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Minus Don Barclay, Packers Likely to Need Derek Sherrod in 2014

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Minus Don Barclay, Packers Likely to Need Derek Sherrod in 2014

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Derek Sherrod by Andrew Weber—USA TODAY Sports.

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Derek Sherrod by Andrew Weber—USA TODAY Sports.

Don Barclay's season-ending ACL injury and the likelihood that at least one of the Green Bay Packers' starting tackles will suffer an injury makes it a near certainty the Packers will need 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod at some point in 2014. 

Barclay left Tuesday's practice on a cart after sustaining a knee injury. While Mike McCarthy was initially hopeful his injury was nothing serious, Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press Gazette reported Barclay had indeed suffered a torn ACL. He will eventually undergo surgery and miss the 2014 season. 

Barclay was not a projected starter along the offensive line, but he figured to be a top backup at several positions, including at right tackle. The 25-year-old former undrafted free agent has made 18 career starts, with 14 of those 18 coming at right tackle last season. He was penciled in as the primary backup to Bryan Bulaga at right tackle and to T.J. Lang at right guard, and he was one of the only Packers linemen with the versatility to play all five positions along the line if needed. 

"Donny, they don't come any better than him," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's exactly what you're looking for. If you want someone to emulate as a Green Bay Packer football player on and off the field, he's definitely one of your guys."

Given the recent injury history of the tackle position in Green Bay, losing Barclay must be considered an undeniable setback. 

The Packers haven't had their left and right tackle both start all 16 games since 2007, when Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher manned the bookends all season. During each of the last six seasons, Green Bay has needed to call on a backup to start at least one game. 

Bulaga might be the biggest worry in 2014. He played in 16 games (with 12 starts) as a rookie, but he hasn't made it through an entire season injury-free since. In 2011, he missed four games. A year later, a brutal hip injury cost him the final seven games. And in 2013, Bulaga didn't even make it out of the Family Night scrimmage. He tore his ACL and missed the entire season. 

Bakhtiari, a second-year starter at left tackle, played all 16 games in 2013. 

Sherrod is listed as Bakhtiari's backup on the left side, but he'll almost certainly slide into Barclay's role behind Bulaga on the right. 

"Derek has been working some right tackle," McCarthy said Tuesday. "Derek can move over to the right."

Green Bay's first round pick in 2011, Sherrod has played just six offensive snaps since breaking his leg in Week 15 of his rookie season. He does not have a start in NFL. 

"Fully recovered," McCarthy said of Sherrod last week. "You could see that in his balance.  That was the one thing that would stand out to me, watching him workout and move. Much stronger. He just needs to play. He needs a full training camp, which he hasn't had. I think he's coming back very strong."

So far in camp, Sherrod has a strong record in 1-on-1 drills. But the Packers won't have any idea where he is at until the exhibition schedule begins Saturday night. If Sherrod folds, the Packers may need to acquire help at tackle before the start of the regular season.

"I think he's had a hell of a camp," Lang said. "He looks bigger, he looks stronger, he looks quicker. It's definitely good to have some insurance, him being that third tackle."

If Sherrod sticks, there's a very strong possibility he'll be called on to play important snaps in 2014. 


Zach Kruse contributes to Cheesehead TV. He is also the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (46) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Guisado's picture

Oh, Sherrod's ready. Not doubt about it. And he'll be better than Barclay--no offense to Donnie. Sherrod's a legitimate first round talent who had some bad luck with the players' strike, then freak injury that was mis-diagnosed. He's been repeatedly denied preseason. Many teams would be happy to have him starting in week 1.

DraftHobbyist's picture

I agree that Sherrod is play OT. Barclay is a much better OG. Barclay could backup most positions without us having to play musical chairs, but Sherrod's best position is LT, then RT, then OG. If say Sitton got hurt we'd probably have to move Bakhtiari inside and put Sherrod at LT or something like that.

ottscay's picture

Honestly, if Sherrod gets to step into one of the tackle spots for an extended time period this season it might be hard to justify taking him back out.

RCPackerFan's picture

pending on how he plays, that could be true.

DraftHobbyist's picture

I don't know how Sherrod could beat out Bulaga or Bakhtiari. Both of those guys have been awesome, and both are franchise OT's. If he performed as a franchise OT I guess you could trade him or move Bakhtiari inside, but that would say more about Bakhtiari's versatility and Sherrod's lack of versatility than anything else.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Contrary to PFF fan boys, he was awesome last year. He is a franchise LT. Every rookie goes through growing pains, but why do you think the Packers are giving him the job again this year without competition? Us non-casual fans use our eye test to see that Bakhtiari is future pro bowler. And please, stop with this "contrary to popular fan opinion" superiority complex like you aren't a fan. lol Oh, and I'll have you know that I was on the Bakhtiari bandwagon before there was a bandwagon. I was pretty much the solo guy out there arguing that we should draft him, so my love for Bakhtiari goes before he was even drafted and is untouched by anything other fans might currently think of him.

To this point the Packers have offered nothing of the sort that Sherrod is even competing for the starting job. Bakhtiari has played with 1's all offseason and has received praise from the coaches. If you think Sherrod is in a real competition with Bakhtiari you are living in a fantasy land. Even you yourself had to protect your unique statement about Bakhtiari and Sherrod being in a competition by saying Sherrod isn't likely to win. If Bakhtiari was so bad then why is he so likely to win? Your logic makes no sense, and I proudly stand by my words that Bakhtiari was awesome last year and is a future Pro Bowler.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Oh, and btw, if you want some real facts Bakhtiari allowed 39 total pressures while Newhouse allowed 54. That is far form "pretty much the same". There is the reason Bakhtiari beat out Newhouse even when Newhouse was experienced, and there's a reason that PFF, Fox Sports, and many other sports websites gave Bakhtiari a POSITIVE pass blocking grade.

DraftHobbyist's picture

You're not really being fair. You realize when you say "Newhouse's rookie season" you are actually talking about his 2nd year in the league, right? Also, Newhouse allowed 10.5 sacks in the regular season in 2011. Bakhtiari allowed 8 sacks last year in the regular season.

You're so far off base it's not even funny. Bakhtiari allowed fewer sacks, fewer pressures, gained the trust of the coaching staff while Newhouse lost the trust of the coaching staff, Bakhtiari was in his rookie season while Newhouse didn't even play until his 2nd season, Bakhtiari passed Newhouse on the depth chart, and on and on. Not only that, but Bulaga was kept at RT because Bakhtiari looked so good at LT.

Sure, Bakhtiari has to get better in the running game but we knew that coming in. He was always best at pass blocking and the book on him was that he was undersized. He has bulked up now, and he will be better at run blocking with his extra strength. Bakhtiari had problems with the big time guys like Michael Johnson and Aldon Smith, but overall he was consistent from week to week. To expect a guy to be able to block elite pass rushers his rookie season and early in the season is just asking too much, and it shouldn't be held against him too much.

As for Newhouse regressing, many of his numbers actually IMPROVED. The problem was that they didn't improve enough. Newhouse didn't suddenly forget things to get worse...he just didn't get better by enough. Bakhtiari performed WAY better, I gave you many points showing this (#1 being how he is being treated by the Packers compared to Newhouse), and Sherrod basically has no chance to beat out Bakhtiari at LT unless there is an injury. A Fox Sports article I read said Bakhtiari has over a "99%" probability to win the starting job. Sorry, but you're living in a fantasy land if you think it's a legitimate competition.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Stating that Bakhtiari was better than Newhouse (with which I agree) does not constitute evidence that Bakhtiari was or will become a franchise left tackle. Last year Bakhtiari was a legitimate starting left tackle (which is great for a 4th round rookie), but he was definitely a below average starter. If he gets stronger and makes a jump, he could be the long term answer at left tackle. So could Sherrod. When drafted, all the commentators had him evaluated as a late first round talent. Some left tackles drafted in the late first round never become starters, some do (see Jon Mikels back in 1996, who kept injuring his knee). If Sherrod is fully healed and did not lose any athleticism, it seems very conceivable to me that Sherrod could push Bakhtiari. GB needs Sherrod at least to be a viable NFL tackle. We will find out in the next few weeks.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Does beating out Bulaga for the LT spot constitute evidence of the idea that Bakhtiari will become a franchise LT? Obviously I'm projecting when I say he will be a franchise LT and Pro Bowler, but I'm not projecting when I say that he was better than Newhouse ever was.

As for the whole draft pick thing, there isn't a whole lot of merit to that IMO. Sometimes guys just get underrated. Part of Bakhtiari's problem is that he came from a smaller football school and played mainly RT because of Nate Solder.

I've noticed a lot of hate on CheeseheadTV about Bakhtiari, and honestly I think a lot of it has to do with ignorance. Why would the Packers decide that Bakhtiari is the starter at LT OVER Bulaga and then put him in a serious competition with Sherrod? The reason they have penned him in at LT over Bulaga is because they believe in him. If it was a real competition it would be a battle between Bakhtiari, Bulaga, and Sherrod, and they would take the top 2.

MarkinMadison's picture

I'll disagree with your comment that "they didn't move Bulaga from RT to LT to replace Newhouse either." I think that is EXACTLY what they were trying to do before Bulaga went down. They knew Bulaga was their best tackle. They knew that Newhouse either needed to get better or be replaced. They wanted the open competition to be at RT not LT. That was how I read the situation.

I'll support you on this though - you have no hate for Bahktiari. If my memory isn't faulty, I remember Stroh being as excited or more excited than anyone else about the Packers picking him up in the 4th round. I remember because I thought the Packers made a mistake picking a T in the 4th when they had other positions of greater need (S) where quality players were still available at that position. I also thought that they had enough depth at tackle with Bulaga on the left and Newhouse/Sherrod/Barclay at RT.

Following Bulaga's injury we all watched as Bahktiari took over the position. And I don't agree with Drafty's comment that anyone's been hating on him, we've all just been realistic about where he is at: a guy who played really well for a rookie. Bahktiari himself know this. His off-season press quote from within the last month clearly acknowledged that he knows he has to get better, which is exactly why I think he will get better.

DraftHobbyist's picture

MarkinMadison: First, Stroh said that Bakhtiari played "no better" than Newhouse in Newhouse's "rookie season". (He meant Newhouse's second season I'm sure, as Newhouse didn't play in his rookie season.) That's being realistic? No, that's hate.

Stroh: Here's how the situation went down to spell it out for you. Bulaga moves to LT from RT to replace Newhouse and wins the position. Bulaga gets injured and instead of Newhouse playing LT, Bakhtiari jumps him and wins the spot. Then, Bulaga comes back form injury and instead of getting his LT position back that he had won, he gets put back at RT. Conclusion: Bakhtiari beat out Newhouse to originally get the spot and then beat out Bulaga to not let Bulaga come back to LT post-injury. It really is that simple.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Oh, and yes, Bakhtiari played in a power conference, but his school doesn't get a lot of respect, not to mention you didn't deal with a lot of the other issues I brought up such as being stuck behind Nate Solder and having to play mainly RT in college because of it.

Spiderpack's picture

Sherrod will kick it. I feel good about Sherrod and STRONG-ASS Corey Linsley as the 2 backups. Linsley lifted the whole God-damn Ohio State Bleachers off the ground during some examined period he had with the media. Well not exactly but he had an amazing run at the combine as far as bench presses.
Strong muth fu ku.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I thought I had a high opinion of Sherrod, but the commenters above are way out in front of me. I always state that the player has to do it on the field. While I have been taking note of every comment I read about Sherrod during camp, and have noted that he seemed to be doing pretty well, I also noted that the coaches never seemed to single him out for praise either. GB needs Sherrod to develop into a viable tackle. If he folds, GB is looking at Adams, Vujnovich, and Lang as the emergency tackle, or the waiver wire, trade, etc. That doesn't sound good.

JimTaylor31's picture

I expect Sherrod to do very well actually. He's never had a complete off-season with workouts, mini-camps, TC etc. I'm thinking he has worked off most of the rust and will show the talent that made him a #1 pick. The interior G/C with Taylor, Tretter/Linsley should also be fine. Just have to hope we don't lose anybody else though as then we may get pretty thin.

Nerd's picture

Yeah, who's next up after Sherrod? Because we're probably gonna need at least one more.

Evan's picture

That is a good question. For the first time in as long as I can remember, TT didn't draft an OT.

Who would be the 4th OT? Not that a 4th OT would make the 53, but is there any UDFA guy who is having a good camp and could go to the PS?

I guess it would be Lang in an emergency...?

Evan's picture

I can see that for an in-game emergency - if both a starter and Sherrod went down.

But you think Lang would be a long-term, multiple-game solution?

I haven't heard anything about the other OTs in camp: Aaron Adams, John Fullington or Jeremy Vujnovich.

HankScorpio's picture

Life must be good in Packerland if the 4th OT is a topic of conversation.

The TKstinator's picture

Well played.

DraftHobbyist's picture

I'm not a believer in Adams, Fullington, or Vujnovich, but I haven't seen a whole lot of them, either. We probably would kick Lang out to OT, but it's not out of the question that we would put Tretter there since he played LT in college.

About not drafting an OT this year, we did draft an OL in Linsley and a couple last year. I think the rule is more 1 OL per year than 1 OT per year.

Imma Fubared's picture

I swear in the days before the big Sherrod injury, he was being shuttled in and out in a back up role. MM was not happy with Sherrod's inability to understand his blocking assignments and was often in MM's dog house for making the same mistakes over and over again.
This was a first round pick not some draft and development guy that he has become.
I have zero faith in this guy getting it done.
The passing game don't go when you oline is pourous. All teams will be attacking where ever he is playing. Rogers better spend time throwing on the run.

JimTaylor31's picture

2011 was not a good year to be a rookie. They were locked out of the min-camps and OTAs so there was no opportunity to start picking up the offense before TC. If I remember Sherrod spent the first few weeks of TC being tried at LG. So he started learning his assignments for OT pretty late. Not a good situation for him or most any rookie that year.

Mojo's picture

Seems a lot of posters here are dismissing the injury to Barclay. Cow calls him one of the hundreds of replaceable players in the NFL. I'm assuming he means replaced by Sherrod in this case.

Here's just some of Cow's prior comments relating to Sherrod:

Cow42 says:

December 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

“…they’ve got one of the better top to bottom rosters in the NFL.”


Top 1/4 of their roster is top 10ish.
Bottom 1/4 is horrible…

B. Jones


Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12


cow42 (not verified) says:
May 24, 2013 at 04:33 pm

"There is not a single "sure thing" player on the entire OL.

The answer to all of the final questions may end up being answered positively... but they are legitimate, none the less...

Can Bulaga play LT
Will Sitton be as effective on the left side as he was on the right?
Is EDS a starter?
Can Lang play on the right side?
Who the hell is going to play RT?

Having a lot of players doesn't necessarily mean they have depth.
How confident would you actually be if any of the following players have to actually play in a game?

Van Roten

or this:

cow42 says:
June 03, 2013 at 12:41 pm

"i'm not going to compare the dude to anyone, but i am going to predict that he (Sherrod) will never play football as a Packer."

Point being, Barclay provided a suitable reliable know quantity at least at RT and the guard positions, yet after his injury he's being portrayed as JAG.

We know very little about how Sherrod, Taylor(both described by Cow as horrible) or Linsley will project in games, but I felt comfortable with Barclay at a number of positions. His versatility allowed MM & TT a lot of flexibility on how to construct the roster.

He may not have been a starter, but his value to the team was just important when one or more of the starters goes down.

NorskPacker's picture

Frustrating to say the least. Every year it's someone else on the OL that is out for the season. I think Sherrod will step up, but I have agree with Nerd - we're going to need someone after him

White92's picture

I'm a little concerned about the center position. Has Tretter picked it up at all?

Evan's picture

I believe so, yeah. But wait till we see him in some pre-season games before you get worried.

jmac34's picture

Tretter got a thumbs up in JSONLINE's Tuesday's camp report and says outside of the first couple of days, he has done pretty good

DraftHobbyist's picture

I expect Linsley to win the position. He actually played C where Tretter never has. Tretter has really struggled from what I've seen and heard outside of a day or two. Linsley is also more physically gifted IMO. It's a position to worry about, but it's also one of the easiest positions to find a guy for. It's a position that can be protected as well.

Aeric's picture

I have to agree with cow; if we have enough difference makers on D this will be a great year. The offense is kind of a given..they will score points and enough points to win many games. Guys like Myca Hyde and Julius Peppers have to be really good and the whole unit needs to look like they know what defense they're supposed to be in and how to play it

DraftHobbyist's picture

I agree. The only caveat I'd add is that there is a minimum badness you can have on your team. lol For instance, MD Jennings was a huge problem last year. If you have an OL that is so bad they just get destroyed, that can ruin an entire offense. But for the most part, difference makers are what make a team.

Aeric's picture

I have to agree with cow; if we have enough difference makers on D this will be a great year. The offense is kind of a given..they will score points and enough points to win many games. Guys like Myca Hyde and Julius Peppers have to be really good and the whole unit needs to look like they know what defense they're supposed to be in and how to play it

johnnyd17's picture

Tretter could be an option as O line back up at guard n tackle although we havent seen him play for real like Sherrod...if Linsley does take starting job at center

MarkinMadison's picture

I can't see both Tretter and Linsley getting enough reps at center to allow Tretter to swing out and Linsley to step in. If Linsley was going to be the starter they would have wanted to be feeding him all the reps they could right now. Maybe he can pull it off it he has to, but the idea of a rookie going up against, say, Detroit's interior Dline, is not one that I enjoy.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Your argument for Tretter is experience? But Linsley has more experience than Tretter at C and neither has played in the NFL...

MarkinMadison's picture

No, I am NOT arguing that Tretter has more experience. My argument is that in order for either of them to be ready they need to be fed all of the reps they can get. The Packers have invested a lot in Tretter being the center this off-season. I don't think it is realistic to expect a switch at this point.

That said I'm not sure how much of a mental jump there is between being C at Ohio St. v. in the NFL, but I think it is a substantial jump. I think by April, whoops, May, the Packers already knew that Tretter had put in enough off-season work to handle the mental part of the position, and Linsley was brought in as an insurance policy, not as real competition. (And no, it's not a great insurance policy, but TT would rather draft than sign a vet.)

DraftHobbyist's picture

You talk like Linsley hasn't gotten opportunities with the 1's, which just isn't true. They haven't invested much more in Tretter than Linsley plain and simple. And if there is a better option, why not give the better option the job? Because one guy got more reps with the 1's than the 2's in the offseason? Linsley will have his chance in preseason, and I predict he'll beat Tretter.

Also, how do you know that Linsley wasn't brought in as real competition? I completely disagree with the premise that he wasn't. Why would Tretter have a guaranteed job when he has never played a snap at Center in the NFL or college (not that I know of anyways)? Linsley has a full college career at Center, and he knows what the position takes mentally.

Tundraboy's picture

So many positive comments. Did an alien take his place?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Lot of good points made during the back and forth about the offensive line. For the record, I am not a Bakhtiari hater. I simply suggested that he was a legitimate NFL LT (which Newhouse never or barely was) who was probably a below average NFL LT starter last year. He needed to get stronger (which he apparently has done), develop and make a 2nd year leap to become the long term answer at LT, which remains to be seen, but he does seem to be having a pretty good TC. I am a bit of a bean counter, so the bottom line for me is that it is in GB's best interest for Bakhtiari to flourish at LT. My reasoning is that the 16th highest paid NFL LT makes $7 million per year with a decent % guaranteed; the top 5 LTs all make north of $10 Million per season. The 16th highest paid right tackle makes $2.8 million, 8th highest makes $4.5, and the top two make $6.6 and 7.0 million. It would really ease the cap situation to get 4 years of LT play at an inexpensive amount from Bakhtiari while he is on his rookie contract. So I am rooting for Bakhtiari to be the answer at LT. (Sherrod and Bulaga are both in contract years.)

I have also suggested that Sherrod is a wild card who could push Bakhtiari at LT, and cited his 1st round draft status, and his measurables, which are pretty much the way one might draw up a LT if starting from scratch. I am not sure why some who never cite Sherrods' measurables go into raptures about Richardson's measurables, which are truly astounding (6'2" 4, 216 to 220 pounds, with the best 40 time, best vertical, best broad, and most repetitions of any safety at the combine). Despite those measurables, he was not drafted because he lacked instincts, football IQ, and was limited to being a SS at Vanderbilt. If Richardson can be coached up, he could be really good. Perry and Capers have yet to really develop a prospect at the safety position, but it sounds like both Richardson and Banjo have made progress.

I don't care who wins the job at center as long as one of them is adequate or better. I have read that Tretter is better suited to be the back up at guard. I am hoping that one of the two will be the clear winner soon so the other can be cross-trained at guard.

I appreciate those who contribute to the training camp aggregation on this website, since I try to focus on the line play on both sides of the ball.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Why are you comparing OT to S? That's just a really weird comparison.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I didn't mean to compare S to OT. To the extent that I may have done so, let me say it was not my purpose. I am comparing two prospects who both have good measurables but have not been able for the most part to show what they can do on the field due to injuries, and who have both missed a lot of time. One, Richardson, got a lot of love even before training camp, and the other, Sherrod, not so much. Maybe that is because Richardson displayed some encouraging play in the last 5 games last year. I'd probably have to go back to the Atlanta game in 2011 when Sherrod played most of the game (all but the first 15 snaps) at right tackle and played reasonably well (no sacks or QB hits). From reading the aggregation of comments on training camp on this site, including your own comments, Good Sir, I gather that Richardson has flashed at training camp. I gather that Sherrod has had a decent camp too. Tomorrow we will be able to comment on how the prospects actually played, finally!

DraftHobbyist's picture

You're funny. You have no idea how to interpret data and yet you claim to know more than everybody else. So you say that Sherrod is "ranked slightly higher than Bakhtiari" (on a side note, you say you I can't tell you anything you don't already know but at least I know how to spell Bakhtiari). Are you saying that because you think Sherrod actually played better? If you don't think Sherrod played better than you have just undercut your own "evidence".

DraftHobbyist's picture

Lol...Okay, so not even you thinks that Sherrod is better than Bakhtiari. I'm glad that we established that.

As for the "rankings" you listed, that's arguable. The block rating, which is VERY suspect, ranks Sherrod .01 above Bakhtiari, however, Bakhtiari's record is actually better. The difference is that the past of Sherrod's opponents is stronger than the past of Bakhtiari's opponents. As for what their opponents have done this year, it's exactly even. I'd rather use winning % over that suspect block rating. But either way, there is no competition there. It's Bakhtiari's job. You tried claiming it was a competition, and you were wrong.

DraftHobbyist's picture

Right, what you said is that it was a competition, which it is not. To quote what I have an issue with, "Note: Block rating is: 1) the performance of a player in previous years..." Why does the past have an impact on this year's results? Go ahead and call me a troll because I disagree with you. It just shows how weak your argument is when you result to those tactics.

DraftHobbyist's picture

And I guess I'll put the competition like this: Derek Sherrod is in as much competition with David Bakhtiari as Lane Taylor is with TJ Lang. So yes, if you consider the Taylor-Lang "battle" to be a competition then the Sherrod-Bakhtiari "battle" is a competition. That's not what I consider to be a legitimate competition. There's nothing Sherrod can do to win the "battle" without Bakhtiari throwing it away or an injury occurring, and Bakhtiari has already proven enough to show that he hasn't thrown it away in my judgement. Sure, I never heard the Packers say, "Bakhtiari and Sherrod are not in a competition." To expect that, however, is ridiculous.

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