J.C. Tretter, one of two offensive linemen the Green Bay Packers drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, may not know it, but teammate Lane Taylor may be appreciating him more than he might know.
That’s because when Tretter went down with a broken ankle on the first day of OTAs last month, Taylor’s chances in making the team took a huge jump. But his status with the team has also come through effort.
Taylor lined up with the second team during this past week’s minicamp and felt good about his chances. “Rolling with the twos right now, I think I’m getting better every day,” Taylor told the Green Bay Press Gazette during the minicamp. “I think I’ll get better and better the more naturally the plays come to me. But it’s definitely encouraging and makes me want to just hold down that spot and do better.”
He doesn’t care how it comes to be, but Taylor is hoping that he is at least one of the undrafted free agents who make the Packers’ 53-man roster this season. A team that’s known for looking seriously and keeping undrafted players on their roster, Taylor signed with the Packers over the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders because he knew the Packers were thin at interior linemen.
At 6-3, 324 pounds, Taylor has the size to be an NFL lineman. It seems, at least in the early going, that he also has the smarts to go along with it. Of course, the $7,000 bonus he received (the most of any undrafted player) didn’t hurt either.
Though practices so far have included players in shorts and helmets, Taylor said he’s excited about the possibilities once the pads go on next month during Training Camp and doesn’t think that being an undrafted player is a disadvantage for him.
“I thought I was a good enough player, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a good enough player,” Taylor said. “That’s just the draft; that’s just how it goes. The draft’s not something that’s going to define me as a player. That’s just the way the chips fell, and that’s why I’m here.”
With the Packers’ transformation of the offensive line, it looks like the competition, especially on the right side of the line, will be intense and Taylor figures to be in the thick of it.