Packers: Jalen Mayfield can be long-time answer at right tackle

Jalen Mayfield (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Jalen Mayfield (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cornerback, offensive tackle, or defensive tackle would all make sense for the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

There’s no reason for the Packers to panic at offensive tackle despite their struggles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass rush in the NFC Championship Game. After all, the offensive line ranked No. 1 in pass block win rate and run block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN.

That said, the Packers have moved from Rick Wagner, who provided excellent backup at the tackle position in 2020. Not to mention that All-Pro David Bakhtiari could miss some time in 2021 as he continues to recover from a torn ACL.

While Green Bay shouldn’t draft for immediate need, it needs to find a long-term answer at right tackle. Billy Turner played well in that spot this past season but has the versatility to play multiple positions.

In a strong tackle class, the Packers should make the most of it and look for a long-time starter.

In the first round, Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield could be the answer.

Mayfield has the potential to play at either tackle or guard, and the Packers love versatility along the offensive line. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah believes he “looks like a Day 1 starting right tackle” and has Mayfield 24th in his prospect rankings for this year’s draft.

Mayfield could start immediately for the Packers, which would be ideal if Bakhtiari has to miss the start of the season. Turner could play at either tackle spot with Mayfield on the other side. If he impresses early on, Turner could move inside to guard once Bakhtiari returns.

The Packers could look for a starting cornerback early on, perhaps some defensive line help or — yes — a wide receiver. But if they want some more offensive line help early on, Mayfield could be a great choice.