Amichia is another one of his projects that could see significant playing time in a year or two if he chooses to “trust the process”.
What he will need to do to find his success is understand his role on this team will be as versatile as the pronunciations of his last name. The Packers are expected to move Amichia inside to play guard and center. The signing of All-Pro Guard Jahri Evans is only a band-aid at a position that was once bountiful. Amichia will be groomed to fill the needs left behind by Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. Even though Amichia played mostly Left Tackle in college, he will follow in the footsteps of said guards as collegiate tackles drafted by Green Bay only to transition them to guard (JC Tretter included).
Amichia started 13 games in both 2015 and 2016 at left tackle, giving him 26 consecutive starts on the blindside before entering the NFL. He also made two starts at right tackle in 2014 and served as a backup at center and guard as a freshman.
A combination of movement skills and power could give Amichia value at several different positions, especially for a Packers offense that likes to get their linemen moving in the run game. But expect him to be a guard in a few years. An incredibly gifted athlete, his weight and technique need some improving. For Amichia, it is a matter of adding weight. Something we can do at a hall of fame level here in Wisconsin.
At his Pro Day, Amichia was dominant. He ran 4.99 in the 40-yard dash, with a 1.74 10-yard split, 32 bench press reps at 225 pounds and a 33.5-inch vertical leap. Only one offensive lineman at the combine (TCU’s Aviante Collins) ran under 5.0 with at least 30 reps, and Amichia’s vertical leap would have been the best among linemen in Indianapolis.
Not only did he shine at his Pro Day, but he was very productive in his final season at USF. According to Pro Football Focus, Amichia allowed only nine total pressures — including just two sacks — over 403 pass-blocking snaps last season. His 98.2 pass-blocking efficiency ranked fifth among offensive tackles in the 2017 draft class.
Overall, USF allowed only 15 sacks last season. Amichia should fit right in for a Packers offense that puts a premium on keeping Aaron Rodgers upright.
And in Green Bay, the number one goal is to keep #12 on his feet. It is a tall task that only certain are able to achieve. With Amichia, he shows a quickness and ability to bend and redirect his body to complete blocks in tough angles. With Rodgers being such a magician with his feet, offensive lineman are forced to redirect all the time as Rodgers glides throughout the pocket.
This is where Amichia will shine. This is where he makes the most sense. He will have time to learn and understand the system. And with that time will come progression. I know this might be the last name you thought you would hear, or the name you had no idea about, but don’t be surprised if it’s a name you hear again. Just wait a year…maybe two…