Unpacking Future Packers: No. 16, South Carolina OL Nick Gargiulo

The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Green Bay Packers and Brian Gutekunst love versatile offensive linemen. Elgton Jenkins started games at left tackle, right tackle, center and left guard during his time at Mississippi State. Jon Runyan Jr started games at both tackle spots before kicking inside to guard when he landed in Green Bay. Royce Newman started games at left guard and right tackle. At Wake Forest, Zach Tom started games at left tackle and center.

A versatile offensive lineman that Gutekunst could target in the 2024 NFL Draft is Nick Gargiulo. The South Carolina offensive linemen checks in at No. 16 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown. 

A Yale transfer, Gargiulo started 14 games at left tackle and 10 games at center before transferring to South Carolina. During his lone season in the SEC, Gargiulo started seven games at center and five at left guard. 

“He provided stability and versatility,” David Cloninger, the South Carolina beat writer for The Post and Courier, said. “In a season that more than any other the past decade was smacked with offensive-line injuries (11 of the 20 linemen were hurt at some point and the team started eight different lines in the first eight games before it stabilized in the final four games), Gargiulo started every game. He began at left guard and switched to center five games in, and finished the season playing through a bum ankle and a busted hand.”

Gargiulo plays with good sink and knee bend in pass protection. The Yale transfer is a wide-framed blocker. He stays alert and keeps his head on a swivel. He anchors against power and roots in to help keep the pocket clean. During his final two seasons at Yale, Gargiulo gave up zero sacks and 11 pressures. In his lone season playing in the SEC, he gave up two sacks (both came against Georgia) and 26 pressures. 

“He can stay in place and plays with good leverage,” Cloninger said. “He uses his hands well. Even on the pop-up after snapping the ball he rarely got straight whipped.”

Gargiulo is quick out of his stance and moves well in space. The Yale transfer shows no restrictions on reaching the second level and honing in on his targets. He utilizes his length to get into defenders and displace them. 

“He doesn’t get pushed around,” Cloninger said. “Wherever he’s supposed to be, he’s an obstacle for defenders.”

Fit with the Packers

The Packers have a rich history of developing Day 3 offensive linemen into quality starters. With the Packers owning six Day 3 selections this year, Gargiulo could be a target with one of those picks in the sixth or seventh round. 

With his athleticism and five-position versatility, Gargiulo would appear to fit the mold of what the Packers look for in their offensive linemen.

A year after not taking any offensive linemen in the draft, Gutekunst could attack that position group by using multiple picks to bolster the Great Wall of Lambeau. Gargiulo would provide quality depth along the interior and could kick outside to play tackle if needed.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire