Packers may have tipped their hand about key free agent's future

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY

The Green Bay Packers have several challenging decisions to make in free agency. Who should they bring back?

Green Bay's unrestricted free agents include running back AJ Dillon, All-Pro kick returner Keisean Nixon, and former first-round pick Darnell Savage.

Another name to watch is guard Jon Runyan Jr. Runyan is a key starter along the offensive line, having played at both guard positions. He can also play at center if needed. Runyan has started 50 games for the Packers over the past three seasons but faces an uncertain future.

The Packers' pre-draft work may have given us a clue about where they stand.

Packers' draft focus on offensive linemen could indicate Jon Runyan Jr. is gone

This month, The Draft Network's Justin Melo has interviewed two offensive line prospects: South Florida's Donovan Jennings and West Virginia's Doug Nester. Both are potential Day 3 targets for the Packers.

One thing they both have in common? They've spoken with the Packers.

"My meeting with the Green Bay Packers went very well," Jennings told Melo. Meanwhile, Nester named the Packers one of his "standout interviews."

Why is this significant? It suggests the Packers are leaning heavily toward the interior offensive line positions. Jennings and Nester have experience playing tackle and guard, offering the versatility Green Bay loves, but both are more likely to play interior positions in the NFL.

Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins is the Packers' starter at left guard, but they could need a new right guard if Runyan departs.

Runyan sounded like he was preparing for the possibility of playing elsewhere when he spoke to FanSided earlier this month, and the Packers' interest in interior offensive linemen in this year's draft seems to back that up.

Green Bay will interview many prospects between now and the draft, but it's no surprise Brian Gutekunst is doing his homework on potential Day 3 offensive line targets. The Packers are masters of finding starting linemen in the draft's later rounds. Runyan, a former sixth-round pick, is an example of this.

Time will tell whether Runyan is done in Green Bay, but it won't be surprising if the Packers bolster their offensive line depth on Day 3 of the draft. They may need a new starter.

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