Green Bay Packers should take offensive lineman early in draft

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

The Green Bay Packers have a number of picks early on in the draft, and they should look to use one of them on a top offensive lineman.

The rumors that the Green Bay Packers will be taking an offensive lineman early in the draft are growing. Throughout the pre-draft process, they have brought in six offensive linemen for workouts or interviews. Of those six, three of them are expected to go on the first day of the draft, and they haven’t even brought in the consensus top tackle in Jawaan Taylor out of Florida.

If Brian Burns, Ed Oliver and the tight end that they have at the top of their board are gone at number 12 overall, they could easily decide to take whichever of the top lineman are available. Andre Dillard and Jonah Williams are both expected to be on the board when Green Bay makes their first selection. They may not be the supreme athletes that the team typically looks for on the offensive line, but they do have good size and mobility for the position.

Green Bay hitched their wagon to quarterback Aaron Rodgers with the contract they gave him last year. If he’s on the sideline, what good does that contract do for you? You have to keep him upright by investing in young strong picks for the future even if it isn’t the biggest need you have right now. That’s how the Dallas Cowboys developed their line into the best group in football. It just took some time to get it done.

David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley and Billy Turner are locked into their spots for the next few years. Lane Taylor and Bryan Bulaga are up in there though. Bulaga is a free agent after this season, and he’s been oft-injured throughout his career. Taylor has just two seasons left on his deal, and he has struggled over the last couple of seasons as the starting left guard. If you can grab the future at one of those spots for the next decade, you do it without question.

Another aspect that tracks to the idea of the Packers grabbing a lineman early in the draft is the presence of first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. LaFleur’s offense is predicated on utilizing the run and pass equally, especially by using the run to set up the pass. The Packers offensive line is more built towards a passing style of attack. They can start that transition by grabbing a player in the first or second round that fits what they’re trying to do moving forward.

Since 2010, the Packers have taken three offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the draft. Those players were Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod and Jason Spriggs. Two of those three didn’t pan out for a couple of different reasons. Due to their development staff, the team has been content to select guys in the fourth and fifth rounds to become their starters. They don’t have to do that this year, and they shouldn’t do it to get a true blue-chip player in the trenches.

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Keeping Rodgers upright at the peak of his powers is priority number one for LaFleur and the Packers as a whole. You do that by investing in offensive linemen that allow him to pick defenses apart from the pocket. You also do that by giving your young stud running back open lanes to run through rather than forcing him to scrap for yards in the backfield. Best player available has been a strategy I’ve grown fonder of as of late. If that’s a lineman, then so be it. It’s a great choice.