Tariq Carpenter may have been selected in the 7th round, but he could end up being the most instrumental late-round pick in recent history for the Packers organization. The safety position was arguably the most glaring weakness in the Packers’ roster outside of wide receiver going into the draft. Darnell Savage’s play is on the decline, and the Packers have not yet offered an extension to Adrian Amos. With Henry Black now on the Giants’ roster, the lack of depth/talent at safety has become even more evident. The options at safety were somewhat limited in the 2022 draft, forcing the Packers to have to wait until the 7th round to take a shot at a prospect. However, Carpenter’s flexibility may just make him the most instrumental late-round pick in recent history for the Packers organization.
The Fit In Green Bay
The speculation around what role Carpenter will play has been wild to say the least. Many initially thought Tariq was a grab as a special teams ace for Rich Bisaccia.
Tariq Carpenter is the Rich Bisaccia pick. All special teams.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) April 30, 2022
Head coach Matt LeFleur also said Carpenter would be transitioning to MLB shortly after the draft. While Tariq will undoubtedly be contributing in both of those facets of the game, it makes the most sense for him to see the majority of his snaps at safety.
The inside linebacker room is already packed, and includes more experienced players like Krys Barnes and Ty Summers. Conversely, the safety room is starving for bodies, and the few that are there lack experience.
Judging by what safeties coach Ryan Downard had to say about Carpenter, it may be hard to pry Tariq away from him:
#Packers safeties coach Ryan Downard on 7th-round rookie Tariq Carpenter: "He really can move, especially for how big he is. That's the biggest impression he made on me. He really can move."
Downard says he hasn't seen a safety that big who can move like Carpenter.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) May 18, 2022
Downard is of the mindset that Carpenter is certainly capable of being a hybrid, but he belongs with the safeties. In Downard’s own words, “He can check a lot of boxes. Close to the line of scrimmage. In the deep zones. Man coverage, we saw it in the rookie minicamp, really excited about him.”
What To Expect
It’s always important to temper your expectations when it comes to 7th round picks. The likelihood of Carpenter becoming a contributor isn’t exactly high, though it’s not unheard of. Kam Chancellor was a big, rangy prospect that most viewed as a hybrid, and he was selected in the 5th round. Given the need at the safety position, Carpenter is probably going to see a good amount of playing time, along with practice reps. It isn’t crazy to think that Tariq Carpenter could become one of the most instrumental late-round picks in recent history. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how Tariq comes along during training camp and the preseason.