Green Bay Packers

Ben Sinnott Might Be the Ideal Josiah Deguara Replacement

Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers made some early waves in free agency, but the free-agent waters are still open as we enter draft month. It’s time to look at how the Packers can use the draft to attack their remaining needs.

What are those needs? Offensive line depth might be the biggest gap remaining after free agency, and there are also cases to be made for cornerback, safety, and off-ball linebacker.

All of those cases are flawed because they ignore the real biggest roster need β€” H-back!

Josiah Deguara‘s time in Green Bay has officially ended unless he plays there with his new team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite a promising start to his rookie season, that injury eventually derailed, Packers fans will remember Deguara as another third-rounder who didn’t pan out.

While drafting Deguara didn’t work out, we know that’s a role Matt LaFleur would love to upgrade. It may not be a true need, but the Packers have a chance to beef up their offense through a savvy player like Kansas State’s Ben Sinnott. If the Packers want to truly get the H-back role right, taking a mid-round chance on Sinnott would be a fun option, and he could succeed where Deguara didn’t.

Rookie tight ends are rarely good, thanks to the steep learning curve in adapting to the pro level. Still, Green Bay had not one but two rookie draft picks excel in their offense. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft each got their turn in the spotlight and showed much excitement. Musgrave and Kraft do different things well, so it may look like adding to the tight end room isn’t the smartest use of limited resources.

But I’m not here to be smart. I’m here for fun. And while Musgrave and Kraft bring a lot to the position, the tight end group still lacks two major skills β€” a true blocking mauler like Marcedes Lewis and a versatile H-back.

When Brian Gutekunst spent two third-round picks in a row on tight ends, they were meant for different roles. Jace Sternberger was the receiving threat, and Deguara was the chess piece.

Unfortunately, Sternberger’s career in Green Bay was brief, and Deguara never grew into his role.

Deguara looked promising early in his rookie season before he got hurt. The Packers didn’t use him much after he returned, even when tight end depth became an issue. He dropped passes and ran incorrect routes, and ended up in Aaron Rodgers‘ doghouse. He never escaped under Jordan Love, either. As a blocker, Deguara was inconsistent.

While it wasn’t all bad with Deguara, no one drafted near him really did much, either. But he didn’t do enough to earn a second contract.

Fullback Henry Pearson is the heir apparent for Deguara’s role, and he showed some fun traits when the Packers called him up from the practice squad. Few teams utilize true fullbacks, so seeing Matt LaFleur get into his bag with one is enticing. But Sinnott brings a lot to the table if LaFleur wants to upgrade the role, which perfectly complements his philosophy of the β€œillusion of complexity” perfectly.

The Kansas State tight end has been ascending in the public eye thanks to a strong performance at the combine. Sinnott has done a little bit of everything in his time in college. He took snaps from the backfield, the slot, the boundary, and the traditional in-line role while being one of college football’s better blockers.

Sinnot improved every year at Kansas State and finished his senior season with 49 receptions for 676 yards, a 13.8-yard average, and six touchdowns. That experience positions him for a versatile H-back role, and his athletic profile should allow him to succeed where Deguara couldn’t.

Brian Gutekunst has his biggest misses when he deviates from his usual athletic thresholds, and Deguara was no exception. Deguara’s numbers weren’t bad, with an 8.52 RAS as a fullback. But his tight end score was much more middling, with a 6.66, which some may say is a foreboding number.

Meanwhile, Sinnott had a dominant 9.72 RAS and had the highest vertical, longest broad jump, and fastest three-cone of any tight end at the combine via the Senior Bowl’s Jim Nagy.

Many draft analysts, including NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez, and Bleacher Report, see Sinnott as an early Day 3 pick. However, they cite his blocking technique, ability to separate, and hand technique as weaknesses he must address.

But Sinnott’s stock is rising because he tested better at the combine than many expected based on his tape. While he would be an excellent addition in the fourth round, would the Packers be willing to spend another third-round pick to attack the role, as they did with Deguara?

It might seem rich compared to other needs, but LaFleur wants H-back in his offense, and the Packers are an offense-first team. Give LaFleur what he needs to take this ascending offense to the next level.

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