Packers 2021 offseason position review: Offensive line

Green Bay Packers - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

For a number of years, the Green Bay Packers have had one of the best offensive lines in football.

The million dollar question entering the 2020 season was whether the line could continue that without Bryan Bulaga, who departed in free agency and was replaced by Rick Wagner.

A returning Lane Taylor gave the Packers more flexibility at the interior spots, and they also drafted three interior linemen on the final day of April’s draft.

How did it all pan out? And what’s next for 2021?

2020 season review

The Packers’ offensive line had to deal with plenty of adversity throughout the year, but the way they responded was incredible. Starting guard Lane Taylor was lost for the season early on after he had put together an excellent summer.

Various other injuries meant head coach Matt LaFleur had to continuously move linemen around, which is why Elgton Jenkins played snaps at every position along the line at some point.

Yet, despite all of that, this group outperformed every other in the NFL throughout the season. Aaron Rodgers was sacked a career-low 20 times and, yes, that includes the two years he missed multiple games.

ESPN had the Packers’ offensive line ranked in first place in both its run-block and pass-block win rate metrics. They had multiple linemen rank in the top-10 at their respective positions.

Center Corey Linsley was a first-team All-Pro. Guard Elgton Jenkins a Pro Bowler. Left tackle David Bakhtiari was both.

What’s next in 2021?

Linsley is set to hit free agency. He’s been a reliable center for the Packers since 2014 and put together a career-year in ’20. With a reduced salary cap, it seems likely he won’t be back next season.

In Linsley does indeed sign elsewhere, will Jenkins or Lucas Patrick slide over to center, will a second-year player like Jake Hanson earn an opportunity, or will the Packers look to free agency or the draft for help?

That decision will impact the others. If Jenkins moves out of the guard spot, will Billy Turner move back inside? Will the Packers draft a tackle? Will they re-sign Lane Taylor coming off an ACL tear?

Who will start at tackle in Week 1 if Bakhtiari isn’t ready to go as he also returns from a torn ACL?

Plenty of questions lie ahead, but four of the Packers’ five starters are under contract. Even if Bakhtiari isn’t ready for the season opener, he should return at some point in 2021.

An offseason addition or two will help, but the offensive line should be strong again next season.

dark. Next. 3 free agency targets for the Packers in 2021