Unpacking Future Packers: No. 29, Oregon State S Kitan Oladapo

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 entered the offseason with a cosmic void at the safety position. They brought a little light to that dark void when they signed Xavier McKinney in free agency. 

Even after signing one of the best safeties on the open market, the Packers still have a ‘Help Wanted’ ad above their safety room at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.

A player that Brian Gutekunst could target in the 2024 NFL Draft is Kitan Oladapo. The Oregon State safety checks in at No. 29 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown.

An Oregon native, Oladapo started one game during the 2020 shortened season and recorded 26 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Oladapo became a full-time starter in 2021 and responded with 69 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and eight pass deflections. In 2022, Oladapo recorded 80 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and six pass deflections.

During his final season as a Beaver, Oladapo recorded 74 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and eight pass deflections. 

“Kitan was an important part of the Oregon State defense this past season,” Ryan Harland, a contributor for BeaversEdge, said. “ A veteran starter who took on a bigger leadership role with the departure of Jaydon Grant, he helped set the secondary pre-snap, helping a lot of young guys understand their assignments that saw time in the secondary due to injuries.”

Oladapo went from a walk-on to captain for the Beavers. His background as a cornerback is noticeable with his ability to move around the secondary. During his time at Corvallis, Oladapo logged 869 snaps at safety and 757 snaps in the slot. 

“Kitan has been used either as a free safety, strong safety, or slot corner for the Beavers during his three years as a starter,” Harland said. “He can wear multiple hats depending on the coverage and he can play whatever role he is needed to whether that’s blitzing from the box or edge, covering a tight end or slot receiver, and even helping out over the top in a split safety look. He’s got the ability to make plays all over the field in the secondary.”

The Oregon State safety is a long defensive back. Oladapo excels driving downhill against the run and runs the alley with purpose. He does a good job of settling his feet and his length gives him a wide tackle radius. 

“He’s relentless in run support and not afraid of finding contact and taking on receivers as well as linemen in the run game,” Harland said. “When he comes downhill from his safety spot he closes well on backside pursuits of running backs, who typically redirect when they see him coming towards them. When Kitan hits a running back in the backfield they don’t gain much yardage.”

Oldapo has good field awareness and flashes good range. His background as a former cornerback is evident with his easy change of direction movements. Oladapo takes direct paths from point A to point B when the ball is in the air. He uses his length to impact passing lanes and get his hands on the ball. The former walk-on has the size to body up tight ends and the fluidity to match up with slot wide receivers. 

“Kitan is very good at reading what the offense is giving him and he reacts quickly after the snap,” Harlan said. “He’s an intelligent defender when reading the quarterback’s eyes, driving and accelerating downhill to the ball, getting his hands up quickly to make a play.”

During his time at Oregon State, Oladapo recorded 242 snaps on special teams and could carve out an immediate role at the next level as a core member on special teams. 

Fit with the Packers

Gutekunst wants versatility in the secondary. Oladapo is a player who is capable of wearing multiple hats in the backend. 

If the Packers were to add Oladapo he could battle for snaps playing alongside McKinney, while also giving the Packers a hired gun on special teams. 

“I’d draft Kitan because of his football skills, but his leadership ability and work ethic,” Harlan said. “He’s always been a leader on that defense but where that stood out to me the most was in the bowl game against Notre Dame. Kitan and the rest of the seniors wanted to finish out the season the right way with a season filled with adversity. At one point he was on “one leg” according to interim head coach Kefense Hynson where he was asked if he wanted to go back out there and Kitan wanted to finish the game. He left everything out there on the field and kept making plays once the game was out of reach and never let up despite the adversity. At the next level, I think that will carry over for him quite well and he’ll continue to improve his football skills.”

Instinctive, versatile, physical and special teams experience. That sounds like a player who the Packers could target as they aim to build up their safety room around McKinney.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire