Is Sean Rhyan Ready to Start for the Green Bay Packers?

The 2024 NFL season will be a critical one for Green Bay Packers guard Sean Rhyan. The former UCLA star will be entering his third pro season. He has yet to start an NFL game in his first two. This will be his best and possibly final chance to prove he can be the Packers starting right guard, but is he equal to the task?

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst selected Rhyan in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft with the 92nd overall pick. The 6’5”, 321-pounder played tackle in college, but the Packers moved him to guard.

Rhyan’s rookie season did not go as planned. In training camp, it quickly became apparent he needed more time to adjust to the pro game and to the position change. Rhyan never seemed to compete for a starting position along the offensive line.

Once the season began, he continued to struggle. He only played one play in one game; a special teams snap in the Packers Week 9 road loss to the Lions.

His struggles got even worse when the NFL suspended him for the final six games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.

So, Rhyan entered the 2023 season with something to prove. He looked better in training camp and worked hard. During the preseason, he got some looks at center in addition to guard.

He started the season as a backup behind Elgton Jenkins and Jon Runyan and was buried on the depth chart. In the team’s first seven games, Rhyan was inactive for one and did not play in three more. He took the field for a total of seven snaps on special teams.

When Runyan suffered an injury that limited him a bit, Rhyan began to take the field to spell him. He and Runyan alternated series for the rest of the season. While Runyan started every game, Rhyan saw more snaps on offense as the season progressed.

Head coach Matt LaFleur was encouraged by the progress Rhyan made as he got more playing time. “He’s done his job,” LaFleur said in late November. “He’s a big guy that when he goes in there, he’s tough to move off his spot, and he’s done a nice job in both the run game and the pass game. It’s been very encouraging for what he’s been able to accomplish.”

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus liked how hard Rhyan was working. “Sean’s been working his butt off,” Butkus said. “It’s nice to see you’re hard work pay off, and that’s in any profession. He’s really been studying, mentally and physically, he’s been doing a good job for us, and it’s been rewarding for him to get out on the field for a few snaps here and there. They’re playing well.”

By the end of the season, Rhyan played in 12 of the Packers 17 games in the regular season and was on the field for 183 total snaps on offense. He also saw action in both playoff games for the Packers, playing a total of 46 more plays on offense.

Rhyan graded out better as a run blocker than he did in pass protection according to Pro Football Focus. He still needs to improve his technique in pass protection as noted by offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich.

“He’s still got a ways to go,” Stenavich said shortly after the Packers lost their playoff game against San Francisco. “I like what I’ve seen from him from a physicality standpoint. He does a good job in the run game at the point of attack. But he still has a ways to go in pass protection would be his biggest thing moving forward. If he wants to be a staple guard of this league, you obviously have to excel in this realm. So that’s one thing we are going to focus on with as we move forward just to elevate that part of his game.”

This offseason opened up a window of opportunity for Rhyan. Runyan’s contract expired, and he signed with the New York Giants. That leaves Rhyan at the top of the team’s depth chart at right guard as the team opened OTAs.

The question is whether Rhyan will be able to seize this opportunity and become a full-time starter for the first time in his career. The coaching staff has always stated they want the best five offensive linemen on the field as starters. Now it’s up to Rhyan to prove he should be one of those five.  

 

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6 points
 

Comments (47)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
splitpea1's picture

June 01, 2024 at 12:45 pm

According to PFF, he ranked 52 of 84 guards in pass blocking. So if he looks like he's shown improvement in this area during preseason and no newcomer has blown the coaching staff away, he should start. It took too long for him to get an opportunity when last year's veterans weren't doing that great of a job, anyway.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 01:38 pm

One reason I'd like to see him win the RG spot is he is a people mover in the run game and showed some physicality a few times. It would be nice to have a couple guys like that in front of a hard nosed runner like Jacobs.

Add in his athleticism and you could have something if he puts in the work and improves his pass blocking.

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splitpea1's picture

June 01, 2024 at 02:54 pm

Totally agree.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:03 pm

*ahem* Caleb Jones Luke Tenuta Telfort. HUGE humans. Don't count them out! And if they don't earn anything, is it the end to GB acquiring huge linemen?

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cdoemel's picture

June 02, 2024 at 03:47 pm

Hell no! There will never be enough big bodies for the NFL

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 01:27 pm

LaFleur said this week that when Rhyan got there he couldn't go hard for more than three plays without being winded. I'm sure he was exaggerating a bit but the point he was making was he was really pleased with the shape he came in to OTAs in.

Hopefully Rhyan wants to solidify his money making prospects and spent some time working with a position trainer this off-season. I think I read he had never played guard before coming to Green Bay and then switching sides puts him behind the 8 ball even more.

This week they had Morgan and Jennings both working at LG and Newman and Telfort taking RG snaps. I think it would be unacceptable to pay Newman $3.4 million given what he's shown in games. Telfort at G? 🤷 I don't understand putting your weakest links behind your weakest link and hope somebody is moved by minicamp.

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Guam's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:07 pm

Fair point about the right guard spot LL. Rhyan, Newman and Telfort do not inspire great confidence. I suspect the Packer want to give Morgan a fair shot at tackle, but if Walker bows up and asserts himself at LT, I would sure rather see Morgan at RG than on the bench.

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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 07:12 am

Jenkins was absent, they are still down a guard with T Jones retiring and they seem to want to work on Glover with the thirds not move him around (probably technique) and look at Monk purely at C for now. Telfort may just be filling a spot in the interim and Newman a known quantity fill in. It was a May OTA, reading too much in to what happens is as likely to mislead as inform. Unfortunately, we won’t know till August.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:05 pm

I don't see how Telfort is a weakest link, but neither do I understand how a QB sees over him on the interior. Hopefully Newman is straight pushed OUT of the 53.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:20 pm

I don't understand the point of having 3 unathletic giants on the roster when what they have been doing has been working for two decades.

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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 07:20 am

I don’t see the point in reaching conclusions in May or June. Let things play out on field. I think that Glover will be brought in to the picture as the summer progresses and I think at some point we will pick up a G to replace T. Jones who retired on the eve of OTAs. The bonus we paid him suggests he was part of the plan.

On the one hand you lament the lack of people movers and on the other you see by little point in size/strength types. That’s a fairly contradictory position. As to Telfort, athletically he’s a G if he’s anything—he is less mobile than Tenuta or the 330 pound version of Jones from the little I’ve seen. He may be too tall, but this time of year teams need placeholders too.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 02, 2024 at 01:29 pm

"On the one hand you lament the lack of people movers and on the other you see by little point in size/strength types. That’s a fairly contradictory position."

I don't see it as contradictory at all. There were plenty of ATHLETIC size/speed guys that played with an edge in this year's draft. Telfort 's 3-cone is one full second slower than their normal threshold, under the 1st percentile. What's the point of having him on the roster? Fautanu probably had the nastiest disposition of any O lineman in the draft and he's an athletic marvel at 317 lbs.

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vin0770's picture

June 01, 2024 at 02:02 pm

So what’s holding him back? It sounds like it’s the mental part of the game not the physical part. Seems like the coaches are being polite in saying he needs to improve without giving specific details about what is missing and the likelihood he can do it.

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Packers0808's picture

June 01, 2024 at 02:32 pm

Yes.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 01, 2024 at 02:53 pm

If you draft a guy on Day Two, and develop him for two years, including working him into the starting lineup, then he's good enough to handle the least important spot on the Oline, OR, you made a mistake drafting him. Remember, he was taken before Tom and Walker, both of whom have started games at more demending spots on the line.

I thought he was fine last year, and I think he'll be fine this year. IF we don't win the division, it won't be because Rhyan isn't good enough.

3 points
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Guam's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:10 pm

Rhyan might be okay at RG, but Newman and Telfort behind him scare me a bit. That does not feel like a strength.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:21 pm

Our starting RG is our #5OL. I hope we don't line up Newman or Telfort.

I think that between Walker and the FA we brought in, we have our 4 tackles. Our interior backups look like Monk, and Glover.

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Guam's picture

June 02, 2024 at 06:49 am

Everything I have heard to date makes Glover sound like a PS project. Monk sounds like a solid addition. I think we might be light on IOL.

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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 07:27 am

Quite possibly Morgan plays G this year and I think Jennings is a genuine prospect, if a pure G. They lost T Jones, whom they also paid a similar bonus to, to retirement in the eve of OTAs. I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see us pick up guard depth when the opportunity arises. Even at this point, the depth at G (Jenkins aside) is Rhyan, Morgan, Jennings not just Newman and Telfort. I’d expect Glover to join that in camp. It’s not impossible that Dillard is an option there, once Tom returns, as well.

2 points
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Guam's picture

June 02, 2024 at 08:29 am

I'd forgotten about Dillard, but I agree they may still pick up a vet during TC. Jennings and Glover are "TBD" for me - maybe they pan out and maybe not but I am not sure I would count heavily on them for this year.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:31 pm

"Remember, he was taken before Tom and Walker, both of whom have started games at more demending spots on the line."

Which, to most people, would be examples that draft position isn't the be all end all to evaluate playing time. But not everyone obviously.

By all means, let's make him a starter based on him being drafted on "Day Two".

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Leatherhead's picture

June 01, 2024 at 06:21 pm

I think a different set of rules applies to Day 3 guys and guys that you spend your #1 pick for. I understand some people don't get that.

And then, there are the dishonest people, such as yourself, who put out the strawman that you did. Rhyan isn't the starter because of his draft position, - he's a starter because he's practiced and played with the team for two years working with the coaches and played a number of starts last year and did a better job than Newman.

You make plans around your #1 picks.....the guys you get on Day 3 are bonuses that your scouting department found and your coaching staff developed. You don't see the difference, and I'm tired of trying to explain it to you.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 01, 2024 at 06:46 pm

First off.....he's not a starter because you've proclaimed him to be. Actually, he has never started a game for the Packers. What "number of starts" last year are you referring to?

I understand you think you're part of the coaching staff, but.....are you sitting down?....you're not. You're a fan, nothing more nothing less, just like everyone else on this site. You've already decided who the starters at LT and RG will be before one practice has taken place. How about we let the actual decision makers at 1265 decides who starts this year?

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Leatherhead's picture

June 02, 2024 at 01:02 pm

I understand you think I give a rat's azz what you say,but I don't.

I'm going to comment on the team. I'm going to cite facts like "10th in scoring defense". You think you're a Princess who can command other people not to say things you don't want to hear. You're not.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 02, 2024 at 01:18 pm

Good grief, you're still hanging onto that Princess crap? Geezus, move on already. If I thought there was even a 1% chance you would have the balls to say it to my face, it might actually bother me. But we both know you don't, now don't we?

Most people are intelligent enough to know when one has to resort to name calling, they have nothing else of value to contribute.

I've never "commanded" you to say or not say anything. Feel free to post whatever nonsense you choose to.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 02, 2024 at 02:50 pm

As long as you act like a Princess who thinks she can tell me what I can and cannot say, you'll be a Princess to me. Try talking football and ignoring me.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 02, 2024 at 03:19 pm

You're just an internet bully, hiding behind the anonymity and safety of your computer and that stupid looking avatar. You're probably that kid in gym class who had his jock strap pulled over his head and this is your way of feeling like a tough guy. Kind of pathetic actually.

I've wasted enough time with this. But, by all means, feel free to keep embarrassing yourself.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 02, 2024 at 03:58 pm

A bully? You're the nutjob who can't quit thinking about my azz. You're the guy insulting me.

Just ignore me, and we can coexist.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:24 pm

Rhyan made no starts last year and played in 183 total snaps. Who's the dishonest one?

Weren't Bakhtiari, Sitton and Lang all day 3 picks?

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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 07:39 am

Rhyan was significantly better as a pass blocker in 2023 than 2022. That said he still was borderline adequate in that respect. He was significantly outplayed by the right G who did start, seemingly once that player got healthy.

That does not make Rhyan a proven starter but it does reflect that he did make progress. If he can build on that this year, he realistically could be. Rhyan could end this summer as an afterthought or a starter. It’s up to him to seize it, but yes, it’s stretching the point to say he’s proven. At this point all that one can say is he showed himself to be a better option than Newman last year.

2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

June 02, 2024 at 01:37 pm

I hope he does, the point is there should be some quality competition for his job and as of now there hasn't been. Maybe they're waiting until minicamp to move Morgan or Jennings there since neither is probably comfortable with switching sides at this point but at least let Monk get some snaps there then.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 02, 2024 at 01:04 pm

I should have been more specific. He played quite a few snaps with the starters.

And all those guys were Day 3 picks that worked out for us. There were some that didn't, too.

Some Day 3 guys come in and are ready to start; most don't.

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ricky's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:30 pm

Different players develop at different rates. But sometimes, a player doesn't develop enough to be on the team. Whatever the reason- physical, mental, it doesn't matter. Rhyan is on the cusp. Either he shows he belongs, or he'll be shown the door.

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Packers0808's picture

June 01, 2024 at 04:25 pm

Doubt that look at the chances R. Neuman has gotten.

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NFLfan's picture

June 01, 2024 at 03:39 pm

"Nov 25, 2022 — Packers rookie OL Sean Rhyan was suspended six games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances"--Packers Wire

There could be trust and character issues as well.

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Ya_tittle's picture

June 01, 2024 at 04:12 pm

Newman will NOT be on the 53 this year.
Mark it down.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

June 01, 2024 at 06:30 pm

There you go, getting my hopes up. I wish I could be so sure. It doesn't make any sense to pay him what he's scheduled to make, and then there is that little detail about how he just isn't very good, even at RG.

But Math always wins, and we'll keep 9 on the 53, and by my count, he's still in the fight for that 9th spot, and that's before any injuries.

Morgan Jenkins Myers Rhyan Tom Walker Monk and Glover are all in, I would think. The other guys are the FAs they've brought in and none of them has really distinguished themselves. And the big guys like Mt. Caleb .

I could see a worst case scenario where injuries hit and they have to keep this guy on the 53.

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GregC's picture

June 01, 2024 at 07:33 pm

Isn't it a little too early to bang on the undrafted free agents for not distinguishing themselves? Training camp hasn't even started yet. And I don't think Glover is in yet, he's a sixth round pick who's a bit of a project. I don't think they're even sure whether he's going to play guard or tackle yet.

It's hard to imagine them keeping Newman with his high salary unless he plays way better than he has the past couple years. I'm not worried about it, he's got plenty of competition.

3 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:31 pm

They guaranteed Jennings $100,000 of his salary which they normally don't do for UDFAs so they saw something they like there.

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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 09:20 am

At this point they have barely begun to blood even second round picks with the starters. This time of year is for learning for rookies and for returning offensive players, to try things out with ones who know the system.

Thus we see veterans in who may be gone in September or never seen again at that position because their trial usage doesn’t pan out or they were just in walkthroughs In shorts because they know where to go and thus allow the rest to get the most out of it without rookie confusion.

I think Zane Anderson has been with the ones as a starting S, for example. We have seen Dillard and Newman. The rookies and untested players are mostly left at one position with the twos rather than moves around to fill in. That will change as they get more comfortable with the players and the players learn the installs.

0 points
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Pack88's picture

June 01, 2024 at 07:29 pm

Sometimes I am puzzled at expectations vs reality. Rhyan was a thick heavy legged tackle in college who could move people in the running game and was a serviceable pass blocker. His body type did not change and to expect he turned into TJ Lang while sitting on the bench is a little naive. I agree with the poster above who hoped Rhyan found a position guru this offseason to enhance his pass blocking technique to limit his shortcomings in the pass blocking area. He is a dominant run blocker so having his heavy legged butt in there on early downs is great but really hoping he makes the big step in TC.

3 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:37 pm

Heavy legged my ass, he was in the 96th percentile amongst tackles in the vertical, 87th in broad jump and 84th in the 3-cone. At guard those numbers go up to 98, 93 and 90.

You want to see heavy legged look at those numbers for Jones, Telfort and Tenuta.

https://x.com/MathBomb/status/1520234069552156672?t=oQUftNnsAHT954O_8hzq...

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

June 02, 2024 at 09:38 am

I agree with you on Rhyan. Here’s Tony Pauline’s summary, which is both pretty fair and representative, especially if you allow for the sentiment that he would be better suited inside, his problems are technical.

“Positives: Durable left tackle prospect who quickly sets up off the snap, bends his knees, and keeps his feet moving. Stays square and makes outstanding use of angles. Out-positions and controls defenders with terrific body positioning. Displays blocking vision, picks up blitzes, and shows the ability to adjust and knock pass rushers from their angles of attack. Moves well on his feet and quickly gets to the second level.

Negatives: Must improve his ability blocking in motion. Lacks desired footwork off the edge. Struggles finishing blocks and does not get much movement run blocking.”

Tenuta is an ok athlete. He’s not quick footed like Bakh or Tom, but he’s fairly mobile. My doubt with him is that he lacks the length one would look for without elite foot speed, despite his height.

Jone’s RAS, testing at 370 is meaningless an indicia for a player who came in to camp in the 330s, prompting Stenovich to describe him as almost unrecognizable from the player they thought they were getting.

He’s not Tom, but his feet aren’t slow and he does have length and power and the s unity to move. Whether he can put it together technically and deliver on the field is what I want to see. It’s interesting that they keep him at left consistently: he played more at right T in college, so it’s not due to inability to convert sides.

From the little I’ve seen of Telfort, he is slow footed. Unless that was just rookie tentativeness, he’s a G athlete in my opinion, but in a 6’7 body.

0 points
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Califan's picture

June 04, 2024 at 01:09 am

Packers moved Rhyan from LT because his arms are “too short” by an inch (similar measurement for Morgan) but what people forget or don’t know is that Rhyan has one of the biggest hands in the NFL. Pro day measured his hands in at 11 5/8” while at the combine it was 11 1/8”.

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dobber's picture

June 01, 2024 at 09:46 pm

Rhyan has the benefit of starting out at the top of the depth chart, but he's played less than 3 full games of offensive snaps. I see that RG job as being up for grabs. The Packers seem comfortable to let Rhyan enter camp that way. Mandatory minicamps will tell us who they see initially as anyone who might compete with him for snaps.

2 points
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stockholder's picture

June 02, 2024 at 08:29 am

He'll beat the 3rd rd jinx if he can.
I still see a Rotational player.

1 points
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Oppy's picture

June 02, 2024 at 11:27 am

He's a great run blocker and would be a fine choice on run or play action downs.
Unfortunately, he's not a great pass blocker. so... at this point, he's not a complete lineman.

He's a pros and cons player at this point in his career. Hope he gets pass sets fixed up. If not, you are kinda gambling a bit on him as a starter at this point.

1 points
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