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Wisconsin FB Austin Ramesh Recaps "Awesome" Pre-Draft Visit With Packers

-- The Green Bay Packers have a trio of Wisconsin draft prospects on their radar as the draft looms just two weeks away.

One of them, a 6-1, 255-pound fullback, wouldn't be stocking a position of need, unlike the other two players. But that won't stop G.M. Brian Gutekunst from exploring every avenue of improving the Packers' roster, and if that includes taking a look at an intriguing prospect that offers an exclusive skill set, so be it.

"It was awesome, for sure," said Austin Ramesh, according to Bill Huber of Packer Report. "It was a little overwhelming to be there and be there for the reason I was. It went smooth. It was awesome talking to the coaches; it was surreal to be visiting for the reason I was."

Ramesh, who rushed for the third-most amount of yardage of all high school running backs in the state of Wisconsin, played four years for the Badgers. His collegiate career was far less of a highlight reel, and he isn't expected to hear his name called on a day one -- or even day two.

Ramesh could follow suit of Aaron Ripkowski -- one of two fullbacks currently on the Packers' roster -- and end up as a late-round pick. Ripkowski was taken 206th overall in the sixth round and was just one of five fullbacks drafted league-wide in 2015.

Even if he doesn't hear his name called and ends up inking his name on a free-agent contract after 256 players are off the board, it's all part of the experience for Wisconsin native.

"I haven't thought too much about it yet," Ramesh said. "I'll be at home here with my family and a couple close friends. When it happens, I don't know what will go through me at that point but I'll be excited to get out of here and get to work.

"Whatever team takes a shot on me, I'm going to work hard for them."

As much as Ramesh enjoyed his Lambeau Field visit on Friday, it's tough to see the Packers spending one of their 12 picks on a position they already have in the hands of Ripkowski. But, that's the kicker -- they have 12 picks. Nothing is out of play. He would likely be a practice squad suitor due to the Packers just recently signing an exclusive rights deal with fullback Joe Kerridge.

If drafted to Green Bay, fullback may not even be Ramesh's primary position. The Packers are in need of a tight end capable of serving a role in both facets of the blocking department after losing Richard Rodgers to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was only serviceable at the craft.

Or, Ramesh could make the transition back to defense where he majored as a first-team all-state linebacker in high school. The multi-faceted Ramesh certainly has the athleticism to make any positional adjustment the Packers would require him to, especially after noting his 4.25 20-yard shuttle time at Wisconsin's Pro Day last month.

There'd be a good chance he'd remain as a fullback given the Packers like to often carry two on their roster. Kerridge is the only obstacle, as Ripkowski seems like the undisputed No. 1.

"I came in as a linebacker but got switched to fullback right away. At that point, I was going to my dream school to play football and it was a big deal just to be on the field. They said they needed a guy at fullback for when Derek Watt left and to back him up, and that would be my best chance to get on the field. I didn't even hesitate. I was happy to switch positions and see what I could do."

Defensive back Natrell Jamerson and linebacker Jack Cichy are the other two Badgers who have, or will visit the Packers in the impending future.


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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

I wouldn't be opposed to Ramesh and I wouldn't be so sure he wouldn't turn out to be better than either Rip or Kerridge.

Even if Gutekunst is wheeling and dealing those later picks to move up in the earlier rounds he'll still end up with a few picks where they could take Ramesh with.

flackcatcher's picture

If, IF the Packers are trending back to their 2010-2014 offense, then drafting or signing as a UDFA a FB like Ramesh is necessary. With the spread offenses that dominate division one these days, finding a 'three tool' back, much less a FB is very difficult for pro teams . Unlike the Ripper and Kerridge (who I really like) Ramesh is polished in all three phases of the game. The only knock on him is he tends to get banged up a bit too easily. He's one of the few players I take the risk on and draft. He's pro ready, and that is extremely rare in today's NFL.

Lare's picture

For some reason, I just get the impression that they don't trust Aaron Ripkowski. Not sure if it's his blocking, lack of ball control or hands as a pass catcher but he doesn't seem to get the same number of chances as Kuhn did. If that's the case, taking someone like Ramesh could be a possibility in the mid to later rounds.

flackcatcher's picture

Rip is not a classic lead FB blocker. Not all his fault with the instability on the O line last year and the mess that the offense became by the end of the season. Big knock is he is undersized for a FB. listed at 6ft and 250, he is closer to 5'11 and 245. Still, not a little man by any measure. Only in the NFL could those measurements be considered 'small'.

Ryan Graham's picture

I like the idea of running 3 wide sets with Jimmy Graham and a guy like Austin Ramesh provided he can be an inline blocker. Could give Philbin a lot of flexibility with his formations. Probably not in year one but year two maybe three

RCPackerFan's picture

Watching Remesh at UW I would be happy to see him wearing Green and Gold.
Like Lare said above I really am getting the impression that the Packers are maybe looking to move on from Ripkowski.

There area a few players from the UW I wouldn't mind seeing coming to Green Bay.
Troy Fumagalli, Nick Nelson, Jack Cichy, Leon Jacobs are all guys I would love to see with the Packers.

flackcatcher's picture

All football players RC. Packers can never have enough football players.

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah, they are!

cuervo's picture

Rip is off his rookie contract in 2 years and with him not being anything special, makes sense to have another player on a rookie contract. Kerridge is a JAG, so let the 3 of them battle it out.

RC, I'm all in on Leon Jacobs...he'd be an immediate upgrade on special teams and I belive will be a much better pro than college player. He got moved around so much at UW he never got the chance to really settle in on a position.

kevgk's picture

Thats a good point. FBs aren't really a position of need and are easy to aquire, so might as well just grab players and let them go after their rookie contract to save money.

RCPackerFan's picture

It just makes me wonder if they aren't interested in keeping Ripkowski.

I also think Jacobs will be a better pro then college player. And I think he would be a good fit in GB with Pettine. I think Pettine would find good ways to use him.

carlos's picture

All players who’ve played in the Midwest and can handle the extreme weather. Good fit for the Packers. Ted didn’t look close to home much.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I would have cut Rip last season since I think Kerridge is better.

LambeauPlain's picture

Ramesh has ball skills perfectly suited to the Pack and he is simply a very good athlete and football player.

Ripper was not very good last year. For his size he is a timid blocker. Ramesh...the former a thumper. And he has good hands and can run the ball better than Ripper.

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