Part 8 in a position-by-position analysis of where the Packers stand going into the draft.
The line is anchored by David Bakhtiari, the best pass blocker in the league. Bulaga is his bookend at right tackle and is also among the best at his craft. This is a duo every bit as capable as the old glory days combo of Clifton and Tauscher. They have a chance to be an elite combo.
Corey Linsely has proven to be a very capable center, physically able and mentally sound enough to deal with the calls and audibles of a complex system.
At guard, Lane Taylor showed his years of development were enough to prove Ted wasn’t crazy in letting Sitton go. Now we’ll have to find out who the other guard is to know if Ted was crazy for letting Lang go (but no matter who it is or how they do, it will be hard to look back and say Ted should have given a 3rd contract to a guard at that price, with that injury history, plus forgo a 3rd round comp pick).
Jason Spriggs is young and earned some action last year as a sixth linemen and as a starting guard for a two week stretch when Lang was out with a broken bone in his foot. He needs to add some weight, but seems to have the technique and ability to be a solid swing tackle and potential successor to Bryan Bulaga, whose contract will end when he is 30 and Spriggs still has a year left on his rookie deal. This year, Spriggs could also win the starting RG job, no matter how much McCarthy insists he’s a tackle. Yes, he’s a tackle, but he can play guard until we need him at tackle.
Kyle Murphy is still listed as a tackle, but could be the prime candidate to shift in to guard if the Packers want to maximize Sprigg’s reps and development at the tackle spots. He’s still largely an unknown, but proved he has the physical tools last year.
Jacob Flores is a developmental center and recently signed Justin McCray is a project at guard. They could provide depth or just as easily not make the team.
Barclay – Aaaaaagh! Nooooo!
Talent On Roster
Very good. It may feel like there is something missing because a starter hasn’t been named, yet, but don’t worry, they have a capable fifth man in Spriggs or Murphy. As a worse case scenario, that ain’t too bad.
A number of people have called for Bulaga to slide inside. I call that lunacy. BB was one of the best RTs on the game last year. You don’t take a top tackle and move him to guard so that a second year guy (whose only two career starts came at guard) can play tackle. Maybe the Lions would do that, but not the Packers.
The talent is good up front and strong at tackle. The interior line, however looks mighty thin and has some reasonable questions. But it’s not Chicken Little time.
Medium. They could use depth on the interior for sure. Ted has a knack for finding guys in the middle rounds to play o-line and he will most likely try again (with an assist on the development end from James Campen). Even if Forrest Lamp falls to them in the first, I can’t see Ted using a number one pick on an interior lineman. Maybe rounds two or three find a starting RG, but it could just as easily be someone already on the roster. Ted takes a swing at o-line almost every draft, and it’s usually a tackle who could slide to guard, so it would be a bit of a surprise if he didn’t take one at all.
Other parts in the series
Part 1: Quarterbacks
Part 2: Defensive Line
Part 3: Wide Receivers
Part 4: Cornerbacks
Part 5: Tight Ends
Part 6: Running Backs
Part 7: Linebackers
Part 9: Safeties
Part 10: Specialists