It’s been talked about ad nauseam this offseason, but the trade of four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes the Green Bay Packers offense Jordan Love’s offense.
The 24-year-old with the limited field time will have his challenges this coming season. Notably, he’ll be going into battle with a crew of very young and relatively inexperienced pass catchers. This will make for some rough times, especially early on, as Love and his players learn to work with one another and develop the kind of rhythm that makes for NFL success.
To do all of that, though, Love is going to need a strong, steady, and dependable offensive line in front of him. The Packers have a solid, versatile core for the line– especially with the veteran five-time All-Pro David Bakhtiari apparently healthy for the first time in a long time– but there are a couple of areas of question and some possible tweaks that could make the wall of protection for Love even stronger.
At center, some have said that Josh Myers, on the healthy offensive line, was the weakest link. In Myers’ second year of pro ball, he earned a very weak 60.4 grade from Pro Football Focus for his uneven performances, and this was working behind Aaron Rodgers’ veteran presence. With Jordan Love at the helm now, one assumes that there will be little patience with Myers if he doesn’t perform at a high-end NFL level.
Ready to take Myers’ spot could be the versatile second year lineman Zach Tom. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has already admitted to eyeing Tom as a possible center, which he feels may actually be his best position.
Safe bets on the Packers’ offensive line are Bakhtiari at left tackle, Elgton Jenkins at left guard, and Jon Runyan Jr. at right guard.
That leaves right tackle as a possible open spot.
Yosh Nijman has proven to be a diamond in the rough, going from an undrafted find in 2019 to a starter who’s had success on both the left and right sides of the line. The three-year veteran, though, was just signed to a one-year extension by the Packers and could very well explore the free agent market at the end of this coming season. Nijman, who played 555 snaps at right tackle last season, but was injured late in the year, is an answer now, but he may not be for much longer.
If Tom is moved over to play center, Nijman will play out the full season on Love’s strong side. If Myers stays at center, there’ll be a bit of scuffle for playing time at right tackle between Nijman and Tom, who produced similar numbers last season when it comes to allowing pressures (although Nijman had the more extensive field time of the two).
All in all, the Packers’ offensive line is good and has solid depth. For that reason, the front office didn’t feel the need to select any offensive lineman in this year’s draft. It will be interesting, however, to see how the competition at center and right tackle plays out.