Between 2019 and 2022, the Green Bay Packers drafted 37 players. Ten of them were offensive linemen.
It's a smart strategy. If you don't have at least solid offensive line play, it's game over. The Packers are learning that the hard way this season. You can never have enough talented offensive linemen, and given the physicality of the position, depth is important.
The Packers made 13 picks in this year's draft but, surprisingly, none on offensive linemen. Already, this looks like a mistake.
Packers will regret not drafting any offensive linemen
It's not like the Packers didn't need offensive line help entering the draft. We all knew the uncertainty around how many games David Bakhtiari could play. We knew Josh Myers didn't have a great 2022 season and that Royce Newman wasn't good enough to start games.
But Green Bay opted against drafting an offensive lineman, instead gambling on the development of the young players already on the roster.
The Packers' offensive line depth has been tested after David Bakhtiari's season-ending injury.
Second-year Rasheed Walker replaced Bakhtiari in the starting lineup. Walker was a seventh-round pick last season and played four special teams snaps in his rookie year. That's it. He's now the Packers' starting left tackle.
To his credit, Walker has exceeded expectations. According to ESPN, he ranks 10th among tackles in pass block win rate. However, Walker has been inconsistent, and his run blocking is concerning. It's not surprising. He is a second-year player starting in the NFL for the first time.
The interior positions are more concerning. Outside of veteran Elgton Jenkins, the Packers have concerns at guard and center. Josh Myers is far too inconsistent. The Packers gave extensive preseason snaps to Zach Tom and Jon Runyan at center, clearly showing their lack of confidence in Myers.
The Packers are also one injury at guard away from disaster. Royce Newman filled in for Jenkins earlier in the season, and to predictable results. No matter how bad things went for Newman, the Packers still wouldn't turn to second-year Sean Rhyan, which, again, tells us all we need to know about their confidence in him.
If the season ended today, the Packers would likely need upgrades at every position except left guard.
Walker has been solid at left tackle. Tom is a guaranteed starter, whether at tackle, center, or guard. But the Packers may need three new starters next season and much more depth.
They have young talent like Caleb Jones and Luke Tenuta to develop. One of them may step into a starting role next season.
But that proves the point. That is precisely why you need to keep drafting offensive linemen. Even if they don't contribute immediately, you always have talented young players for the future.
The Packers added no offensive linemen via the draft this year. Even if rookie additions weren't yet ready to contribute, Green Bay would have more talent for the future. Instead, the Packers will enter 2024 needing several reinforcements along the offensive line.