The Green Bay Packers have a great need for more depth along the offensive line. As the offseason progressed, the team has lost some experienced players without signing any replacements for them thus far. Obviously, GM Brian Gutekunst has more time to make moves whether it’s in free agency, via trades or in the 2024 NFL Draft. But as of right now, the team does not have adequate depth at either guard or tackle to start the season.

The Packers Need Depth Along the Offensive Line: Losses at Tackle

Last week at the start of free agency, the Packers announced that they were parting ways with veteran left tackle David Bakhtiari. The former All Pro only played in one game in 2023 and 13 total games over the last three seasons due to difficulty recovering from a knee injury suffered in practice before the 2020 season finale.

Then, on Monday of this week, the Carolina Panthers announced they had signed tackle Yosh Nijman to a new contract. Nijman was the Packers swing tackle last season. He played in all 17 games last season for the Packers but started only one. He made a combined 21 starts in the previous two seasons.

In training camp, Nijman lost the battle for the starting right tackle position with Zach Tom. Then, once Bakhtiari was ruled out for the season, he lost the left tackle competition with second-year man Rasheed Walker.

Coaches questioned Nijman’s ability to play to the whistle and finish plays. In the end, he played only 21 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season. He will get a fresh start in Carolina.

The Remaining Offensive Tackles

Walker and Tom will be the starting tackles if the season got under way this Sunday, but behind them there is presently no experienced depth. The only other tackles presently on the roster all lack significant NFL experience.

Luke Tenuta played seven offensive snaps for the Packers in 2022 before spending 2023 on injured reserve.

Caleb Jones played in one game and took exactly one snap on special teams for the Packers last season. He was inactive for nearly all of the season. While Jones is a massive 6’9” and 370 pounds, he remains a project who may not be ready for significant action on offense.

Kadeem Telfort spent 2023 on the Packers practice squad. The 25-year-old undrafted free agent has yet to take a snap in an NFL game.

There is no doubt Gutekunst will want to bring in a player he can feel confident about to be the team’s swing tackle.

 The Packers Need Depth Along the Offensive Line: Losses at Guard

The Packers lost starting right guard Jon Runyan, Jr. in free agency when he signed with the Giants. Runyan had been a starter at both left and right guard over the last three seasons.

The presumed starter at right guard after Runyan’s departure will be 2022 third-round draft pick Sean Rhyan. The former UCLA star rotated some series last year with Runyan at right guard. He is a strong player who graded out as an average run blocker according to PFF. Rhyan still needs to improve his technique and consistency when pass protecting and may not be good enough to start.

The starting left guard remains Elgton Jenkins who is one of the team’s more consistent players along the offensive line and a former Pro Bowl selection.

The Remaining Guards

The only experienced backup on the roster is Royce Newman. Newman struggled whenever he was inserted into the lineup last season. He was a starter as a rookie back in 2021 but was never adept at picking up blitzes and stunts. The Packers would most likely not feel comfortable if they had to start Newman for any length of time.

The team also lacks a backup at center behind Josh Myers, although both Tom and Jenkins are capable of playing center. The team may also seek an upgrade at center as Myers has not graded out well over the last two seasons.

The Packers Need Depth Along the Offensive Line: The Forecast

Gutekunst will likely draft multiple offensive linemen in the draft. The only question is whether the team seeks some veterans to provide a more experienced option either at right guard, center, or swing tackle. Obviously, some moderately-priced free agents either before or after June 1st remain a possibility.

Whichever way he chooses to do it, look for the Packers offensive line to have a lot more depth before training camp opens in July.




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