GREEN BAY – When Kofi Amichia visited Green Bay a couple of weeks ago, he definitely got the impression the Packers were interested in him.
How interested was another question.
“I expected them to call me, but I didn’t expect it to be this soon,” Amichia said moments after the Packers drafted him in the sixth round, with pick No. 212 overall on Saturday.
A two-year starter at left tackle for South Florida, Amichia projects as a guard in the NFL. Most of his pre-draft workouts focused on guard, as did his one in Green Bay.
That workout went well enough that Amichia figured the Packers would consider him as an undrafted free agent at a minimum. The unexpected change of plans was welcome.
“It was crazy,” he said of getting the call. “Me and my family just went wild.”
Amichia actually began his college career as a center, then played right tackle for a couple of games before taking over at left tackle for his final two seasons. He said he played some guard in practice, but never in a game.
That’s not the only change he’s dealing with, though. He’s also added some size to his frame from a season ago, when he played in the 290-295 range. The 6-4 lineman said he’s now at 308.
It was all about the proper diet.
“Mainly just eating right,” he said. “I ate a lot of broccoli, a lot of vegetables and a lot of chicken. The place I was training at, they had a good meal program that they helped me with.”
Amichia joins a Green Bay offensive line that began the offseason with a starting job open at right guard following the free-agent departure of T.J. Lang.
The Packers signed six-time Pro Bowler Jahri Evans right before the draft, though, so that starting spot could be spoken for, at least for now.
What the future holds beyond 2017 is unclear, though, and the Packers have a track record of mid- to late-round draft picks on the offensive line working into starting roles after their rookie seasons. Lang, Josh Sitton, and JC Tretter are recent examples.
“My athleticism and my quickness off the ball, and my suddenness off the ball are definitely my strongest attributes,” Amichia said, adding that he understands defensive tendencies as well.
With the selection of Amichia, Packers GM Ted Thompson has now taken at least one offensive linemen in 12 of his 13 drafts in Green Bay.
2017 DRAFT TRACKER