As the Green Bay Packers continue their trek through the off-season there has been much speculation as to whom they should consider in the NFL Draft.
While much of the focus has been on defensive players that should be considered, it’s also important to identify other positions where the Packers could add talent.
One such position is offensive tackle.
In this post I introduce you to a couple of offensive linemen whose skill sets and draft stocks might make them appealing targets for the Packers.
The Packers had an interesting start to the 2013 season with regards to the offensive line. Left tackle, Bryan Bulaga, suffered a torn ACL during a Saturday night intra-squad scrimmage and it was confirmed shortly after that he’d miss the remainder of the season. As a result of other injuries, including Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay, the offensive line was constantly shifting.
David Bakhtiari, a rookie out of Colorado, eventually won the starting left tackle job and did a solid job throughout the season. He is a great example that solid tackles can be found in any round of the draft. And, if the Packers do sign a free-agent tackle or draft one, it won’t be for a lot of money and it will be later in the draft. That takes a few (bigger) names off the list.
One draft prospect at tackle that the Packers could consider is Billy Turner out of North Dakota State University. As part of an FCS power, Turner had a great career with NDSU. He played in the Senior Bowl and with nice power in the running game he was able to get some good push off the snaps. He showed quickness, and the more reps he took the better he played. He has incredible strength, which makes him a candidate to play at both tackle and guard positions. I’d say he’s the biggest small school prospect at tackle.
I’ve seen him play and there’s no doubt he could stick any Bear that tries to get past him.
Another second day mid-round prospect the Packers could consider is Justin Britt out of Missouri. Britt is a stout man that is still quick enough to cut off any outside rush or blitz.
He’s started 36 games at LT in the last three seasons with Missouri, but he missed 3 games after tearing his ACL. He has played nearly every position on the offensive line, which shows his versatility. If charged with the task of protecting the most valuable quarterback’s blind side, his quickness and strength would get the job done.
We don’t need an offensive tackle and I don’t to see the Packers investing a high draft pick on a tackle, or any offensive linemen but a later pick may prove to be valuable.
That’s where these two come in.