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David Bakhtiari: 2015 Packers Player Report Card

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David Bakhtiari: 2015 Packers Player Report Card

David Bakhtiari

  • Age: 24
  • Ht./Wt: 6'4", 310lbs
  • College: Colorado
  • NFL Experience: 3 years

View Career Stats and more

Expectations coming into the season:  Bakhtiari came into his third season having started every game and has proven to be a great find for the Packers as a fourth round pick. Bakhtiari would be expected to continue doing what he does best, protect Aaron Rodgers' blind side. Having added some weight  and worked on getting stronger in the offseason, it was hoped his run blocking would improve from being just average. Also would be expected to cut back on his penalties.

Player’s highlights/low-lights:  Before going out with an ankle injury, Bakhtiari was having his best game of the season against the Raiders. It didn't matter who the Raiders tried on his side (including Kahlil Mack), DBak stoned them all. No sacks, no pressures. Bakhtiari's toughest game was probably the win in Minnesota. He had a tough assignment going up against Everson Griffen for most of the game. It obviously weighed on DBak's mind as he was called for four penalties (2 holding, 1 false start, 1 illegal formation).

Level of Expectations met:  Bakhtiari missed the first 3 games of career after suffering an ankle injury against Oakland. He continued to be very good in pass protection, allowing only five sacks (all in the first half of the season) while drawing the toughest assignments week after week. Run blocking saw slight improvement over previous years. Penalties, however, continued to be his downfall. Bakhtiari was flagged for 11 penalties (six holding, four false start and one illegal formation).

Grade: B+

Player’s contributions to team success:  There is no more important position on the offensive line, especially if your team has an NFL MVP caliber passer throwing the ball. Bakhtiari kept Rodgers clean for the most part and got better in that department as the season went on. Penalties continued to be a big problem, however.

Grade: A-

Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Gets the warrior award for getting back on the field against the Cardinals despite having five torn ligaments in his ankle. While playing with a significant amount of pain and reduced mobility, Bakhtiari did not allow a sack. He was willing to give it a try against Washington, but the team felt he was at risk of doing more damage to the ankle.

Grade: A

Intangibles/misc:  DBak is always cool, calm and collected on the filed and seems to have a short memory after giving up a sack or taking a penalty. Also, Bakhtiari gets a big thumbs up for coming on CheeseheadTv's Packers Transplants and being a friend of the site in general.

Grade: A-

 

Overall Grade:  A-

 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer_Pete's picture

A-??? Seems to be to high for him. I would give him a solid B. Availability also factors into my evaluation, and he does seem to have injury issues.
but overall, he is a solid player.

Jersey Al's picture

you can not overrate protecting Rodgers' blind side, He has done a very very good job of that, going against the league's best pass rushers for most of the season.

Packer_Pete's picture

I wouldn't disagree with you if he had played the whole season. But he hasn't. As McCarthy once said, it's accountability and availability. I'm not knocking him on being injured, but he hasn't played in all games, and he had a few rough games too. So I personally don't think a A- is warranted.
And while the Packers initially had issues replacing him with DonB and Sitton, the OL played well with Tretter in there. Certainly just a temporary solution, but I don't think that this season overall with 16 games and 2 playoff games, Bakh has played often and well enough to get an A-. But again, that is just my opinion. I see and respect your point, just don't agree with it.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

A- is Probowl caliber to me and I think he's not even close.

He allowed 7 QB hurries and 2 sacks against the Seahawks in week 2 when he was healthy. That means he screwed up on 9 pass plays when Rodgers only threw 33 times (a staggering 27% of the time). No wonder Rodgers had happy feet and looked uncomfortable in the pocket all season long.

He's good at handling speed rushers which is a quality skill and why he did well against Mack. However, he's barely an average LT pass protecting power rushers and his run blocking is awful. I'm glad they have him and I think he was a great value pick. But, for this season I'd give him a C+.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Except he probably wasn't healthy in Week 2. He missed over two weeks of practice in late August, and a couple of preseason games. It is true that Bakh played week 1, but I don't think he was 100%, or close to it. It is hard to know with the games NFL teams take with injury reports.

http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/22313/david-bakhtiar...

http://mail.abcbangor.com/sports/packers-lt-bakhtiari-not-too-worried-ab...

http://www.leadertelegram.com/Sports/2015/08/18/Blind-sided.html

http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/564757/Bakhtiari-shows-...

dobber's picture

Maybe this is why you lock him up now on what you hope will be a "lower than market" contract based on his potential ceiling and his performance in 2015. Many had him slated for a move to guard shortly after the draft, so if that's the plan, you just can't give him OLT money.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

You've had a series of particularly sensible comments the last few days, Dobber (not to impugn your prior comments). Bakh was supposed to be like Quessenberry - a guy who could play multiple spots on the OL. Things change, though. Bakh has already proven that he can play LT at a reasonable level. Issue is that even average or a little less than average LTs make far more than most OGs. Unless one thinks that Tretter can be a starter at LT, GB doesn't have the personnel to move Bakh anywhere, at the moment. Bakh is going to be in line for some fairly serious dough. I can't see Bakh agreeing to mid-level OG $. [BTW - Quessenberry apparently was a bust - as far as I can tell he is still with Houston but isn't listed on their depth chart - maybe he is hurt though.]

So, the timing of an extension (you wrote "now") is the issue. I'd wait until after the draft to see if a LT drops, or to see if TT takes one later in the draft. Then there is the issue of the reported damage to multiple ligaments in Bakh's ankle. Haven't read about any surgeries for him, but I'd want to be sure about his ankle (and knee and back issues earlier in the season) before making any offers. The FO may know some of the answers to these questions already, but I'd have to wait until July before considering offering an extension.

Nick Perry's picture

That sems a little high for a guy with 11 penalties and is a very, very, average run blocker. I'll be real interested to see how his contract is handled and how much it will cost the Packers. Thompson has "Overpaid" for his own in the past so I wonder what a LT might be worth, even one that's pretty average. Bahktiari suits up and shows up for the most part and with the Packers OL, that seems especially important. with not much depth behind the starters other than Tretter.

I give David B a solid B.

Can someone PLEASE TELL ME what the Packers are doing about a WR Coach? Any rumors? Al, any idea??? They can't be thinking about keeping Van Pelt there!!!

RCPackerFan's picture

I like Bakhtiari. Is he perfect, no. But he has done a really good job since stepping into the LT position. He keeps Rodgers upright and that is the most important thing.

The most impressive thing about Bakhtiari is the year he was drafted he was the 10th OT drafted. (Tretter was the 11th). He has the most starts at LT then anyone else in that draft class. A draft class in which 3 of the top 4 picks were OT's and 5 OT's drafted in the 1st round.

Thompson definitely got a steal in that draft.

Packer_Pete's picture

Excellent point! Had to go back to the 2013 draft class and look at the list. I am not sure who the 9th was who drafted before Bakh, as I only count 8, but regardless, I agree that Bakh is better than any drafted before him. And even Tretter, due to his versatility, is better than most, maybe not as OT, but he can play multiple positions on the OL and in my opinion would be a better C than Linsley...

Eric Fisher
Luke Joeckel
Lane Johnson
DJ Fluker
Justin Pugh
Menelik Watson
Terron Armstead
Brennan Williams

None of those guys really impress me that much. Had Ted drafted any of those guys, then I am sure we'd be reading about "busts" all the time. Bakh certainly was a good draft pick, and is a good LT, although not a great one. But I wouldn't expect that from a 4th rounder... He has exceeded expectations. At least my expectations.

RCPackerFan's picture

Go to DraftHistory.com. He is the 10th listed OT. Some of those guys probably moved to Guard, but OT is the position they were listed at when they were drafted.

1-Eric Fisher
2-Luke Joeckel
3-Lane Johnson
4-DJ Fluker
5-Justin Pugh
6-Menelik Watson
7-Terron Armstead
8-Dallas Thomas
9-Brennan Williams
10-David Bakhtiari
11-JC Tretter.

I completely agree with you. He has far surpassed almost everyone's expectations.
Thompson has been very good at drafting OL in the middle rounds. All of these drafted were taken in the middle rounds.
2007 - Allen Barbre (4th round) while not very good with the Packers he has turned out to be a good player with the Eagles.
2008 - Josh Sitton (4th Round), Breno Giacomini (5th round) Like Barbre, he improved after leaving Green Bay.
2009 - TJ Lang (4th round)
2010 - Marshall Newhouse (5th round)
2013 - David Bakhtiari, JC Tretter (4th round)
2014 - Corey Linsley (5th round)

While not all of them have remained in Green Bay, they have started in the league for a while, which shows as draft picks they were good draft picks.

lou's picture

Nice analysis RCPackerFAn, hard to argue with any of your points. Prior to that draft the most talked about tackle on this and other popular Packer blogs was Fluker, Packer fans thought he was the next Joe Thomas, good thing Thompson didn't think so. Also agree with most posts that Bakhtiari's grade at this time in his career is too high. In regards to over paying Bulaga as an example, the cost to extend Bahk because of the LT position no matter what his grade is then will be high - thats how the business works. Glad to have him no mater what his perceived grade is.

Nick Perry's picture

Sure he's made some picks that have worked out , all i'm saying is Bakhatiari is nothing more than average. The sacks went down but he still had a LOT of penalties.

The most important part you FORGOT mention is pretty much EVERY pick worked out prior Schneider, Dorsy, and McKinze left.

Thompson got a steal with Lindsey, Hyde, and Daniels too, but held the Packers BACK with Rodgers ll, McMillion, MD Jennings, Alex Green and Brad Jones to name a few. All of the teams that played in the AFC and NFC Championship Games do an excellent job of getting rid of blown draft picks and using Mid Tier to even Lower Tier FA to fill holes. Thompson runs to the UDFA pile to fill a hole, for every Sam Shields there's 20 Vic De'sotos (I'm sure I got his name spelled wrong..Sorry)

dobber's picture

The issue with UDFAs and draft picks is that the help is always a year or two away. The plus is that any bad habits they acquire are YOUR bad habits...meaning, they're mostly a blank slate at the NFL level. AND, presumably, you get them when they're at their hungriest.

With FAs, I agree, you can find a guy who has a track record and hopefully can step in and help right now, but you have to do some brainwashing to get them into your system. Some guys adjust seamlessly. Then there's the "I earned this payday from elevated contract-year performance" issue: who's a fat-cat and who isn't?

I think balance is always the best plan. But each path has its issues.

RCPackerFan's picture

Bakhtiari is better then average. Is he a Top LT in the league? No. But he is still better then average.
The penalties thing I disregard for the most part because there were so many that should have never been called. This year a lone I remember at least 2 holding penalties against Bakhtiari that the DE/OLB simply slipped down and drew a flag. Just like Linsley. How many holding penalties did he have simply based on him out muscling a player.

The thing to remember with Bakhtiari is he is playing one of the hardest position to play in the NFL. LT your going against the other teams best rusher, down after down.

No, I didn't forget to mention anything. I was talking about Thompson's draft and the OL players he has drafted in the 4th-5th rounds. He has been very good.

Every GM that drafts has good picks and bad picks. Its a part of the business.
Yes the 2 years he had bad drafts but has made up for it with 2 years of good drafting.

Bearmeat's picture

Not a great LT. But good. And those guys are hard to find. Add in his youth and I want signed for the long term asap. A top 15 LT and should be paid like it. If he keeps improving we might be looking at a top 5-7 LT and have to pay that instead after 2016.

Get it done TT

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I like the grade and write up. Figure an average to a tad above average starting LT is going to run $7.5 million per year and up.

croatpackfan's picture

I do not remeber fans were thanking God when David was injured and bound to the sideline. Go, watch Panthers and Patriots LT and some others LT what Broncos D did to them, come back and say that David has no value... And those 11 penalties? I remember all Packers players playing at the position has nasty number of the penalties. But diference is that they also gave a lot of sacks with the penalties, David did not.

Since '61's picture

Al - nice job! I think that you have described Bakh's performance very accurately. However, I disagree on the grades due to the his number of penalties. It seems that many of his penalties come during a promising drive by the Packers which then stalls. I realize that sometimes its better to take a holding penalty than let Rodgers get creamed but 11 penalties is almost one per game. He plays hard and is consistently solid especially in pass blocking. I would give him a B+. As for resigning, let's see how it goes in 2016 and if all is well resign him for the right price later in the season as TT did with Daniels this year. Thanks, Since '61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I generally agree. I'd give his pass blocking an A- when healthy or perhaps a B+. I'd give his run blocking a C+. Bakh had 18 penalties over his first two seasons, so 11 this year isn't surprising. The biggest thing is that he seems to get a bit better each year. My overall Grade is a B.

dobber's picture

"I'd give his pass blocking an A- when healthy or perhaps a B+. I'd give his run blocking a C+"

Isn't this usually the problem on the left side? You're paying this guy primarily to be a protector, not a road-grader. The true, outstanding, all-around OLT is a rare breed, very expensive, and hard to find outside the top 10 picks in the draft.

oldfart's picture

having watched my 50th super bowl, it emphasized that great defenses wins games. it is time for thompson to show the fans he can pick players equal to the bronco's defense. we need to bring in well documented talent and pay for it. not sure that our coaching is up to the task either. the 50th super bowl told us we need to get a lot better. GO PACK!!!!

Katsuya89's picture

I think a lot of Packers fans have forgotten how bad Marshall Newhouse was at LT. I for one am happy to have Bahktiari at LT, and hope to see him there for years to come.

lou's picture

Great flash back comparison. Some how Newhouse started this year for the Giant's. Like Barclay, he was acceptable at RT but not at LT.

dobber's picture

We have to be careful...all this talk about Newhouse is going to wake up Big T.

Oppy's picture

I like him, he's a good player, but I can't give hive an a. I would go b, b-.

I look at this oline and left tackle is the only position I really feel -needs- an upgrade.

Bakhtiari feels stop gap to me. He's getting it done at the moment, but I don't feel like he's got the talent to be the guy you settle on to protect the franchise's blind side.

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