These are not our rankings, of course. Thus, the asterisk. We’re not going to sit down and try to grade every single offensive lineman in the league, but Pro Football Focus did. They say Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari is the best pass blocker in the in the NFL.
You would get no argument from us. We didn’t think much of Bakhtiari’s performance in past seasons. He was really just a middle-of-the-road guy. This season, he became a top-tier left tackle, as evidenced by his second-team All Pro nod.
Nowhere was Bakhtiari better than in pass protection. What’s even more impressive is that for much of the season, the Packers were no threat to even try running the football. So opposing defenses knew pass was coming probably 70 percent of the time. Throw in Aaron Rodgers’ desire to hold the ball and extend plays and what Bakhtiari was able to do is nothing short of amazing.
(Bakhtiari) was charged for fewer total pressure (23 combined sacks, hits and hurries) than his own quarterback (24 total for Aaron Rodgers) was over the season. Given that Rodgers held the ball longer on average than every QB in the league outside of Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor, Bakhtiari’s performance as a pass protector was astounding, and earned him the highest PFF pass-blocking grade (93.4) of any offensive tackle. Over the entire season, and including the playoffs, he was responsible for Aaron Rodgers hitting the ground just four times.
It now seems like ancient history when we were talking about 2016 second-round draft pick Jason Spriggs one day replacing Bakhtiari at left tackle. Obviously, the Packers have canned that notion as well. They did so when they wisely extended Bakhtiari’s contract early in the season.
Spriggs better start learning to play right guard.