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Simon Stepanik, Packers 2020 Draft Pick, Surprisingly Retires

With the NFL Draft coming up, many people are wondering who will be drafted. Many of these people were surprised when Simon Stepanik announced his retirement from football due to injury.

The nfl draft order 2020 is a list of the current picks for the upcoming NFL Draft. It will be interesting to see who the Packers select with their first pick.

Stepaniak Retires

Getty Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur watches play at Ray Nitschke Field during training camp on July 28, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

Former Indiana offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak has decided to retire from the game, little over 15 months after being chosen in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

After spending his entire 2020 rookie season recovering from ACL surgery, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed on Saturday that Stepaniak had been put on the reserve/retired list. The second-year guard had attended the first two sessions of training camp, but he was unable to play on Friday and Saturday before being formally removed off the active roster.

G Simon Stepaniak has been put on the reserve/retired list by the #Packers. According to what I’ve heard, he informed the squad of his choice yesterday.

July 31, 2021 — Adam Caplan (@caplannfl)

With their third of three sixth-round choices in the 2020 draft, the Packers took a risk on Stepaniak, believing he might recover from an ACL injury he suffered in one of his last sessions with the Hoosiers in December 2019. He spent the most of last season on the reserve/non-football injury list, but was reinstated on Dec. 2 and practiced with the Packers for the last three weeks of the regular season, coming as near as a “questionable” designation for Week 17’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Stepaniak’s recovery ended in January, when the Packers put him on season-ending injured reserve to make room on their 53-man playoff roster for veteran Jared Veldheer, who ended up on the reserve/COVID-19 list anyway.

After acquiring wide receiver Randall Cobb (through trade with Houston) and offensive lineman Dennis Kelly (as a free agency signing) during their first week of camp, the Packers suddenly have a fresh opening on their 90-man roster.

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Expectations for the rest of the 2020 class remain high for the Packers.

The Packers can’t be overjoyed that one of their recent draft choices has decided to leave so soon after being chosen. Stepaniak missing his first season may have been part of the plan, but it’s unlikely the club expected the 6-foot-4, 316-pound interior lineman to have such a difficult time with his health that he retired before the start of Year 2.

Fortunately, Stepaniak was one of nine players selected in the Packers’ 2020 draft class, and he wasn’t the lone offensive lineman. Michigan guard Jon Runyan Jr. and Oregon center Jake Hanson were selected with Green Bay’s other two sixth-round selections. With second-round center Josh Myers, fourth-round guard Royce Newman, and sixth-round guard Cole Van Lanen, they added three more interior lineman in the 2021 draft.

In terms of the remainder of the 2020 class, the Packers have high hopes for their first three picks. In his second season, first-round quarterback Jordan Love will be Aaron Rodgers’ main backup, while second-round running back AJ Dillon will be the thunder to Aaron Jones’ lightning in the Packers’ backfield. Josiah Deguara, a third-round tight end, may provide another weapon for the offense after he recovers from an ACL injury that ended his rookie season.

Along with new veteran De’Vondre Campbell and 2020 starter Krys Barnes, their 2020 fifth-round selection Kamal Martin is expected to be a consistent contributor in his second year. Meanwhile, both of their seventh-round selections from 2020, safety Vernon Scott and outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin, could compete for roster slots throughout the preseason.

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