Green Bay’s Offensive Line Overview

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The Green Bay Packers released their initial 53 man roster on Saturday, which includes 9 offensive linemen. Those rostered include: David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, Lane Taylor, Billy Turner, Elgton Jenkins, Rick Wagner, Lucas Patrick, Yosh Nijman, and Jon Runyan. The Packers did part ways with an additional 5 lineman: John Leglue, Cody Conway, Zack Johnson, Alex Light, and Jake Hanson. 

Of the nine who made the cut, most should be familiar faces to Packers’ fans. The unit will be anchored by 4 time All-Pro, 2 time Pro Bowler, David Bakhtiari. The left tackle from the University of Colorado enters his 8th year in the league as a consensus top 5 tackle, and immensely valuable member of the offense. At left guard, the Packers return rising star Elgton Jenkins. Selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, Jenkins found opportunity due to injury and has not looked back. After starting the final 14 games of the regular season, he solidified himself as a piece of the line for years to come. The starting center will be Corey Linsley, as has been the case for the last 6 years in which he has been a member of the Packers. Linsley has been a stalwart in the middle of the line and will look for that to continue in his 7th season in the league. The first true position battle of the offensive line comes at right guard, with Billy Turner and Lane Taylor duking it out for the starting role. After signing for the Packers last offseason, Billy Turner started all 16 games at right guard. He completed the highest percentage of offensive snaps on the team, and was the epitome of durability. Former starting left guard Lane Taylor entered this camp with a little something extra to prove, having lost his starting role last year to Elgton Jenkins. With both relatively safe options, camp performance proved to be an important factor, as an outstanding effort from Lane Taylor makes him the likely day one starter. Rounding out the starting offensive line is another position battle featuring Billy Turner. The job at right tackle will likely come down to free agent signing Rick Wagner, and the aforementioned Turner. After long-time right tackle Bryan Bulaga departed in the offseason, the Packers signed the more affordable Badger – Rick Wagner. He comes over from the division rival Lions, after starting 40 games for them over the last three years. Either Wagner or Turner, (assuming he does not start at right guard) will round out the starting unit, while the other provides valuable depth as the first name off the bench. 

Outside the 6 players legitimately fighting for a starting role, the Packers rostered an additional 3 offensive lineman who will be looking to step up in moments of need. Lucas Patrick will enter the new season in a familiar role, as someone who has provided the Packers depth in his 3 seasons out of Duke. Patrick has featured in double digit games each of his years in the league and will likely have a role to play with injuries involved on the offensive line. Yosh Nijman went undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2019, and spent most of last year on injury reserve. Nijman makes his first opening day roster with the Packers and will project as their 4th tackle. The final rostered offensive line member is Jon Runyan. The rookie Michigan guard was selected by the Packers in the 6th round of the 2020 draft, and projects as insurance on the interior of the line. 

Though unlikely due to a relatively strong unit, the Packers could again dip into the free agent pool to additionally strengthen their offensive line. Top available names include Larry Warford, Cordy Glenn, and former Packer Jared Veldheer. While the Packers do have some available cap space, it would be surprising to see them spend it on offensive line reinforcements. The names available are ideally depth pieces, which Green Bay has utilized draft picks on recently. Aside from any injury moves, the initial 9 to make the roster should be suiting up next Sunday to face the Vikings. 

 

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