June 13, 2024

Packers Guard Sean Rhyan Is Ready To Seize the Moment

The message was straightforward.

Delivering it was humbling.

In November 2022, rookie guard Sean Rhyan of the Green Bay Packers stood before his teammates, contrite.

“I stood up and admitted to everyone that I (expletive) up and promised it wouldn’t happen again,” Rhyan said. “I owned my mistake and now I hope to help others avoid making the same one.”

Rhyan had been suspended for the final six games of the 2022 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, capping a disappointing rookie year in which the third-round pick from UCLA played just one special teams snap. Fast forward to 2024, and Rhyan has revitalized his career, emerging as the leading candidate for the Packers’ starting right guard position.

“You face a choice: let it ruin you or use it to motivate you,” Rhyan said. “I chose the latter, learning to eat right and take better care of my body, which has really helped.”

Rhyan began the 2023 season on the bench but impressed during practice and started sharing time with former Packer Jon Runyan by midseason. From Week 9 onward, Rhyan played 183 snaps without allowing a sack or committing a penalty. In March, Runyan signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the New York Giants, clearing the path for Rhyan. After a shaky start, the Packers believe Rhyan is ready for the challenge.

Packers hopeful OL Sean Rhyan is responding 'the right way' to lost rookie  season

“It was great to see Sean grow,” said Green Bay offensive line coach Luke Butkus. “Sean loves football and works hard. When he got his chance last year, he improved. He’s a big, strong kid. When you hold the bag for Sean Rhyan, you feel it.” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, who drafted Rhyan, echoed this sentiment.

“I’m really proud of Sean’s development from year one to year two,” Gutekunst said earlier this offseason. “He’s very powerful and strong with a great anchor in pass protection. He still has room to grow, but his progress has been substantial and beneficial to our team.” Standing at 6’5″ and weighing 325 pounds, Rhyan possesses unique athleticism for a guard, impressive strength, and exceptional intelligence.

Rhyan’s vertical jump of 34 1/2” was the best among guards at the 2022 NFL Combine. He set shot put and discus records in high school and qualified for the Olympic USA rugby feeder team. Rhyan also scored a 29 on the Wonderlic test, eight points above the NFL average.

Rhyan was a starter at left tackle from day one at UCLA, starting 31 games in an impressive collegiate career. He earned freshman All-American honors in 2019 and first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2021.

Despite his large hands (11 1/8”), Rhyan’s arm length (32 3/8”) was in the bottom 10% for guards in his draft class, and he is slightly shorter than most NFL left tackles, leading the Packers to move him to guard.

“They told me I’d probably be moving inside,” Rhyan said. “I thought, ‘OK, I can do that.’ I’m not 6’6″, so it made sense to switch inside and get used to it.”

Rhyan has adjusted well, lowering his body mass index while maintaining strength and learning from past mistakes.

The Packers added three offensive linemen in the 2024 draft, including first-rounder Josh Morgan. This group will compete for playing time, potentially leading to some changes on the line.

Rhyan believes opportunity is knocking loudly, and he’s ready for his big chance.

“It’s exciting,” Rhyan said. “For that guard position, it’s thrilling. I just need to put in the work every day.

“I think our team’s potential is high. Helping us succeed is exciting.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *