Kenn Korb: OL Joe Dahl, Washington State
Previous picks: DT Andrew Billings, LB Jaylon Smith, ILB Scooby Wright, OLB Yannick Ngakoue, TE Jerell Adams, RB Paul Perkins
The Packers faced a ton of issues due to injuries along their offensive line at different points of the season; their depth wasn’t quite as good as it seemed at first, and players like Don Barclay were given snaps that they obviously proved to be unable to handle.
The Packers have had success with late-round offensive linemen, finding multiple starters and depth pieces there in recent years; one of those players is LT David Bakhtiari – someone who Dahl has received comparisons to.
Dahl has multiple positives working for him, but those do come with some caveats that help explain why he would possibly be available at this point in the draft.
He projects best as a tackle and could ultimately slide to work at any spot on the line… but sources such as Pro Football Focus suggest a move to guard wouldn’t work out, limiting his potential usefulness as a multi-positional backup somewhat.
He has strong movement skills and doesn’t normally get beat off the edge, but he can be overpowered too (much like Bakhtiari). He posted the top pass-protection grade for linemen in each of the last two years, but part of the success could be more so attributed to the quick-hit offense he played in than his overall ability to sustain good blocking.
Even taking the weaknesses of his game into account however, Dahl would be an absolute steal at this point in the draft. For one, the oft-compared-to Bakhtiari had/has many of the same issues as a player, yet mock re-drafts consistently see him going in the first round of that draft regardless.
Also, there are multiple guys along the offensive line set for free agency following this year (starters Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, and backup J.C. Tretter); the odds of all returning are low, but even if they do another quality option to plug in would be useful.
Next: Freddie Boston