With All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari still working his way back from his ACL injury and the entrance of three more rookie offensive linemen, the tackle position is a mixed bag at the moment for the Green Bay Packers.
It’s deep but in flux. Who are the players that will be taking on the roles of protecting the edges for their Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers?
Let’s take a look under the microscope.
Packers 53-man roster predictions: Tackles
David Bakhtiari: No. 69 is not just one of the best offensive tackles in the league right now. He is one of the best blindside protectors of the last decade. He is moving towards the Hall of Fame.
The five-time All-Pro missed virtually all of 2021 while coming back from a torn ACL that he suffered on New Year’s Eve two seasons ago. Once fully healthy, Green Bay’s offensive line will be on a whole new level.
Yosh Nijman: Nijman has not missed any of his 33 career games. He stepped in for both Bakhtiari and versatile offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins after they both went down with knee injuries.
The former Virginia Tech star held his own while going up against the likes of T.J. Watt, Nick Bosa, Robert Quinn, and Myles Garrett. He could take over at right tackle after the team cut veteran tackle Billy Turner this offseason.
Rasheed Walker: The rookie from Penn State made 10 starts as a senior. He was named to the third-team All-Big Ten roster. Walker stands at 6-6 and weighs 324 pounds, which allows him to hold his own against shorter, smaller edge rushers.
Going to a place like Green Bay will allow him to grow and learn from some of the best offensive linemen and coaches in the game.
Cole Van Lanen: Van Lanen spent the majority of 2021 on the Packers’ practice squad. He did play in Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings. Lanen played in 45 games in four seasons for the Wisconsin Badgers. He started 19 of those games at left tackle.
In 2020, he was given first-team All-Big Ten honors. Playing in the state of Wisconsin during his college days and the start of his pro career is a huge advantage in the cold weather too.
Keep in mind that Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Royce Newman, and Zach Tom are all versatile and can play both guard and tackle. The players listed above are predominantly tackles. So, the Packers have a lot of depth if unfortunate injuries happen.