In an off-season, position-by-position analysis of the Packers, ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde provided an outlook on the team’s offensive line. While the depth chart isn’t settled, the team is relatively content with its depth and competition heading into 2014. Key points:
- The Pack boasts nearly $30MM in cap space.
- After losing starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga to a season-ending injury in training camp, rookie David Bakhtiari “stepped up in a big way,” but played with inconsistency you’d expect of a fourth-round rookie.
- Left guard Josh Sitton was the most consistent blocker, according to Pro Football Focus, allowing just one sack and eight hurries. At 27, he’s also the oldest of the group.
- Center Evan Dietrich-Smith‘s contract is up, but line coach James Campen wants him back: “I think [Dietrich-Smith] grew as the season went along,” said Campen. “He got better with communication [and] his command with tempo and getting people set and where they had to align. I think still he’s a player that has room to grow.” Wilde expects Dietrich-Smith to be re-signed.
- Bulaga, Bakhtiari, 2013 right tackle starter Don Barclay and 2011 first-rounder Derek Sherrod are viable options and will compete for the starting tackle jobs.
- The team “will almost certainly” add another lineman to the mix in the draft.