Green Bay Packers: Importance of Cole Madison’s return to the OL

Monday marked the first day of the Green Bay Packers’ offseason workouts and it was reported that offensive lineman Cole Madison was there.

It was during last year’s draft that the Green Bay Packers would spend a fifth-round pick on Cole Madison, a tackle from Washington State. However, Madison wouldn’t end up playing a down or even participating in the summer programs due to a personal matter. We would find out earlier this year from The Athletic Wisconsin that his absence was due to the loss of his best friend and teammate at Washington State.

Even as a fifth-round pick, many had anticipated that Madison was going to come in and compete for a starting job along the Green Bay Packers offensive line as a rookie. And given the poor play we saw in 2018 at right guard, Madison very likely would have started at some point.

Having Madison back and competing along the offensive line is fantastic news for the Green Bay Packers that have some question marks and some concerns with depth. Last year they would give up over three sacks per game, which ranked near the bottom out of the entire NFL, they have to be better in 2019.

We also have to wonder how Lane Taylor will bounce back after a down season, we hope he does, but we don’t know if or how he will. There is also a bit of unknown with recent free agent signing Billy Turner, who has started just 25 games over his five-year career. And while Bryan Bulaga is fantastic when he’s on the field, at this point, it isn’t safe to assume that we can count on him for all 16 games and his contract is up at the end of the season.

Adding competition and potential depth to the offensive line is never a bad thing, so Madison’s return to Green Bay is quite welcomed.

At Washington State, Madison played the tackle position but during last year’s draft process, most thought he would transition well to guard. He brings a nastiness to the offensive line position and will play through the whistle, just like when the Green Bay Packers had T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton protecting Aaron Rodgers. Which is the exact type of mentality you want from your offensive linemen.

Madison is also a good athlete with very good footwork, which will fit well with new Head Coach Matt LaFleur’s zone running scheme as summed up by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com:

“Madison’s athletic ability, foot quickness and ability to sustain blocks on the move make him a desirable target for teams who want offensive linemen who can excel in space.”

From his time playing in Washington State’s high-powered, fast-paced offense, Madison would also have plenty of reps in pass protection where he excelled in Head Coach Mike Leach’s system as a blocker. Of course, after a year off from football, there will be some rust to shake off but Madison will still likely be competing for starting reps.

There is no question that adding Madison back into the mix is a good thing for the Green Bay Packers, given some of the questions on this offensive line entering the season, but more importantly, this is a great thing for Cole Madison.