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Breaking Down Each of David Bakhtiari's Snaps in the Packers Preseason Opener

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Breaking Down Each of David Bakhtiari's Snaps in the Packers Preseason Opener

The debut of Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals has been viewed as overwhelmingly positive, including from Brian Carriveau here and myself in last night's game recap. At first viewing, the fourth-round pick appeared to handle himself quite well in his first live action against an NFL opponent.

Instead of trusting my own first impression, I decided to go back and look at each of his snaps specifically to decide on a more accurate verdict.

Sometimes, your eyes don't betray you.

Bakhtiari was excellent against the Cardinals, especially in the passing game. Over 20 total passing plays, the rookie allowed zero pressures and rarely looked challenged as a blindside protector. The Packers gave him help on exactly one passing play. His other 19 plays were a mix of good and bad in the run game, but this should be seen as nothing but a very encouraging start for the 21-year-old left tackle.

Here's a complete breakdown of his 39 snaps from Friday night:

Snap 1

Play: Interior run to James Starks

Bakhtiari: Allows defensive end to get up field, likely by design. The defender takes himself out of the play.

Snap 2

Play: Aaron Rodgers takes advantage of too many players on the field

Bakhtiari: Pass rusher is late getting to Bakhtiari because of the defensive confusion, but he keeps the pocket clean by sliding his feet and widening the rush attempt. No help is given on the play.

Snap 3

Play: Run to the left side to Starks

Bakhtiari: Originally engages Matt Shaughnessy on the block attempt but he quickly allows the defender to slide inside and make the tackle on a two-yard gain.

Snap 4

Play: Quick drop and throw from Rodgers to Jermichael Finley

Bakhtiari: Rodgers' throw happens in just over a second, which frees the offensive line of any true responsibility. Bakhtiari handles his block without help.

Snap 5

Play: Rodgers hits the hot read against a blitz to Jeremy Ross

Bakhtiari: The blitz comes off the left side, where Bakhtiari is left alone to block two players. Rodgers obviously saw this pre-snap and went to his hot read immediately. The defender Bakhtiari blocks provides no pressure.

Snap 6

Play: Run to the right side to Starks

Bakhtiari: The entire offensive line attempts to wipe the Cardinals' front down the line of scrimmage, which would have potentially allowed a cutback lane. There isn't much push, and Bakhtiari doesn't provide much at the point of attack on the backside.

Snap 7

Play: Run to the right side to Starks

Bakhtiari: It's a stretch play to the opposite side of Bakhtiari, which gives him very little responsibility.

Snap 8

Play: Rodgers complete to James Jones for 50 yards

Bakhtiari: On third down and 2, the Packers give Bakhtiari no help and let Rodgers attack downfield. The left tackle does just fine, allowing Shaughnessy to get upfield before engaging and walling off the pocket. There is no pressure to Rodgers' blindside.

Snap 9 

Play: Shotgun handoff to Starks to the left side

Bakhtiari: The Packers combo block with Bakhtiari and Josh Sitton on the interior defensive tackle. There's a sliver of space provided for Starks, who picks up four yards.

Snap 10

Play: Inside screen to Jones from the shotgun

Bakhtiari: This is a quick hitter to Bakhtiari's side, which limits the blocking he needs to do here.

Snap 11

Play: Quick drop and throw from Rodgers to Finley

Bakhtiari: The Packers slide the protection down, leaving a free runner at the quarterback from Rodgers' left side. Just over a second after the snap, he attempts to find Finley in the end zone without getting hit.

Snap 13

Play: Shotgun hand off to Starks inside on fourth down

Bakhtiari: The left tackle is asked to take the defensive end out of the play's outcome, which Bakhtiari does without much trouble.

Snap 14 

Play: Inside handoff to Starks out of the inverted wishbone

Bakhtiari: The play isn't behind him, but he engages his man at the point and takes him out of the equation.

Snap 15

Play: Inside handoff to Starks

Bakhtiari: Again, the play isn't designed to run behind the left tackle. However, Bakhtiari appears to lose his footing while trying to engage and whiffs on the block, to little consequence.

Snap 16

Play: Shotgun pass to D.J. Williams on third down

Bakhtiari: The Packers again give the rookie left tackle no help on a third down. He faces a series of speed moves from the pass rusher but stuffs the attempt without issue.

Snap 17 

Play: Stretch run to Starks to the left side

Bakhtiari: While Bakhtiari originally gets underneath the pads of his man, there isn't enough push from the rest of the line for Starks to find much room.

Snap 18

Play: Shotgun, Harrell intercepted

Bakhtiari: Another pass, and another instance where Bakhtiari handles himself fine out on an island. He again does well to allow the rusher to take himself out of the play by moving his feet and widening the attempt.

Snap 19

Play: Interior run to Starks out of a jumbo formation

Bakhtiari: After helping clean up Sitton's original block, Bakhtiari gets to the second level and successfully puts a hat on Daryl Washington.

Snap 20

Play: Interior run to Starks

Bakhtiari: The left tackle walls off his man and allows Starks to cut back to the middle of the field, where he picks up seven yards.

Snap 21

Play: Run to the right side to Starks.

Bakhtiari: On third down, the Packers run a heavy set to the right side and pick up the first down. Bakhtiari isn't a factor in the play.

Snap 22

Play: Stretch run to the left side to Johnathan Franklin.

Bakhtiari: As was the case on an earlier run play, Bakhtiari is asked to make a combo block before getting to the second level. He probably doesn't get enough of his first block, however. At the second level, he does well to wall off the inside linebacker, which would have provided a huge running lane for Franklin had he escaped the first level.

Snap 23

Play: Harrell five-step drop, incomplete to D.J. Williams

Bakhtiari: Despite a quick throw and tight pocket, Bakhtiari anchors well and keeps the left side without issue. The Packers gave no help.

Snap 24

Play: Shotgun, Harrell to Tyrone Walker on third down

Bakhtiari: Harrell identifies a free blitzer and instructs Franklin to slide protection to the left side. Bakhtiari blocks his rusher without issue as Harrell is kept clean on third down.

Snap 25

Play: Inside zone run to Franklin

Bakhtiari: The Packers attempt to wash the line down to the offense's right, with Bahktiari and Sitton both crashing to potentially open up a cutback lane. Franklin does cut back, but there's little space.

Snap 26

Play: Shotgun, Harrell scramble for seven yards

Bakhtiari: Once again, blocking out on an island is no issue. In fact, Bakhtiari manhandles his rusher for the duration of the play, allowing Harrell to both scan the field and then eventually take off to his side. He isn't touched because Bakhtiari eliminates his defender.

Snap 27

Play: Shotgun, Harrell quick pass to Jarrett Boykin

Bakhtiari: On a quick drop, all Bakhtiari needs to do is slide his feet and engage his rusher. Both are accomplished with ease, and there's no pressure from the left side.

Snap 28

Play: Shotgun, Harrell incomplete deep right

Bakhtiari: The Packers change protection and keep Brandon Bostick in to block on Bakhtiari's side, which evens up the numbers and allows the left tackle to slide inside. Bostick picks up the edge blitzer.

Snap 29

Play: Shotgun, Harrell strip sacked

Bakhtiari: On the left side, Bakhtiari stuffs an inside move without much issue. However, Marshall Newhouse whiffs on his block and Harrell is blown up.

Snap 30

Play: Shotgun, Harrell complete short to Walker

Bakhtiari: He anchors well at the point and allows Franklin, who appeared to have help responsibility on the left side, to exit the backfield and enter his underneath route.

Snap 31

Play: Inside shotgun handoff to Franklin

Bakhtiari: The play isn't run behind Bakhtiari, who is simply asked to keep his man out of the play. He does.

Snap 32

Play: Play-action, Harrell complete to Ross

Bakhtiari: The left tackle is asked to block on an island for possibly the longest duration of the night, and he once again has no problems. After the rusher attempts one stutter step, Bakhtiari engages and then stays engaged until the ball is thrown.

Snap 33

Play: Interior shotgun run to Franklin

Bakhtiari: There's very little space inside, but Franklin dives ahead for the first down. Bakhtiari isn't a factor in the play.

Snap 34

Play: Screen to Franklin

Bakhtiari: On screen plays, the offensive line is supposed to allow defensive linemen to get up field. The Packers do well here, and Franklin picks up nine yards to the right side.

Snap 35

Play: Stretch run to the left side

Bakhtiari: The entire left side, including Bakhtiari, fail to get a push on an outside run. Franklin is stopped for no gain.

Snap 36

Play: Shotgun, Harrell incomplete to Williams

Bakhtiari: The Packers run a three-step drop out of the shotgun and ask Bakhtiari to handle his man one-on-one. Once again, he engages well and walls off the pocket.

Snap 37

Play: Harrell complete to Boykin.

Bakhtiari: On another short pass play, Bakhtiari eliminates his pass rusher from Harrell's blindside. No pressure.

Snap 38

Play: Inside draw to Alex Green

Bakhtiari: Odd play call, but Bakhtiari does miss on his block. His man doesn't make the tackle, but he was in position to stop Green for little to no gain.

Snap 39

Play: Shotgun, Harrell scrambles and throws incomplete

Bakhtiari: Despite initially losing ground on a power move, Bakhtiari recovers to keep the pressure minimal. He even tries to disengage and stop a free runner, but Harrell is already scrambling to his right.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (30) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nikko's picture

Wow we could have another chad Clifton on our hands. The kid's a natural!

Mojo's picture

Seems like Bakh does what you want a LT to do - and that is protect the passer. Great start.

Can't help but play the what-if game now. What if Buluga didn't get hurt. A BB- Sitton-EDS-Lang & Bakh line would look pretty good. Or if they were gutsy a Bakh- Sitton-EDS-Lang-BB line. You'd have Newhouse and Barclay as the main backups. I'd like to go to war with that. Well, maybe next year.

some guy's picture

good stuff Zach. what did you think of Perry? looked pretty solid to me on second watch

Zach Kruse's picture

I know he made one play against the run and later snuffed out a quick screen to a WR. I didn't focus on him, but it was a decent start.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"Bakhtiari was excellent against the Cardinals, especially in the passing game. Over 20 total passing plays, the rookie allowed zero pressures and rarely looked challenged as a blindside protector."

All I needed to read.

Stroh's picture

What pass rushers did he face? Only plays I would be interested in are the ones vs Calais Campbell or John Abraham. The rest of the guys Bahkiari faced were a collection of relative stiffs. Don't look for what he did on each play, look for who he did what against! That will be the true indicator for him.

He'll likely be a slightly better version of Newhouse. Not a huge upgrade as everyone seems to think.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

He was good against who he lined up against. That's all he can do, play the guy the D puts across for him... and he did it well.

Stroh's picture

Yes he did well against who he lined up against. All I'm saying is I want to see how he does vs starting NFL players, not a couple retreads and stiffs. That is when you'll have a true indication of him.

Jamie's picture

So you need to see him against better comp to determine if he is good, yet you already decided he's no more than a slight upgrade over Newhouse?


Stroh's picture

I haven't decided anything. My opinion is he'll be a slight improvement as a rookie over Newhouse. Some would consider that a compliment. Your welcome to your opinon. I'm waiting to see how he does against NFL starters before I make my final judgement of him. And that's also not to say he can't or won't improve. But saying he's a natural and another Clifton is a little ridiculous at this point. I truly hope he is, but its entirely too early for that.

wbare's picture

Stroh, you have done nothing but find fault with whatever anyone says. why dont' you become a general manager of an NFL team if you are so good at eveluating players. Get a life and be happy for those who are tring to play the game. GOOD BYE

Zach Kruse's picture

Stroh, a bunch of his early snaps came against Matt Shaughnessy, who was a decent pass rusher early in his career with the Raiders. While Shaughnessy is a far cry from Jared Allen or Julius Peppers, he's also not a bottom of the roster guy. St. Louis will give him a good test next week.

Stroh's picture

Shaunessey is a good backup kinda guy. I don't consider him an NFL starter. Either way his real ability can't be judged by going against Shaunessey and most of the others.

Fish . Crane's picture

peppers and that all the NFC Central can throw at team? Not too worried there anymore

Idiot Fan's picture

Funny, I think I watched him closely for one play, and I saw him getting help, so I thought they were helping him most of the time. Apparently I watched the only play where he did get help.

Zach Kruse's picture

The only play I saw him get help in pass protection was when Franklin stayed in briefly during the second quarter. Other than that, he was all alone without help from a tight end or running back on the other 19 pass plays.

Omar's picture

Next week will be an interesting challenge for him against the Rams in Field Turf.

GBPDAN's picture

This was a good game for the kid to get his feet wet.he needs to get stronger in the run game but overall a great job. Arizona isnt a power house DE team. Cant wait to see the kid next week in the dome against better DEs.

JakeK's picture

It's funny how fans are discounting everything else that went wrong in the game (because it was a preseason game), but the 'good' play of a rookie tackle is somehow legit. ... The truth lies somewhere in between. ... The best time to evaluate Bakhtiari is sometime after the real games start or even at the end of the season.

As much as I hate to say it, Stroh has the correct approach. ... "Don’t look for what he did on each play, look for who he did what against."

Dave's picture

I don't think there's an "in-between" truth in preseason games. Bakhtiari can only take the test as given, and he gets an A for himself this time. Next test will be a little harder, though.

That other players did not play well doesn't reflect on his performance.

Newhouse gets an F! I've been over Newhouse ever since he whiffed on the play that cost Sherrod his legs. He pulled a real Tonya Harding on that one.

Andy's picture

Great article. Thanks for taking the time!

jeremy's picture

This is awesome, thanks! I'd love to see a week two version if you feel so inclined.

Jake's picture

Promising first impression, but Newhouse faced the tougher competition last night. Next week will be a much better test for Bakhtiari.

Dave's picture

Prediction: Newhouse whiffs on an inside rush, the defender dives for the QB and misses, then rolls across the formation into the back of Bakhtiari's legs, breaking both of them. Bakhtiari ends up with Sherrod on the bench and Newhouse claims his LT prize. Again.

murphy's picture

Did Newhouse cut you off in traffic?

Kevin Johnson's picture

You're cool for wishing someone gets their legs broken.. I wish you would get into a car accident

Johnny's picture

Wow this is a great breakdown. I agree that this test was a good one to get his feet wet, but it wasn't up to the level that he'll face during the regular season.

The one thing that gives me pause about Bakhtiari is that sometimes he'll lunge when he punches. He did it on that Rodgers bomb to Jones, but was able to recover. If he does that against someone with a good spin move or who has great leverage (someone like Clay who is adept at dipping shoulders) he could struggle.

MarkinMadison's picture

Thanks for the breakdown. I was jet-lagging too badly to watch the game.

Bakhtiari was not my pick in the draft, and I thought he would need an off-season in the weight room to be effective. Apparently that might be true for the run game, but it sounds like he may be ready for the passing game. Good on him for seizing the opportunity. A Bakhtiari-Barclay tackle duo will not be going to the pro bowl, but I doubt that they will produce noticeably worse stats than last year.

Lucky953's picture

He didn't suck. That's a good start. Maybe he'll be good. Keep your fingers crossed fellas.

Kevin Johnson's picture

Went to high school with this kid and i'm telling you he's a legit baller. Tons of fight and attitude, always willing to get better and easily one of the funniest kids I know.. GO BAKH

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