The Green Bay Packers created a hole on their offensive line when they decided to move right tackle Bryan Bulaga to left tackle. Rookie fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari appears to be in the mix to plug that hole.
He’ll have plenty of competition though.
Bakhtiari will have to beat out last year’s starter at left tackle, Marshall Newhouse, Bulaga’s injury replacement Don Barclay and former first-round pick Derek Sherrod, if he’s ever healthy.
Although we didn’t think Bakhtiari would be anything more than a backup this season when the Packers drafted him, his odds to be a starter don’t look half bad at the moment.
You, me, the Packers and the rest of the NFL are well aware of Newhouse’s shortcomings. Barclay is a hell of a run blocker, but consistently needed help in pass protection during his rookie season. Then there’s Sherrod, who’s really an unknown factor because he’s hardly played in two seasons.
All that adds up to a lot of question marks, which leaves the door for Bakhtiari wide open.
We know Bakhtiari is motivated because he feels like he should have been drafted sooner. And maybe he should have. In any case, his draft position tells you the Packers think he has more talent than Newhouse (fifth-round pick) or Barclay (undrafted).
The biggest obstacles for Bakhtiari will be switching positions — he played left tackle in college — and his weight. He’s currently the Packers smallest offensive lineman at just over 300 pounds.
If you want a training camp competition to keep an eye on, right tackle should be the most hotly contested.