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Packers gain experience with selections of OL Jacob Monk, S Kitan Oladapo

Fifth-round draft picks combined for 105 college games and 97 starts


GREEN BAY – The Packers parlayed their two fifth-round draft picks on Saturday into a pair of prospects who played a lot of college football.

Green Bay first traded up five spots with the Buffalo Bills to select Duke offensive lineman Jacob Monk 163rd overall before picking Oregon State safety Kitan Oladapo at No. 169. Between them, the two seniors combined for 97 starts over 105 collegiate games.

Monk, whose father Stanley played running back for the Blue Devils, was a staple on Duke's offensive line for the past five seasons and demonstrated remarkable versatility (34 starts at right guard, 12 at right tackle and 12 at center).

Life was a bit different for Oladapo on the opposite coast, as the 6-foot-2, 216-pound safety bet on himself as a walk-on at Oregon State in 2018. After a three-year wait, Oladapo moved into the starting lineup in 2021 and never looked back on his way to becoming a three-time All-Pac 12 player.

"We're excited to add Oladapo and Monk to the equation," vice president of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan said. "Monk, we see as an interior offensive lineman, guard/center, swing, quick, strong. Elite wiring when you talk to the people at the school there, two-time captain, alpha, all the things you want in a guy like that. And Oladapo same, played a lot of football, smart, smart kid, very versatile player."

The Packers spent one of the three sixth-round picks (No. 219) to move up to take Monk, who improved his draft stock with a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 5.09 time in the 40 with 31 bench reps and registered a 29½-inch vertical.

When asked about how he didn't end up a running back like his father, Monk quipped: "I used to play running back back in Little League, but I just had one too many burgers, so I had to put a red stripe on my helmet and put my hand in the dirt."

On top of Monk's strong physical makeup, Sullivan lauded the two-time team captain as a natural leader who set the tone for Duke's program. Monk attributes his character and compassion to his football upbringing and his older brother, Miles, who has Down syndrome.

On the field, Monk has also seen almost everything there is to see on a football field after playing more than 3,700 snaps in college with 1,862 pass-blocking reps, according to Pro Football Focus. After stepping on campus in 2019, Monk became the first true freshman to start an opener for Duke in 12 years.

"I feel like I've just developed into an experienced vet player," said Monk when asked about all the playing time he received at Duke. "I feel like just going out there and not getting rattled is probably the main thing, honestly.

"There's going to be ebbs and flows to each and every game, but just staying level-headed, knowing that if the game doesn't start out right, you always have a chance to make it right."

Oladapo, who took a pre-draft visit to Green Bay, had a prior connection to the organization in former Oregon State position coach Anthony Perkins, whom the Packers hired as a defensive quality control coach this offseason. One of three defensive backs the Packers have drafted so far, Sullivan said Oladapo is the truest safety of the bunch but also has the versatility to move down.

A native of Happy Valley, Ore., Oladapo spent six years on Oregon State's campus on his way to starting 39 of his 46 college appearances. Known for his physical playstyle, he finished with 248 tackles, 6½ sacks, three interceptions and chased down a forced fumble against Washington this past year.

"It makes all those late nights, early mornings, all the long meetings and hard practices – it makes it all worth it," Oladapo said of getting drafted. "Just betting on myself, taking a chance going to Oregon State. It just means the world to me."

Oladapo also gained a reputation for dying his hair in college, even wearing Oregon State orange at times. Asked whether he plans to color his hair green and/or gold in Green Bay, the rookie safety said he's open to the idea…somewhat.

"I have been blonde. I do like the blonde," Oladapo said. "Now, the green? I don't know if I'm gonna dye it green, but I'll definitely go yellow for sure."


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