Packers add tackle in NFL Spin Zone 2021 mock draft

Alex Leatherwood (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Alex Leatherwood (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Following the release of Rick Wagner, tackle becomes an even bigger need than it already was for the Green Bay Packers.

With Wagner no longer on the roster, the Packers are without an experienced backup who likely would’ve been in line to start early in the 2021 season if David Bakhtiari isn’t ready to go as he recovers from a torn ACL.

It’s possible the Packers could still sign a free agent tackle, or even bring back Wagner down the line, but another strong possibility is they strengthen the position at some point during the draft this April.

NFL Spin Zone’s Randy Gurzi sees it happening in the first round of his latest mock draft, with the Packers selecting Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 29th overall pick.

Gurzi notes that Leatherwood could be the Packers’ next starting right tackle, giving them their long-term replacement for Bryan Bulaga. However, the Packers love versatility from their offensive linemen, and Gurzi adds that Leatherwood could possibly “play inside if they decide that’s where he’s best suited”.

From Elgton Jenkins to Billy Turner to Lucas Patrick, the Packers have a number of offensive linemen able to play at multiple positions. It ensures the team has good depth when there are injuries, while also giving Matt LaFleur more options when it comes to finding the best starting five.

By drafting a talented player like Leatherwood, Green Bay could start him at right tackle or ask him to move inside with Turner continuing his role at tackle.

After the offensive line’s struggles against a top pass rush in the NFC Championship Game, adding depth will be a priority this offseason. Corey Linsley’s future is uncertain and it could lead to one of the starting guards like Jenkins moving inside to center, meaning more depth would be needed at other positions.

Leatherwood could help Green Bay in 2021.