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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Brennen Rupp

Unpacking Future Packers: No. 86, Wisconsin C Joe Tippmann

The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL draft.

The Green Bay Packers would be wise to add a center this offseason to give Josh Myers some competition in training camp. 

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With Zach Tom and Elgton Jenkins already on the roster, the Packers may not view the center position as a need. Both of those players are more than capable of taking over at center if the former Ohio State Buckeye’s erratic play continues during his third year in the league.

If the Packers opt to add a center in the 2023 NFL Draft, a name to keep tabs on is Joe Tippmann. The Wisconsin center checks in at No. 86 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.

Tippmann, a high school offensive tackle out of Indiana finished his career at Wisconsin with 22 starts at center. In 2020, he appeared in two games, where he played right guard. 

Tippmann’s greatest strength is his athleticism. That athleticism landed him on Bruce Feldman’s Annual Freak’s list this summer.

From Feldman:

Tippmann is a terrific combination of strength (635-pound back squat and 455-pound bench) and athleticism, clocking a 4.31 pro agility time and a 1.65 10-yard split, which would’ve been faster than any O-lineman at the NFL combine this year.

That athleticism is what stands out about Tipmman’s game and it’s what could make him one of the first centers off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

“His greatest strength is his athleticism for his size,” Rohan Chakravarthi, the editor of Bucky’s 5th Quarter said. “In today’s NFL, with the enhanced focus on zone-blocking run schemes, agile and powerful centers are important, which Tippmann is, and will show at the combine. As expected with his frame, Tippmann is strong, and that combined with his size and athleticism, especially his ten-yard split, will be of significant intrigue to NFL teams.”

Tippmann moves extremely well and has no restrictions getting out in space. He has quick feet and has outstanding range as a run blocker. Those feet continue to drive once he initiates contact to create movement in the ground game. The former three-star recruit was on the move a lot in Wisconsin’s offense and quickly gets to the spot to seal off running lanes. Once he gets in space he hits his landmarks. 

“As a run-blocker, Tippmann is pretty solid, especially with his combination of traits,” Chakravarthi said. “The Wisconsin center is able to get to the second level quickly and seal blocks against linebackers while holding his own and moving the line of scrimmage in the power scheme. Tippmann is a good puller as well, which will help teams out operating with a zone-scheme offense.”

In pass protection, Tippmann has good lateral quickness to mirror interior rushers. At 6-6, he has outstanding length for the position and stays balanced through contact. When he plays with proper leverage he’s able to anchor against power.

There are instances, where he’ll play too high off the snap and get caught leaning. According to Pro Football Focus, Tippmann has given up one sack and nine pressures over the past two seasons. 

“Tippmann’s strength is valuable, and he anchors well for a center,” Chakravarthi said. “While he may give up some initial ground, Tippmann provides his quarterback with comfortability in the pocket, which will be helpful at the next level against NFL-level defensive linemen. Additionally, his bend is good, adding to his strong list of traits.”

Fit with the Packers

Just looking at the surface of Green Bay’s offensive line makeup, the center position would not appear to be high on the priority list.

Myers may have been inconsistent this past season, but it was only his second year in the league. It’s natural for young players to have growing pains, especially when you consider Myers only played in six games during his rookie season. On top of that, the Packers have internal options to push Myers.

The old saying is competition breeds excellence. Tippmann checks a lot of boxes and could be an attractive day two or early day three target for the Packers as they look for potential upgrades along the interior of the offensive line. 

“Tippmann possesses the requisite traits: size, strength, and speed. But, his draft profile goes much further than that,” Chakravarthi said. “He’s showcased his IQ with his pre-snap duties and his film shows a nice two-way player with room to grow. He arguably could be the draft’s highest riser at the center position with his expected testing.”

Tippmann is a center with a twitchy lower half, raw power, and the football acumen to anchor an NFL offensive line. It may not be a “need” pick for the Packers. With his tools, Tippmann could help take Green Bay’s offensive line from good to elite status. 

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