Packers: Paris Johnson Jr. should be first-round target in 2023 NFL Draft

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Whether David Bakhtiari returns in 2023 or not, the Green Bay Packers should make offensive tackle a priority in the draft.

Bakhtiari is under contract, but his high cap hit could be an issue. Yosh Nijman is a free agent this offseason, leaving the Packers with some uncertainty at tackle.

Even if Bakhtiari and Nijman are back in 2023, the Packers should look to add a tackle in the early rounds.

In the short term, they would add some depth and competition at right tackle for Nijman and Zach Tom. Long term, an early draft pick could eventually replace Bakhtiari as the Packers’ starting left tackle.

Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. would make a ton of sense in the first round.

Johnson is talented enough to start from Day 1, although he wouldn’t necessarily need to do that in Green Bay if Bakhtiari returns.

And a year as the swing tackle learning from a future Hall-of-Famer could help Johnson take his game to the next level before starting at left tackle in 2024.

Johnson offers versatility, having spent time at guard previously, but he can dominate at left tackle.

“Johnson has the makings of an early NFL starter at left tackle with the ceiling to grow into an impact starter and pillar for his unit at the next level,” wrote The Draft Network’s Joe Marino.

According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson only allowed 10 pressures at Ohio State last season, his first year at left tackle.

That’s how good he was at a new position. Now imagine two or three years from now with a chance to develop his game. With his athleticism and ability, Johnson can become an excellent left tackle in the NFL.

Whether it’s to start immediately or a pick for the future, Johnson to Green Bay would make a ton of sense in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.