A lot of Green Bay Packers fans have been hemming and hawing about replacing T.J. Lang at right guard. The guy playing behind that line doesn’t sound too concerned.
Aaron Rodgers expressed confidence in the guys currently on the roster and suggested backup and former tackle Don Barclay is the guy, at least currently.
“I don’t know that we need a guy in the draft. I really don’t,” Rodgers said. “I like the guys that we have, and I think there’s going to be a great competition between those guys. Obviously Donnie’s played a lot of football for us, and I was really happy to see him come back. Not only is he a great friend and a great locker-room guy, but he can play. And then the two young guys with Lucas and Kyle.
“I look for them to make jumps and to push Donnie. We always add it seems like every year a receiver to the mix and a lineman to the mix who can help us, and I’m sure it will be no different this year, but I like the guys we got.”
Barclay transitioned to guard last offseason after three seasons and 23 starts as a tackle. While he was never much of a tackle, Barclay looked much better suited for the guard position. He ended up getting one start in 2016 and will likely enter training camp at the top of the depth chart at right guard.
Kyle Murphy, drafted as a right tackle in 2016, will be thrown into the mix at right guard as well. Lucas Patrick, a 2016 undrafted free agent, is the third player in the mix.
Of course, there’s always the possibility the Packers could draft someone. However, everyone will tell you this is a weak year for offensive linemen, which suggests that even if the Packers do draft someone, that player won’t be ready to start in year one.
The Packers’ free agency playbook would also seem to suggest Barclay is the guy. They quickly realized they were going to lose Lang and re-signed Barclay to a one-year deal on the opening day of free agency. That’s also the day they re-signed Nick Perry, their No. 1 free agent priority, and the day that many of the big-name free agent signings are made around the league.
That says the Packers weren’t going to risk losing Barclay and they had a plan for him.
Is it the best situation to be in? No, but the Packers’ offense isn’t going to break down because they substituted Don Barclay for T.J. Lang.