Popular Packers’ pick IOL Graham Barton impresses at Pro Day

A popular selection for the Green Bay Packers in many mock drafts is offensive lineman Graham Barton from Duke, who would put on a show at his Pro Day.

Barton measured in at just over 6-5 and weighed 313 pounds. He posted a 4.97-second 40-yard dash, a shuttle time of 4.55 seconds, and a 3-cone of 7.31 seconds. In the positional drills, he primarily worked out as a center.

The end result was a near-perfect Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.99–which ranked third out of 1,532 guards from 1987 to 2024.

Everything about Barton’s testing, from his overall RAS down to the specific times in the individual drills, screams Green Bay Packer. He checks all of the athletic boxes the team looks for.

It would be out of character for GM Brian Gutekunst to take an interior offensive lineman in the first round, but while Barton is projected to play guard or center at the NFL level, he is someone who could legitimately play all five positions if needed, much like Elgton Jenkins and Zach Tom already on the Packers’ roster.

Barton played 2,569 career snaps at Duke. He began his career as a center in 2020 but played the last three seasons at left tackle. Over the last two seasons, Barton has allowed only four total sacks, 21 pressures, and graded out well as a run-blocker by PFF’s metrics.

Here is what Brennen Rupp of Packers Wire had to say about Barton and what he could bring to the Packers:

“Graham Barton started his career at Duke playing center and then kicked outside to left tackle,” said Rupp. “While he offers five-position versatility, he’s likely best suited to stay inside at the next level.

“He has excellent quickness and hits his marks out in space. In pass protection, he’s a technician. Everything from the top down works in unison, and he shows the functional strength to anchor against power. If the Packers land Barton, they’d likely view him as a guard or center due to his arm length.”

With arms under 33 inches, Barton doesn’t have the length of a traditional NFL tackle, but with his experience and athleticism, he is someone who could fill in there if needed, or the Packers could even give him the opportunity to play that position over the summer and see how he performs before fully moving him to the interior.

While Rasheed Walker may be the favorite to start Week 1 for the Packers at left tackle, that job probably won’t be handed to him either. As Matt LaFleur said at the NFL Owners’ Meetings, there is “a lot of room for improvement” for Walker.

In addition to tackle, the Packers are also in need of both depth and competition at right guard for Sean Rhyan – who will likely have to earn the starting job – and at center for Josh Myers, who is the only center on the roster not named Jenkins or Tom.

Similarly to left tackle and right guard, with competition being the hallmark of what helped elevate the play of the 2023 offensive line, I would guess they want someone to also push Myers–not to mention 2024 is the final year of his rookie deal as well.

The NFL Draft is filled with constant uncertainty but Barton feels about as close to a safe bet as one can get at this event. He not only possesses a high floor, but he has a high ceiling as well.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire