3 Offensive Line Solutions For Green Bay Packers

Photo: © Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When I read the Packers' offensive line room, here's what I see:

Corey Linsley at center: great player. Two years left on the healthy deal he got a couple years ago, which he has paid back nicely.

Two stud tackles in David Bakhtiari (27 years old) and Bryan Bulaga (30 years old) -- though the health concerns lurk. Bulaga has been healthy for all 16 regular season games once in the last seven seasons. He hits free agency after this season, while Bakhtiari's contract ends in 2021.

And then the guards -- woof. Lane Taylor remains the starting left guard in name, while I'd imagine FA addition Billy Turner will start at right guard, given the money he signed for. But I don't even love Turner as a player, so this is touch-and-go for me.

The Packers need immediate help on the interior, as Taylor is a liability in pass protection and Bulaga is a medical concern -- his impeding departure makes tackle a long-term concern as well. Aaron Rodger is older, less healthy, and less mobile -- protecting him is a must for new HC Matt Lafleur.

If I were in the Green Bay War Room, this is how I'd like to go about it.

Early: Kansas State iOL/OT Dalton Risner

Attacking with versatility makes the most sense here, as Risner can both win the LG job in camp, as well as slide in for Bulaga/Bakhtiari should one go down with injury. Because of his diverse starting background and powerful frame, he's truly a move piece on the offensive line, which is perfect for the Packers' needs.

Love Risner's ferocity, upper body power, and willingness to win early in sets -- that's the way of the modern tackle, if you ask me. Risner would likely cost the Packers 30 overall, though if they can snag him at 44, that's a big steal.

Mid: Wisconsin iOL/OT Michael Deiter

Staying local and staying versatile. Deiter has double-digit starts at left tackle, left guard, and center -- that's almost unheard of at the college level. At a blue-blood OL program like Wisconsin, that tells you something about Deiter's football intelligence, technique, and durability -- all traits that Green Bay should value.

Deiter is an option at 44 but more likely a target at 75. That would be tremendous value on my board.

Late: Northern Illinois OT Max Scharping

Staying local (ish) but giving up a bit of versatility. Scharping had a few starts at guard during his redshirt freshman season, but he was always recruited and envisioned as a tackle. That said, some teams like him better on the inside, as his greatest weakness on film is foot quickness, and he struggles against explosive rushers.

Because we're looking at late options, we likely aren't drafting a starter at the interior, so I focused on tackle depth with some interior ability, even if it is a projection. I like Scharping around pick 150 for the Packers -- he like, Risner and Deiter before him, bring multiple seasons worth of starts, great power, and a gritty tenacity to the table.


Written By:

Benjamin Solak

NFL Draft Analyst

NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Deputy Editor of Bleeding Green Nation. Undergrad at UChicago.

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