Versatility - A paramount trait in Packers' Kofi Amichia

Athletic, determined and versatile are just some of the many words to describe the newest addition to the Packers' offensive line, Kofi Amichia.

Amichia landed in Green Bay at 212th overall in the sixth round, helping the Packers stockpile talent along their offensive line after the departures of J.C. Tretter and T.J. Lang - two players whom at once seemed like absolute locks to return to the team in 2017.

Now, Tretter has a monster deal in Cleveland with the Browns and Lang is back in his hometown of Detroit with the Lions. Lang makes it the second year in a row that the Packers lose a starting offensive guard to a division rival after losing Josh Sitton to the Bears a year ago.

Hoping to strike similar characteristics on the grounds of success with the Packers, Amichia prepares to create his own path.

Amichia, a natural tackle who hasn't played the guard position since his freshman year at USF, knew he'd be coming in to compete for Lang's vacancy since the Packers first spoke to him in February.

"It's definitely a lot quicker than being out there on the outside," Amichia told reporters after rookie orientation. "I like being on the outside because you're on an island, but it's not much of a difference.

"The offensive line is the offensive line; you just have to hold your man up."

(Photo: Mark Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

Amichia was praised incessantly for his versatility during his time at USF, as coaches even during his college years predicted he would be sought-after due to his ability to plug in to either guard spot or back-up one of the tackle spots.

That was until a ghastly turn of events during his senior season caused his draft stock to plummet.

During a game against Temple, Amichia's cleat was planted in the grass and his right kneecap slid out of place, only to return to its origin within his knee moments later while he was still on the field. It took all but a few swapped possessions for Amichia to be right back on the field.

If anyone needed a testament to Amichia's toughness, look no further.

The Packers value versatility, which is a criminally underrated aspect in any player (See: Barclay, Don), and that's a huge aspect to Amichia's game. Newly-signed Jahri Evans is likely the front-runner at the right guard spot heading into camp, however, Amichia's presence brings solidity.

At 6'4", 304 pounds, his impressive Pro Day following his brutal knee injury only helps his case.

32 225-pound reps on the bench and a 33.5-inch vertical despite his hulking build stood out to watchful scouts; teams whose general managers and executives passed on the idea of drafting Amichia at any point during the seven-round draft. Amichia was expected to go undrafted.

Instead, the transition from outside to the interior of the offensive line continues for Amichia. As a sixth-round pick, the odds of Amichia seeing the field in 2017 are in his favor.

Since 2005, eight of 15 offensive linemen drafted by the Packers between rounds four and seven have started at least one game as a rookie. Whether Amichia can become the ninth remains to be seen, but he'll have a full offseason under his belt come September to be groomed for either of the five positions.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (22)

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worztik's picture

May 09, 2017 at 12:20 pm

It seems to me that we have a slew of options available to us at all positions except OLB! Still excited about the potential of this roster... just have to be patient... just sayin'...

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 09, 2017 at 05:21 pm

You're dead right, but we can't get everything in one draft--not without abandoning best player available altogether.

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Packer_Fan's picture

May 09, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Amichia is a good example of TT's draft philosophy. Draft a guy with the physical traits and then coach them up. And the later rounds are the perfect spot to do this. Amichia was not great in college - good. So you are not looking for a starter quality guy in the later rounds, but perhaps in a few years. Not so with King the Packers first pick. He excelled in college with the physical traits you want. Expect him to be a starter now and star eventually. But also consider our first two 2015 draft picks, Randall and Rollins. Good in college, not great, but with a good upside. They are struggling like 5th rounders. Not 1st or 2nd rounders with high expectations. The Pack have had too many of these drafts with players that are good, but not great in college. And then not living up the their upside expectations.

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Bert's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:28 pm

Yep. I'll get excited (or not) about Amichia and the rest of the rookies when we actually see them play. Seems like we've been down this road before. Premature excitulation.

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Packer_Fan's picture

May 09, 2017 at 04:40 pm

Excitulation! Wow, I don't know about that. Am I excited. No. But King and Jones were drafted to contribute immediately. Based on last years play of House, Randall, Rollins and Gunter, you would expect more of the same issues this year. Those four will not take the Pack to the Super Bowl. High expectations for the rookies - yes. Especially the first four drafted and the RB's. Without their contributions, the Pack won't make it. Rodgers will have them in the playoffs for sure, but how far they go will be hugely dependent on the rookies. Especially the defensive rookies.

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Tundraboy's picture

May 09, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Have to agree with you. Nice to have a great prospect. Been awhile.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 09, 2017 at 01:10 pm

Hopefully Amichia will be the next in the long line of college OT's to transform into a starting OG caliber of player.

Thompson has had a very good track record of drafting these types of players.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

May 09, 2017 at 01:21 pm

If this guy is half as good as they make him sound we will be ok and in fact maybe Barclay maybe a thing of the past.

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MarkinMadison's picture

May 09, 2017 at 02:02 pm

I get the author's point about versatility and Barclay, but unless you are effective at multiple positions then you are really not versatile at all.

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Bert's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:21 pm

Yeah. Barclay is incompetently versatile. He sucks at multiple positions.

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Finwiz's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:44 pm

Now that's a good one. Incompetently versatile.

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worztik's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:24 pm

We should be nicer to ol' Donnie...

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Finwiz's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:48 pm

You first.

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Bert's picture

May 09, 2017 at 05:09 pm

Actually Barclay is a very hard worker and seems like a good guy. Nothing personal in my criticisms. He just doesn't have it as an NFL quality O-lineman and we gotta upgrade the roster at his, and hopefully a few others, expense.

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The TKstinator's picture

May 09, 2017 at 06:18 pm

He seemed better as a rookie. Scrappy, a battler. Then the knee injury. Doesn't seem to have regained himself while GB has brought in younger, healthier guys behind him. Writing seems to be on the wall.

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croatpackfan's picture

May 10, 2017 at 02:28 pm

That is fair remark...

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Since'61's picture

May 09, 2017 at 03:27 pm

With Patrick, Murphy, Spriggs, Jahri and now Amichia we should be able to chuck Barclay by the end of TC. The Packers will probably keep 9 OL players and hopefully Barclay will be the odd man out. I hope Amichia can transition from OT to OG quickly. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

May 09, 2017 at 04:49 pm

I'd like to think they'll have a better option, but they need one who can snap...and be good enough to be active on game day. That means that person likely needs to play all the interior line positions (and Spriggs will likely backup the two tackle positions).

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Tundraboy's picture

May 09, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Exactly 61!! Absolutely no reason to go a whole season with Barclay.

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The TKstinator's picture

May 09, 2017 at 06:20 pm

My hope is that Evans holds the fort while a young guy ripens enough to take over. Seems like a good plan in the salary cap era.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

May 09, 2017 at 05:25 pm

I love versatility, but I really hope we keep this kid at one or two spots, max, until he has time to get comfortable.

Worry about versatility later. Master some easy tasks for now.

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mjbrogno's picture

May 11, 2017 at 07:58 am

WOW, the build up on this guy makes him a potential first rounder. I do like his strength which to me is always an issue with when they come out of college. I definitely will keep an eye on him during camp, GO PACG GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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