Unpacking Future Packers: No. 19, Louisville RB Isaac Guerendo

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 just gave Josh Jacobs a four-year deal and is likely the No. 1 running back at 1265 Lombardi Avenue for the foreseeable future. AJ Dillon is back on a one-year deal and at this moment is a safe bet to be part of the running back rotation. 

With those two in place, the Packers don’t have a pressing need to add a running back early in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

A running back that Brian Gutekunst could target on Day 3 of the upcoming draft is Isaac Guerendo. The Louisville running back checks in at No. 19 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown.

A three-star recruit out of Indiana, and a Wisconsin transfer, Guerendo rushed for 810 yards and 11 touchdowns during his lone season as a Cardinal.

Guerendo won two individual state track titles during his prep career in Indiana. The former track star ran a 10.51 in the 100-meter dash and won a state title in the long jump. Given his track history, it was no surprise that Guerendo clocked the fastest 40 times (4.33) among running backs and tied for the third fastest time among all participants. Guerendo also had the best vertical jump and the second-best broad jump among running backs.

“His top-end speed with his size combo,” Nick Martin, a writer for All Steelers, said. “Even his initial burst is strong to outrun outside pursuit angles, probably why Wisconsin loved him on kick returns and while it takes a bit of a runway to get to that top end, he’s a threat to house it on almost any play. His contact balance is strong at the second and third levels of the defense where he has a better knack for picking up yards through contact and being able to shrug off hits around his ankles. He could stand to be the initiator on contact a little more.”

Guerendo is a home run hitter. With his track speed, he’s a threat to take it to the house any time he touches the ball. If he gets a clear runway he can hit top gear in a blink of an eye. Of his 132 rushing attempts this past season, 22 of them went for 10-plus yards. He has the speed to destroy pursuit angles and outpace defenders. 

The former Badger running back has good contact balance and can be a load to take down once he reaches the second level. He has impressive play strength. According to PFF, Guerendo racked up 543 yards after contact and forced 31 missed tackles. 

“What makes him dangerous in space is his speed outrun angles, as well as his ability to make guys miss,” Martin said. “He needs to play with a lower pad level more consistently, which would allow him to sink and size guys up more in space, but generally relies more on being a one-cut guy.”

During his final two seasons, Guerendo hauled in 39 receptions for 349 yards and one touchdown. He looks natural catching passes out of the backfield and is alert in pass protection. 

“He has reliable hands and strong ball tracking,” Martin said. “If you go back to his days at Wisconsin you’ll see him making strong over-the-shoulder grabs on wheel routes. He’s a capable pass protector too, so you don’t have to worry too much about having him in on third downs.”

Guerendo finished his collegiate career with 31 kick returns and he averaged 23  yards per return. With his speed he could be a dangerous return man at the next level. 

Fit with Packers

Guerendo is an explosive playmaker and could be a nice change of pace back to pair with Jacobs and Dillon. 

“I think Guerendo is best suited to be drafted around late Day 2, or early Day 3 with his skillset,” Martin said. “There are not too many backs in this class that can offer that size-speed combo and with relatively little tread on the tires, he could be a worthwhile investment.”

Guerendo only has 231 carries to his name. There is a lot of tread left on those tires. He’s a well-put-together running back, who could handle a bell-cow-like workload. Given his size, speed and his special teams value, Guerendo would be a valuable Day 3 pick for a team that’s looking to round out their running back room.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire