Packers: Matt LaFleur names top three contenders at guard

Green Bay Packers, Jon Runyan Jr.Packers16 11 Hoffman
Green Bay Packers, Jon Runyan Jr.Packers16 11 Hoffman /

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur seems to have narrowed down his candidates to start at guard this season.

With so many talented interior offensive linemen on the roster, there were many different directions the Green Bay Packers could go at the two guard spots this season.

For now, it seems head coach Matt LaFleur has narrowed it down to the top three candidates for the two starting spots.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, LaFleur highlighted Lucas Patrick, rookie Royce Newman, and Jon Runyan Jr. Interestingly, he didn’t include Ben Braden, who has impressed this summer.

“I think it really comes down, right now for us, to the interior, the two guard spots,” LaFleur said. “Whatever the combination may be of a Lucas Patrick, a Royce Newman, a Jon Runyan. I’d say they are the most likely candidates to fill those two spots.”

Patrick is one of the most experienced players at the interior spots on the offensive line and he was excellent in his 15 starts for the Packers last season.

Newman was a fourth-round pick by the Packers earlier this year. He can play at multiple positions along the line but looks set to line up at guard for Green Bay. After two preseason games, he’s earned the Packers’ highest Pro Football Focus grade on offense, a sign of just how well he’s played.

Runyan was a Day 3 draft pick last season and looked comfortable whenever the Packers needed him. He was a backup and ended up playing on 15 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference, impressing each time he was on the field.

The fact Elgton Jenkins wasn’t mentioned — a Pro Bowler at left guard last season — likely means he will be starting at left tackle while All-Pro David Bakhtiari remains out of action.