With Bakhtiari and Jenkins Back, O-Line Is a Strength for Packers Once Again

The return of David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins should turn Green Bay's offensive line from a potential weakness to a true strength.

David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins’ activation from the PUP list would appear to indicate they are on course to play the majority of the season, and adding the pair back to Green Bay’s offensive line should turn the unit from a possible weak spot to a true strength.

Having Bakhtiari and Jenkins as anchors can only help the other members of the Packers’ line, and there is plenty of competition for the remaining starting jobs.

Jon Runyan has quietly become an uber-reliable player and has locked down a guard spot, and Josh Myers, entrenched as Green Bay’s center, will be looking to build on a solid (albeit injury-stricken) rookie year.

That leaves a plethora of players fighting for one position at either guard or right tackle, depending on where Jenkins ends up.

Zach Tom has shown out during pre-season and looks to be one of the “best five” offensive linemen right now. He could well displace Royce Newman who was serviceable for the Packers a season ago.

Jake Hanson has developed exponentially since his rookie year, and figures to fill the Lucas Patrick role as a backup center and guard, if he doesn’t win a starting guard spot outright.

The Packers also have an ideal backup tackle in Yosh Nijman, who has proved himself more than capable of deputising.

Even beyond the proven commodities, there are multiple young offensive linemen who have displayed their potential this summer.

Seventh-round pick Rasheed Walker had to wait for his opportunity after a frustrating training camp interrupted by injury, but in Green Bay’s final pre-season game, he staked his claim for a 53-man roster spot with a mightily impressive performance.

Six-foot-nine behemoth Caleb Jones has also proven a pleasant surprise, and is an ideal practice squad candidate whom the Packers can look to develop.

All of this, and the Packers haven’t even seen much from their third-round pick Sean Rhyan yet. It has been a disappointing camp for Rhyan, who may have had designs on cracking the starting lineup early in his career, but he still possesses the talent to be a strong contributor for years to come.

The continued commitment from the Packers to investing in and developing their offensive line appears to be yielding dividends, but having Bakhtiari and Jenkins close to a return is the final, and most important piece of the puzzle.

-------------------------------------------------------

Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

NFL Categories: 
3 points

Comments (42)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Roadrunner23's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:03 pm

The Packers have the makings of a great offensive line in 2022, or a terrible offensive line in 2022 depending on their two tackles coming back from ACL surgery. Hang on folks it’s gonna be a wild ride

6 points
7
1
mnbadger's picture

August 29, 2022 at 01:07 pm

There's no in between for this group, this year.
If the two anchors perform well all year, no physical setbacks, we'll be really, really good.
If either goes down for any significant time, whole new ball game.
And, dare I say, if either or both come back as impersonators of their old selves due to limited strength, mobility or confidence we're screwed.
Either a great line or average at best line. I'm praying for the latter. GPG!

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:04 pm

They are not back. When they are first practicing and then playing at near their old standards then yes. The next question is can they stay healthy through the season.

We aren’t there yet. There are no guarantees as Bakh showed us last year. On paper, we will have a really good O line, but it could be mid season before we can be relatively confident that it’s here to stay.

At the moment the OL, at least the right side is anything but a strength. The future looks good at T with Tom bulked up and further technical work on Jones and Walker if we can hang in to them. The future at guard doesn’t look so rosy beyond Tom.

Hanson has been lauded, but I’ve yet to see anyone else explain what for here or among the supposed experts who repeat the claims. Rhyan has been a disappointment thus far and seems to be getting worse, to a point where he’s possibly PS bound. Certainly he’s not ready.

Newman has been messed with when he was a guy who needed to focus on G. Tom has played so many positions it’s ridiculous, except the most obvious one:C. Hardly the best way to prepare him. Hanson has been flat out bad as a C with the seconds, which just makes Tom’s usage crazier. We’ve refused to try Jones at RT even if we accept Tom isn’t ready. Instead we persist with Newman out of position and Hanson. They’ve barely held up against seconds and worse who aren’t even schemed or blitzing.

The excuse some make us that Jenkins will be healthy. So we are counting on a guy yet to take a practice rep in anger? Some say Bakh is further along, though it’s not guaranteed that even he will be ready. If he is snd Jenkins isn’t then does that keep Hanson/Newman in the field or does Nijman swap? If he does it will be with limited practice and Stenavich has said he needs time to switch back. Hardly ideal to not have him working there then.

Pretty much everything I see of the handling of the OL and players this year has been at best questionable and, in Hanson’s case, baffling and in Tom and Newman’s cases, potentially harmful. That’s not a good thing. If fate means that Rodgers takes the field behind Hanson/Newman, that won’t be either, unless you are Z. Smith. If it’s Tom or even Jones, or Nijman why in earth did they not get preseason time there?

Sorry, Stenavich’s handling of this group is as baffling as his decision to mess with the line in the Championship game.

11 points
13
2
porupack's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:40 pm

>>>>> Newman has been messed with when he was a guy who needed to focus on G. Tom has played so many positions it’s ridiculous, except the most obvious one:C. Hardly the best way to prepare him.>>>>>>

Perhaps cross training is a benefit not a liability as you consider "messed with". Honing multiple techniques can help improve the primary techniques.

I defer to the Stenovich who probably has some experience and assessment skills.

-2 points
0
2
dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:39 pm

Two weeks of practice 'til the opener.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:46 pm

I’m All for cross training when you aren’t slated to start or are truly established at your starting position.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:51 pm

So did Drayton. So did Stenavich heading into the Championship game. If you can come up with a rational explanation , go for it. It starts with explaining Hanson’s particular merit I think.

1 points
1
0
Johnblood27's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:53 pm

yeah porupack, lets question nothing because guys called coach know absolutely everything and guys called fan are idiots with no observational skills whatsoever.

This forum does not exist to ego-stroke all things GBP. Questioning approaches based upon solid observation and examination of already completed outcomes is absolutely fair game.

Carry on Coldworld.

4 points
4
0
PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:38 pm

Except it’s no longer Steno’s job. It belongs to Butkus. It may sound like a minor point but every coordinator often relies on his position coach. That coaches views and plans are often relied on even when they have flaws. Things may change down the road but I think that not enough attention is being spent on position training. While I agree that versatility is good, mastery is better.

4 points
4
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:57 pm

CW,
Good post and agree with of what you shared.

Be nice to see DB and Jenkins back and the OL stonewall Z. Smith.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 04:34 pm

Yes it will. I’m just not sure we will see them in 2 weeks

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:33 am

There is a real possibility that EJ could play at least part of the game in 2 weeks-that’s still quite some time. DBak I’m not so sure about; since his recovery has taken so long, the Packers are sure to be cautious with him. However, I’d be okay rolling with Tom at RT (no pressures allowed ALL PRESEASON!). If he does well, then we could even move EJ to RG. Newman needs more RG work; he’s not a RT. It wouldn’t hurt to try Jones or Walker, but I think Tom would be the best option (we’d have to see, though). I don’t think training Tom at C is the biggest priority; Myers was excellent in the preseason.

0 points
0
0
KKB's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:37 pm

TOTALLY AGREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:51 pm

It’s a good 10 man group at this point, including Bakhtiari and Jenkins. We have 17 weeks of games and practices and our seasons keep ending with a makeshift line of backups on the field. I’d like to see that change.

Imo, Bakhtiari will never be the guy he was because he’s two years older and hasn’t played in quite a while. Still, I’d love to have him on the field, healthy-ish, in the playoffs. I’d have Bakhtiari on a pitch count and he’d share time at LT with Nijman. I think that would keep that position in good shape.

Since Jenkins is our best lineman, and is versatile enough to play anywhere, you would normally want him to play at Center, which is the second most important position on the line, but Myers can start there and we don’t have a clear starter at RT.

I’d expect an offensive line of Nijman/Bakhtiari, Runyan, Myers, Newman, Jenkins. Tom, Rhyan, Hanson and that big guy as backups. That’s a lot of guys who’ve never played a snap in a regular season NFL game.

2 points
2
0
Tundraboy's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:59 pm

I hope you're right, especially against Minnesota but we shall see.

1 points
1
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:35 am

I think we could also consider putting Tom at RG or moving EJ to RG and having Tom as the RT. He hasn’t allowed a pressure ALL PRESEASON! We’ll, of course, need to see how he holds up in a real game first.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

August 28, 2022 at 01:13 pm

Neither are actually back, and I wouldn't count on seeing even Jenkins in the very near term.

It's a good thing we drafted Zach Tom--here's a case where taking the more polished player vs. the raw one with the big upside works in our favor.

Rhyan: I shouldn't be saying this because it's way too early, but I hope we haven't whiffed on another third-round pick. You'd think his run blocking would be much better.

Yosh: More than a backup.

Hanson winning the right guard spot outright? Hmm....

I'd love to see Jenkins slide back into his old right guard spot if possible when the time comes.

2 points
2
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:58 pm

Left guard, but if he does than does Runyan slide to RG? Even though the 1st week or two with the rotation the OL would be so much stronger. Runyan better than all those playing at RG at the moment.

3 points
3
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:38 am

Neither are back, but in two weeks, EJ could be able to play at least part of the snaps. If not, I’d be fine rolling with Tom (he hasn’t allowed one pressure ALL PRESEASON!). DBak I’m not so sure about. If Tom does well in actual games, then we could consider him as RG or moving EJ to RG and putting Tom at RT. Newman should not be at RT, period.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:51 am

Let's dial it back on Tom a little bit. He played mostly against vanilla fronts run by 3rd string players. He might be a very good OL eventually, but my initial guess is that he'd get bludgeoned by Hunter and Z if they start him against the Vikings.

0 points
0
0
Charvid's picture

August 28, 2022 at 01:23 pm

It’s weird how an entire staff of professional coaches, who see these players in practice every single day, know so much less than we all do. How can they cash their pay checks in good conscience??

3 points
3
0
jlc1's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:40 pm

Well except one professional coach called single high coverage leaving the modestly talented Kevin King alone. So they know a lot but sometimes they make bad even stupid decisions.

4 points
4
0
Johnblood27's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:56 pm

yeah charvac, lets question nothing because guys called coach know absolutely everything and guys called fan are idiots with no observational skills whatsoever.

This forum does not exist to ego-stroke all things GBP. Questioning approaches based upon solid observation and examination of already completed outcomes is absolutely fair game.

2 points
2
0
NJ-RICK's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:08 pm

Finally they released Ty Summers, He should have never been on the team last season... Now trade Dean Lowry another player who should have been gone years ago. First preseason game for the Packers begins on Sunday Sept 11th. I mean that is when all the starters will play. Will it be another repeat of last season's 1st game...? Matt better come up with a game plan that will allow AR12 to get rid of the ball ASAP. Because the Vikes will be sending everyone in to sack him. GPG...

-8 points
1
9
Curt's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:12 pm

Not sure why Lowry would be on cut list - had a strong year last year.

3 points
3
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:50 am

NO! Don’t trade Lowry! Wyatt isn’t as ready as people though, and that would weaken the Packers dline. I know he’s overpaid, but the Packers are better with his production than without in what could be ARods final year. He had his best year last year (5 sacks, and one in the playoffs), and with the Packers lack of OLB depth, they need all the pressure they can get. They don’t need any more cap space to spend on a dried-up FA market - they have enough (3m) already (hopefully to sign Jason Pierre-Paul). Any draft compensation they get (3rd-4th round pick at VERY VERY most) would not be worth what Lowry brings to the dline this year. The only way I could see the Packers trading Lowry would be in some sort of deal with the Las Vegas Raiders where the Packers get TE Darren Waller.

-1 points
0
1
NoNonsense's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:33 pm

I just read Jenkins not practicing today, was seen riding stationary bike so might have a hamstring or something. Bakh still only doing individual drills so could be a while before we see either guy on the field.

Just gonna have to see how it plays out. I assume if anyone struggles out of the gate there will be a quick hook for the culprit, with Tom probably the first reserve if hes not already the starter at RG or RT.

Oh and Steno is no longer OL coach so I doubt he's the one making the decisions on who's starting or playing on the OL. Could be wrong about that but I think he's got enough on his plate being the OC.

4 points
4
0
jlc1's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:42 pm

Yeah it may be that he is not directly coaching the OL that things have less direction. But having your two best players in injury limbo also creates uncertainty.

0 points
0
0
ricky's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:01 pm

I really hate to be a downer on this site, but Jenkins is in a contract year. He will be a free agent, unless the Packers franchise tag him, which would coast $16.6 million. Then, there is the question of how his agent perceives Jenkins value. The man is versatile. If he is right tackle this year, that increases his value. And if his agent argues that he should get paid left tackle money (and why wouldn't he shoot for the moon?), then the price tag goes up considerably. In short, this off-season will be another interesting time for juggling the salary cap, and trying to re-sign a core player.

0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:05 pm

I think 2022 will be defining moments for both Jenkins and DB. One may not be around next year which would affect the cap. TGR can chime in but if DB isn't around Jenkins very well could be one of the OT's.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 04:38 pm

He will be paid like an OT because other teams will see him as one. My guess is he plays OT for us if he stays healthy. If he doesn’t then things could get cloudy, but I don’t see Bakh back next year.

3 points
3
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:52 am

With all of his dead cap money, the Packers may be better off keeping him with what he can bring to the table. Hopefully he can at least return to pro bowl level.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 29, 2022 at 08:12 am

With the Packers needing to pay some of these younger guys, and the potential savings (about $10M) against a tight 2023 cap in a Bakhtiari cut/trade, I think it's unlikely he's kept past 2022--but a lot of that will be driven by how Jenkins, Nijman, and others show and whether 12 stays or goes.

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 08:35 am

According to over the cap, they’d only save about 5m

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 29, 2022 at 02:32 pm

I stand corrected.

<<tips cap>>

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:48 pm

A valid concern, but the bigger, more imminent concern has to be what Jenkins does for us this year

3 points
3
0
PackyCheese500's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:43 am

I think that the Pack should franchise tag him and trade him to the Raiders (lol) next year for first-round and fourth round picks. Carr is going to have a hell of a time throwing to Adam’s because he’s going to be sacked every other play. With Jenkins’ versatility, Las Vegas should agree. Then, the Packers can draft another OT. Tom can be his replacement.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:47 am

My bet is that they watch to see how he responds to field time after his injury, and that--if he looks fit--they extend him in November. That allows them to use some of their 2022 cap to cover some of his contract hit.

The only way he leaves GB is if he decides he doesn't want to play for the Packers anymore.

0 points
0
0
LeotisHarris's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:25 pm

..."a plethora of players fighting for one position ..", brothers and sisters.

Can I get an "aforementioned" from the congregation?

3 points
3
0
High_stick69's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:42 pm

There are a lot of moving parts and pieces on this team including with the coaching staff. All these changes require time to develop chemistry. It feels like the Pack may have a bumpy start to the season especially on offense. On defense even though there are a couple promising looking high draft choices, they have yet to play a regular season down in the NFL. I see a lot of promise, but also feel a bit cautious about expecting too much at the start of the season. Hopefully the defense can keep the scores low so the offense can find time to gel and build some momentum. They’ll have to endure some young mistakes in the early part of the year. Hope I’m wrong and they come out firing in all cylinders, just kind of doubting that will happen.

3 points
3
0
marpag1's picture

August 29, 2022 at 11:17 am

Wow. Talk about jumping the gun. This isn’t just a sprinter getting out of the blocks a tick before the starters pistol, this is a sprinter showing up for the Olympics three years before the Olympics will actually be held. In no way shape or form is either player even close to “back.”

0 points
0
0
Crankbait's picture

August 30, 2022 at 06:01 am

Our defense is going to have to keep us in games until the offense catches up. I feel the Vikings most likely will hand our asses to us opening game but we will still end up being the better team through the season. The division title could come down to the second last game of the season when we meet them again.

0 points
0
0