Green Bay's coaches value versatility from their offensive linemen, and the team added another player that brings just that with the selection of TCU tackle/guard Marshall Newhouse in the fifth round on Saturday.
Newhouse was drafted with Packers' second pick in the fifth round (169th overall), a compensatory choice that the team was awarded last month.
The 6-foot-4, 319-pound Newhouse was a three-year starter for the Horned Frogs, opening all but one contest in his final three seasons. All of his starts came at left tackle, but the Packers plan to work him at both the tackle and guard spots.
"I think just the fact that he graded out real well," offensive line coach James Campen said. "He was very productive, has good length, good size. A very smart, intelligent football player. He does an excellent job of picking up pressures and twists. You can see that; it's pretty evident on film. He's a very good person as well.
"I think with a guy like that, he'll give you some flexibility. He's very smart. I'm not saying he's not going to be a tackle, I'm not saying he's going to be a guard, but I think you have to look at him as we do all of our linemen to see where their best fit is."
Newhouse was a first-team All-Mountain West selection as a senior, and was part of an offense that ranked sixth in the country with only 12 sacks allowed on the season. The Horned Frogs also ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense (38.3 points per game), total offense (456.7 yards per game), and rushing offense (239.5 yards per game).
"He didn't put his hand in a three-point (stance) as much as (Packers first-round pick) Bryan (Bulaga) did, but he does display the traits to be able to displace five techniques, defensive ends in their scheme," Campen said. "They run that shotgun and handoff type of backfield. It's more of a lateral run game, but he can come down inside."
After his senior season, Newhouse played in the East-West Shrine Game, and was able to show some of his versatility by playing other positions along the line besides left tackle in practices and the game.
"It is helpful when you can see someone actually do it," Campen said. "You can project until you see it, so those kinds of games are very helpful for those teams that run those style of offenses. It does help them a lot, and obviously it helps us."
Newhouse also got an opportunity to work against an elite pass rusher in practice during his time at TCU when he squared off with defensive end Jerry Hughes, who was selected with the No. 31 pick in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts.
"I went up against him quite a bit, and we definitely battled back and forth," Newhouse said. "He made me better and I know I made him better.
"From seeing Jerry practice every day, there was no one who I thought was faster off the ball when I saw them in games. Just seeing that helped me tremendously in the game."
Newhouse's father, John, played football at the University of Houston and was part of three Cotton Bowl teams. Marshall also possesses some NFL bloodlines as his cousin, Robert, was a standout fullback for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons (1972-83), and ranks fifth in franchise history in rushing yards.
"He was kind of before my time, but I heard a lot about him, what kind of football player he was," Newhouse said. "I definitely respected him. I saw some things on him, but just knowing that he played and I can just try and carry on the family tradition of playing good football in the NFL. Hopefully that's what happens."
During the annual league meetings in late March, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he expected the competition throughout the offensive line to be the strongest it had been during his tenure, and now the team has added to that even more with the selections of Bulaga and Newhouse the past three days.
"We have a lot of competition now in that room, and that always brings out the best of individuals and collectively as a unit moving forward, it will make us a better unit and a stronger unit," Campen said. "Having quality players in that room and the addition of these two young men will make us even better."