Packers’ Touted Draft Pick in Walking Boot Following Injury, Surgery

Kitan Oladapo, Packers

Getty Safety Kitan Oladapo of the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers secured a literal haul of rookie talent in the NFL draft, adding 11 total players with at least one pick in all seven rounds. However, one of them came off the board injured.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported via X on Friday, May 3, that fifth-round selection and former Oregon State safety Kitan Oladapo suffered a broken toe at the combine, which the league held in Indianapolis from late February through early March.

“Packers fifth-round pick Kitan Oladapo is in a boot/on scooter. Broke the big toe on his left foot during a drill at the combine,” Demovsky wrote. “He actually still did portion drills at his Pro Day and then had surgery before the draft. Teams were aware of it. Believes he’ll be ready by camp.”

Kitan Oladapo Projected to ‘Contribute Early’ to Packers Defense

Kitan Oladapo, Packers

GettySafety Kitan Oladapo of the Green Bay Packers.

Despite Oladapo’s status as a fifth-rounder, and the fact that the Packers drafted two other players at the position earlier (Javon Bullard of Georgia in round three, Evan Williams of Oregon in round four), there are some who believe Oladapo can be an immediate contributor in Green Bay.

“Oladapo’s other competition is going to come from his fellow draftees,” Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report wrote in early May. “There’s also the possibility of the 6’2”, 216-pound Oladapo being able to play as a de facto linebacker in sub-packages. There are a lot of ways he could get on the field, and his position group is relatively unproven outside of [Xavier] McKinney.”

The Packers inked McKinney to a four-year deal worth $67 million total this offseason in free agency after the former second-round pick (No. 36 overall in 2020) spent his first four professional campaigns as a member of the New York Giants.

Packers’ Young Talent at Safety Could Turn Weakness Into Strength

Javon Bullard

GettySafety Javon Bullard will compete for playing time as a rookie with the Green Bay Packers.

Demovsky authored a deep dive into all of Green Bay’s position battles over the weekend, noting that the safety position is unique due to all the new faces in the room in 2024.

“A near total overhaul here with a marquee free agent, McKinney, plus three draft picks: second-rounder Javon Bullard of Georgia, fourth-rounder Evan Williams of Oregon and fifth-rounder Kitan Oladapo of Oregon State,” Demovsky wrote. “The only returner who played significant snaps is second-year pro Anthony Johnson Jr. (303 snaps last season). Benny Sapp IIIZayne Anderson and Tyler Coyle also return.

Former Packers first-round pick and five-year starter Darnell Savage left for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, while the Packers also chose not to bring back Jonathan Owens who is now a member of the Chicago Bears.

Demovsky went on to note comments from Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst, who discussed the versatility of the group and gave credence to Ballentine’s notion that Oladapo could find himself on the field in roles other than safety.

“Those guys we added are versatile pieces,” Gutekunst said, per Demovsky. “We feel like Bullard can play nickel or safety. We feel like Williams has that flexibility, and Oladapo is probably more of a true safety, but he can play whatever you want to coin it, the big nickel/Will [linebacker]. So those guys are all movable pieces.”

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