Everyone around the NFL knows the Green Bay Packers pride themselves on quarterback play.
They have had two of the greatest signal-callers to ever play the position in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. For those players to play well, they need to be protected. They need to be protected by a strong offensive line.
That is exactly what the Packers also pride themselves on year in, year out. The question this season is how the team will stay upright at the beginning of 2022 without All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins.
Both are trying to return from ACL injuries. Bakhtiari should be back sooner rather than later, especially due to his low level of concern for his knee. Jenkins’ return might take a little longer despite him being “ahead of schedule”.
So, who is the most likely candidate to start at left guard, which is Jenkins’ predominant position?
The team added versatile rookies in Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom in April’s draft. Also, younger veterans in Jon Runyan Jr. and Royce Newman are going to be playing important snaps on the interior of the offensive line.
Newman appears to be the starter at right guard, while Runyan should be the most likely candidate to start at left guard. Runyan has not missed a game in his soon-to-be three-year career.
He can play all along the offensive line, which is such an important characteristic of Green Bay offensive lines. Versatility. Also, he has great football blood. His dad played 14 seasons in the NFL along the offensive line.
The Packers’ starting offensive line should look something like this (left to right): Bakhtiari (if healthy), Runyan, Josh Myers, Newman, and Yosh Nijman.
Once Jenkins comes back, he will assume the role of left guard or right tackle.
Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom will provide great depth because they can play multiple positions. The Packers might not have household names protecting Aaron Rodgers to start 2022, but the line will be deeper and younger, which will allow them to play faster and quicker as an offense.