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IU’s Stepaniak drafted by Packers in 6th round

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Hoosier guard is the 2nd IU offensive lineman taken by Green Bay in past 4 years

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 UConn at Indiana Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the seventh consecutive year, an Indiana player has been selected in the NFL Draft.

This time it’s guard Simon Stepaniak, who’s off to Green Bay with the 30th pick of Saturday’s sixth round. It marks the second time in four years the Packers have drafted an Indiana offensive lineman after the franchise picked tackle Jason Spriggs with the 17th pick of the second round in 2016.

Stepaniak is also the fourth IU offensive lineman to be selected since 2016, joining a list that includes Spriggs, and fellow guards Dan Feeney (Chargers, 2017) and Wes Martin (Redskins, 2019).

A solid player for IU over the back half of his college career, Stepaniak started each of the 23 games he played across his junior and senior seasons. The Ohio native was a team captain in 2019, playing the bulk of the season at right guard. He was named to the media’s All-Big Ten Third Team, while league coaches named him as an honorable mention selection.

Stepaniak has been limited this offseason by an injury suffered during IU’s postseason practices, but still managed to post 37 reps on the bench press at February’s NFL Scouting Combine.

Here’s NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein on Stepaniak’s pro outlook:

“Burly and strong with the ability to play either guard position in a gap-scheme attack. He’s productive on double teams and combo blocks. Stepaniak comes off the ball and into opponents with some pop when he’s singled up and he’s a nasty block finisher, but he may not have enough length for NFL-block sustain. His ability to recover in pass pro is limited by both his wide base and exaggerated slide steps out to the edge. Despite his bench-press strength, Stepaniak gives too much ground to power rushers who push him into the pocket. It’s possible to correct some of his pass protection issues and his physicality in the run game helps his cause as a late-round guard with backup potential.”

Indiana v Rutgers
Simon Stepaniak #72 of the Indiana Hoosiers holds the United States flag before the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at HighPoint.com Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Indiana won 24-17.
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images