Why the Green Bay Packers must utilize at least one draft pick on O-lineman

Aaron Rodgers gets up after being sacked against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at Soldier Field. This is a sight the Packers can’t afford to see in the coming seasons. Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports photograph

There is one name that exemplifies the Green Bay Packers and the only reason why the team has got to utilize at least one of their high draft picks on an offensive lineman: Aaron Rodgers.

Whether it’s today, whether it’s tomorrow or next week, the inevitability that Rodgers becomes the highest paid player in the National Football League is here. He will sign on the bottom line and the Packers will commit 8-10 years to the man at about $20-$25 million.

If that isn’t enough to get Ted Thompson to rethink the situation that’s in front of Rodgers, I don’t know what is.

That said, it’s become clear that the highest priority for the Packers’ brass is to figure out how best to bolster their most important positions on the team – the offensive line.

Right tackle Don Barclay did well in his short stint for the Packers at the end of last season.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

They can’t afford to sit around anymore waiting for guys like Derek Sherrod to heal up and they can’t afford to juggle guys on the line and to bring in undrafted free agents to cover. Ok, so right tackle Don Barclay played pretty well in the short-term at the end of last season, but when he entered the lineup, the Packers were in a world of hurt.

They can’t afford – not with the highest paid player under center – to allow that to happen again.

Do they experiment by moving right tackle Bryan Bulaga to the left side and keeping Barclay at right tackle? Maybe. But in the best interests of the team, the Packers have got to look to the draft for the best available line(men). They have got to utilize their draft and develop philosophy and use it well in this case.

While their running game is in a shambles, expending a first round selection at that position would be a waste. Eddie Lacy may be the sexy selection, but they need the type of player who’s going to be around for years to come and will contribute for years to come. Whether it’s a center or guard or tackle, it doesn’t matter. Versatility is important to Ted Thompson and we’re sure he’s got some linemen tagged for the part.

Whether it’s a Barrett Jones, David Quessenberry, Larry Warford, or Menelik Watson – it doesn’t matter – we’ll let Ted Thompson target the best player.

We just know that if the Packers are going to be competitive for years to come, if they are going to protect the highest paid player for years to come, they have to bring in the guys to do it.

And in the meantime, not only do they bolster the line to protect Rodgers, but they also develop the line that will help improve the running game.

In the end, the Packers have to draft at least one, if not a couple of offensive linemen to make it all happen.

And to keep Aaron Rodgers happy.

Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, NFL Draft

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  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.rochon.7 Scott Rochon

    Getting sacked 215 times in the last 5 years is way, way to many. This O-Line gets beat every time they play a physical defense. Outside of Sitton, they are soft. Their tackle situation is iffy at best. Newhouse is terrible. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal had him giving up 11 and 1/2 sacks and 41 and 1/2 QB hits!!! And MM says he’s doing just fine! Bulaga broke his hip. And Sherrod had an horrible broken leg 16 months ago. MM doesn’t sound like Sherrod is going to be back anytime soon. The Packers need an NFL tackle more than any other team in the league! TT has had 7 drafts to get an Offensive Line. He has exactly one really good lineman, Sitton. He needs to be held responsible if Rodgers gets a serious injury!

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