In Peter King's post-Super Bowl Monday Morning Quarterback column, he gives his final rankings for the top 15 teams in the NFL, listing the Green Bay Packers at No. 8 overall.
Regardless of King's or anyone's opinion on where the Packers rank, the curious part of his article is his quick take on the Packers. King makes one for every team, but his thought on Green Bay seemed to come out of left field.
Out of any hundreds of things King could have said about the Packers, he chose to write this: "I’d be surprised if Ted Thompson doesn’t take a tackle with one of his first two picks in May."
For a team that got unexpectedly solid play from rookie David Bakhtiari protecting Aaron Rodgers' backside in 2013, combined with the presumed returns of former first round draft choices Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod, there's plenty to be optimistic about regarding the tackle position in Green Bay.
Unless, of course, the recoveries of Bulaga and Sherrod from their respective injuries aren't going as well as hoped.
Bulaga missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL suffered in training camp, and that's coming off a year in which he missed the final seven games in 2012, landing on injured reserve with a fractured hip.
Sherrod finally resumed his playing career in 2013 after gruesomely breaking both his tibia and fibula back in 2011, but saw only six snaps on offense the entire season. The rest of playing time came on special teams.
Both players enter critical seasons in 2014, hoping to prove they're over the injuries that kept them out for so long in 2014.
Only the Packers know exactly how well Bulaga and Sherrod are faring in their recovery, but it's not as if they're publicly sharing intimate details of their rehab. Nor are they letting anyone know which sides of the offensive line––left or right––they plan to play them.
It certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see the Packers select an offensive tackle at some point over the course of seven rounds in the NFL draft, but seeing one taken in the first two rounds may come as a shock to some given the perceived needs on other areas of the team, such as safety, inside linebacker and tight end.
After all, if Bakhtiari, Bulaga and Sherrod do happen to be healthy, there might not be room for a rookie to see the field at all. That's a big "if," to be sure.
But perhaps King is privvy to more information than he's letting on.