With OT a Need, Gutey has Strong Track Record Addressing OL

Finding a long-term answer at tackle will be on the to-do list this offseason, and the good news is that as GM, Brian Gutekunst has a strong track record along the offensive line.

In 2020, the Green Bay Packers offense was the most productive in the NFL, finishing first in points per game and first by DVOA. As is always the case, there are a number of reasons for their success on offense, but a big factor was the play of the offensive line. 
 
Green Bay's offensive line ranked first by ESPN's pass-blocking and run-blocking win rate metrics; they gave up the fewest sacks during the regular season and the second-fewest pressures. Not to mention that they played at this high-level while dealing with several injuries and position changes. 
 
Now as we look ahead to the 2021 season and needs that have to be filled, near the top of GM Brian Gutekunst's to-do list should be finding a long-term answer at right tackle. 
 
Once David Bakhtiari is fully healthy, that right tackle position will belong to Billy Turner in 2021 presumably, but given his contract structure, this could be his final year in Green Bay. And given the salary cap dropping from $198.2 million to around $180 million as reported by Adam Schefter, we do not know what the future holds for Rick Wagner. But either way, again, he isn't a long-term answer at right tackle.
 
But the good news is that if the Green Bay Packers are going to address the offensive tackle position early on in the draft -- which they should -- it's a very deep class, and during Gutey's relatively short tenure as GM, he has had good success when it comes to the offensive line.
 
We will start with free agency and the aforementioned Turner and Wagner. 2019 wasn't Turner's best year by any means, but in 2020, he really showed his value and was a key member of this team. 
 
With numerous injuries, Turner played 367 snaps at left tackle, 246 at right guard, and 427 at right tackle. In 524 pass-blocking snaps, he allowed just two sacks and five pressures during the regular season. Turner also ranked third among all tackles in ESPN's pass-block win rate.
 
Like Turner, Wagner is another player who exceeded my expectations. Signed last offseason to help fill the void left by Bryan Bulaga; he started the year on the bench but filled in admirably when called up and eventually became a starter due to injuries. 
 
In 352 pass-blocking snaps over 13 regular-season games, Wagner allowed just one sack and 16 pressures from primarily the right tackle position--although he took some snaps at left tackle as well. For valid reasons, after a down 2019 season, many -- including myself -- wondered how effective Wagner would be in Green Bay, but he ended up surprising most of us.
 
Moving along to Gutey's draft picks, there is, of course, Elgton Jenkins, who has been dominant since his first snap in the NFL. Jenkins was named a Pro Bowler in 2020, and over his two seasons, he has been credited with only one sack and 44 pressures in nearly 1,400 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus
 
On top of that, he ranked ninth among all guards in ESPN's pass-block win rate metric, third by PFF's pass-blocking efficiency, and displayed that incredible versatility of his, playing every position this season, except for right guard. 
 
While it's still too early to tell what the Green Bay Packers have in 2020 draft picks Simon Stepaniak and Jake Hanson, the Jon Runyan Jr. selection appears to be another good one for Gutey. When called upon, Runyan played 137 snaps at left guard and 22 at right guard, allowing no sacks and four pressures.
 
With Corey Linsley likely heading elsewhere in free agency, the interior of the Green Bay Packers offensive line will look a little different in 2021, and as of now, I'd say Runyan is the front-runner for the right guard position. 
 
Another name worth mentioning is 2019 undrafted rookie Yosh Nijman. With only 15 career NFL snaps -- all of which came this season -- we don't know exactly where he stands, but at 6'7" - 314 pounds, he has terrific size, and working his way from a UDFA to a roster spot does tell us to some degree what Gutey and Matt LaFleur think of him. 
 
At this point in Gutey's three year tenure at the helm, there is really only one move along the offensive line that hasn't panned out and that was the fifth round selection of Cole Madison in 2018. Madison sat out his rookie season, was on the practice squad and suffered an ACL injury in 2019, and then cut this past summer.
 
With all of that said, as the old saying goes in the investment world, "past performance is no guarantee of future success." And the same holds true in this situation. But as the Green Bay Packers likely look for a long-term answer at right tackle this offseason, it doesn't hurt knowing that Gutey's track record along the offensive line is a pretty good one. 

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (99)

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Bearmeat's picture

February 08, 2021 at 11:35 am

Honestly, I think Jenkins solves a lot of problems. We have draft picks to fill in along the interior: Hansen, Runyan, Stephaniak. Jenkins being able to play all 5 positions well solves a lot of problems. And we also have Nijman as a possibility too.

I would not cut Wagner this year, but I'm not sure a high draft pick is merited at 30 or 62 or 94.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 12:06 pm

I think Jenkins solves one problem in a lot of different scenario. It gives you some flexibility. But he can't play every position, and he can get hurt.

We go about 9 deep on the O-line, plus some practice squaders.

As of this moment, our putative starting line for next year would be

Turner at left tackle, Patrick at guard, Jenkins at center, Runyan at guard, Wagner at tackle.

Ugh. When/if Bakhtiari returns, it starts to look better, but the group that starts this year won't have 3/5 of the starters from last year. We're weaker at this point.

And yeah, why would you want to cut a veteran offensive lineman? The name of the game remains "Protect your QB" . Not even Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees can get the job done if you can't protect them and give them time. When we have protected Rodgers over the last two years, we have usually won. And when we haven't, we have lost.

Plus, of course, you have to play 16 games to get to the playoffs, and ONE hit ends your season. So yeah, we need to improve this. A wide-assed dancing bear or a Jenkins-type with versatility on Day Two would be great. It'd help Dillon, too. It's probably the #1 thing we can do to improve offensively.

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splitpea1's picture

February 08, 2021 at 11:44 am

Hate to change the subject, but Gute needs to be focused on finding a pair of solid CBs, one whom needs to be able to start right away. And then on improving the D-line and adding better defensive depth.

If the tackle class is reportedly deep, and drafting them is a Packer strength, then it can wait until the middle rounds.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 12:16 pm

I agree with the CB take. I think, and a lot of people here agree, that we have to have a starter to replace King.

We need better protection for Rodgers. I'm not willing to bet my season on a Day Three offensive lineman.

Personally, I think we could move around in the draft a little and end up with 4 picks on Day Two. IMO, that would go a long way towards filling holes and upgrading.

I'd trade down a little and get an extra early 2nd and 3rd round pick. That'd give us 4.

CB, OL, DL, CB

I'd also look for a Day Three RB as insurance in case Dillon gets hurt.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:53 pm

I would trade up and try to secure another one pick to boot. The strength of the first round is OTs, get one and a CB. The need is for impact guys that can fill a starting role, then hunt a Slot WR with speed and another CB. Amass talent, not projects.

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Coldworld's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:32 pm

Prefer a DL in the first over an OT, but if not I agree CB is by far the biggest issue. OT is likely a later draft focus. I suspect we need LB/hybrid help depending upon the shape Barry seeks.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:16 pm

CW, Bhaktiari will likely not be ready by the start of league play. I am advocating a retro Ted move to move on an OT from this talented group and pull in a CB with a second # one pick. I would prefer a veteran DT to come on board and hunt a slot WR with speed to turn the sp teams around. Barry should be multiple with 3/4, 4/2, 5/2 looks. I believe ILBs should be in the mold of seek and destroy and let the safety cover TEs.

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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:06 am

I don’t really know what Barry will seek to implement here, his experience is varied. That will undoubtedly shape the draft, which I expect to be defense oriented anyway. I too doubt that Bakh is back immediately. But our O line is good enough to get us through the regular season. Like Bear, I think Jenkins us depth at Tackle if needed and we have Runyon and others at guard. I’d consider Taylor on a contract like last year too. I’m assuming Wagner will be back. Just don’t see equivalent value for next year at his cost. I would draft an OT later to develop,. We potentially need a week one starting CB. I think we need a DL too.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 08, 2021 at 02:08 pm

This was really my thought as well. Do I LOVE the OL going into next year? No. But I didn't going into this year either and they surprised everyone. Who's to say the young uns aren't ready?

Would I love to get a better OT? Sure. But it's not a worse position for us than CB or DT. Those are the dumpster fires on the team right now. We don't have the money to fix more than 1-2 things this offseason - including in the draft.

OL would not be my pick.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:31 pm

I don’t see any scenario that has us in the Championship game next game that doesn’t include a healthy Aaron Rodgers.

I think protecting Rodgers and opening holes for Dillon is offensive priority #1. If we do that, we’ll be good again.

I thought our Oline was very good at the start of last year, but three of those starters probably won’t be back. My opinion is that we should add a stud. I’m not afraid of having too many good blockers.

We can’t afford to buy free agents, but we could definitely improve ourself......especially on Day Two of the draft.

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Coldworld's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:35 pm

Runyon was not bad for a rookie. Stepaniak dropped because he was expected to red shirt. We drafted Hansen too. I think Wagner will be back and move to depth when Bakh returns.

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CoachDino's picture

February 08, 2021 at 07:17 pm

These are such great conversations as there are so many valid points. Just goes to show how impossible the Job as GM is. You just have so many picks and so much money. It's not about doing what you want but what you can.

OT and CB are critical and it most likely comes down to how the board falls. We are now in a prime example of what happens when draft and develop doesn't work and Jackson/Spriggs both were busts (hopefully Jackson isn't but, well...) The reason draft and develop is key is now you are forced to look for immediate help. which can be costly in both $ and resources. Now the packers "have to" draft OT and CB and ones that can start. The meat of this draft is in the top 100 or less. After the 1st 20 or so the value starts to bunch together. maybe trade back and get an extra 3rd or move up with your 2nd.

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Guam's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:38 pm

The OL pick depends on how quickly you think Bahk will be back. If you believe he will be ready for the start of the season, you don't need to draft an OT as the Packers will have Bahk and Turner as starters with Wagner as backup. If you believe Bahk won't be back until late in the season (big guys often take a full year to recover from an ACL), I would not want to play the season with Turner and Wagner as starters and Nijman as the backup.

The medical staff will pretty much make this call and hope they get it right.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:04 pm

And of course, Bakhtiari might never really be the same. There’s a pretty strong case to be made to draft a starter for the offensive line.

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Coldworld's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:37 pm

There are stronger cases for prioritizing elsewhere though.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:31 am

I don’t think so. Persuade me.

I think if we protect Rodgers and keep him healthy all season,we’ve got a good shot at winning the division. If we don’t, then we might not make the playoffs. Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor have significant health questions and Lindsey is a probable cap loss. That’s three starters from our opener last year.

A good offensive lineman will bring the additional extra benefit of holes for Dillon. If the offense rolls, maybe the defense will be enough.

Obviously we need a starter at corner, and it would be
nice if we could line up a stud next to Clark, but if we don’t keep Rodgers protected it doesn’t matter.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:25 pm

I'd like to draft a center or guard fairly high. Milt Hendrickson has a good eye for OL. I like GB's chances of drafting a stud OG or OC in the 2nd to 4th rounds loads better than getting an OT at #29, though perhaps the OT class is deep enough. OTOH, maybe Milt and Gute like Stepaniak, Runyan and/or Hanson.

At any rate, I am sufficiently on board the OL train as to not suggest an offensive skill position. At least, not today.

I do think CB was thin last year and looks thinner in 2021. On board with CB in the first if the draft cooperates.

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Tundraboy's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:38 pm

If the offense rolls .....

While I generally agree with bolstering the OL as we are better with our run game than in years, but, this team goes nowhere in playoffs again if the Defense is not fixed. The DL and CB are much more urgent. The days of if and maybe the D will be good enough are nothing I want to hear or see again. As Bear said it’s far more critical.

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CoachDino's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:02 pm

It can certainly be understood why cases for something other than OT could be more important. Here's why I don't think so:
I won't go into detail on Turner other than to say IMO and how he's been graded he is not a good OT. The same can be said about him at Guard. Wagner is probably a better RT but he's at the end due to age mostly, plus years of injuries.
For all the points made previously by posts Ol is the most important component other than QB. It's what will allow the team to get buy w/o a list of superstars in Skill positions and what optimizes Arods ability and longevity. It's how the Packers have constructed their team for years. Take a look at positional spending on OLINE compared to the rest of the league. It's a fact not an opinion. Its why the weapons thing is so silly, they have supplied Arod with one of the best Olines for most of his career. that trumps WR,RB and TE's all day. Just look at the SB. the NFCCG as well. They have supported him well.

Turner also is very costly. great points on the uncertainty of Bach and his injury and even less info on Yosh Njman so there are areas of uncertainty making a definite opinion.difficult. I'd lean toward keeping Turner and Wagner another year to be safe.

It also depends on the board, Im not in favor of taking a huge leap of faith on an OT is a CB, DI or even Wr is available that has higher value. That's IMO what happened last year with Love. He just became the best value by far the way the board fell, same with Arod when they took him.

As far as center, I'm hoping for CL to be resigned, zero faith in last years draft picks and or patrick at center. Drake Jackson is a real possibility in the 3rd, or Myers out of OSU. The really could use one.

Great conversation posters!!!!

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:50 am

Bahk may not fully recover, but those cases are far fewer than they used to be. The science of the surgery has progressed. As you and have others noted, there is a very strong case for drafting one or more CBs and many can make a good case for DT. I think most of us agree the needs are CB, DT, OT in some order.

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KenEllis's picture

February 08, 2021 at 11:48 am

Time for Gutey to invest in a 1st round Offensive Tackle for the future to protect his QB for the future.

When do fans expect our 2020 1st (and 4th) round pick to be unleashed on the NFL?

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 12:18 pm

The obvious answer to that, Ken Ellis, is when he's ready.

They didn't draft him so that he could sit on on the bench forever. When he's ready, he'll play. Maybe before then, if Rodgers gets hurt.

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Packerpasty's picture

February 08, 2021 at 02:24 pm

first he would have to win the backup job...

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Yeah. Gute and the rest of the personnel and scouting people might have been totally wrong.

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2021 at 11:54 am

Yes. Call it the Love effect more. IMO Linsley and Wagner will leave. TB made Wagner look bad, and he did have some Injuries. If Gute stays @ 29. Don't expect an impact player. If Ot is the choice, you'll either get a technician or Lt project for Love. If he trades up he gets defense. I'd trade up for that Defensive Impact player. Yes Barmore is @20 now, Paye may fall, and a CB rising. If he stays at #28, trade Down! Players to Watch Nixon, and Wilson (NFL BODY). Thats if you want a DL like TB.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 01:01 pm

You want a Dline like Tampa's you have to bring in pro bowl free agents like Suh, JPP and Barnett, and Fournette. Play to a 7-9 record to get a middle pick for your RT spot and hit on two other rookies that start or contribute like Winfield ( Eden Prairies HS) and Tyler Johnson ( Mpls North High school). Play combo zones and four man fronts, draft a hard hitting ILB and pray for rain. They have Z and Clark, P Smith is a guy that may need to go, so Bring in a FA DT and draft two more DT/DEs for the front. Still have to score at least 30 points+ to compensate for years of misses from the Gutey cartel.

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:24 pm

bring in pro bowl free agents- Thats very True. ( Gute had his chance before the season started.) But we No longer have the Cap room. So the draft is where we have to find them.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:59 pm

Did they resign Williams or is he a free bird.

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:27 pm

free. It's like A. Jones.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:36 pm

No the DE from the Giants or did they resign him?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Leonard Williams of the Giants will be a free agent. With 11.5 sacks and 30 QB hits, he is going to be very expensive.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:40 pm

Thank you.

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Demon's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:17 pm

You forgot to include all the years of Teds defensive misses. Thats wht once again we will be drafting i would guess 2 CB's in the upcoming draft.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:21 pm

We have 10 picks. Gutekunst doesn't need to trade down this draft.

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mnbadger's picture

February 08, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Yes we need a tackle and should take one early. IMO, all other picks thru round 5 should be devoted to defensive line big boys and ILB fast boys. Much depends on new D-coordinator's scheme and philosophy though. GPG

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Pff has a Draft Simulator. Forget rd. 5. Take a Rb or Wr late, to return Punts. BETTER FIELD POSITION.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:02 pm

If Rondale Moore is around @ #30, you have to consider him as a game changer.

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Nate-1980's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Definitely grab Moore, that would be a dream come true!!

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:07 pm

Never return punts. Fair catch and put your offense on the field. No turnovers, no penalties, no injuries.

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mnbadger's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Amen to the fair catch. Same for Kickoffs. Our special teams ratings and field position would improve significantly. GPG

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:34 pm

Three Phases of Football does not include Fear.

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Rebecca's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:35 pm

Fear is healthy. It’s how you handle it that counts.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 06:43 pm

Being smart is not the same as being afraid.

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nostradanus's picture

February 08, 2021 at 01:37 pm

Gotta get those big dudes early, not many Bakhtari’s out there. Gute will get one.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 08, 2021 at 01:47 pm

Agreed. Will need an eventual replacement for Turner and/or insurance if Bahk doesn't return to form. I'm guessing second round plus a late round or UDFA developmental project, or middle round + FA patch.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:26 pm

The best OTs will gone in round one.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:06 pm

Maybe not for an LT, but late 1st isn't a bad place to get a quality right tackle. That's where they got Brian Bulaga.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 09:19 pm

We're on the page here. An OT should be around near the lower third of the 1st round, I'm greedy and want them to move into the first for a CB also.

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Since'61's picture

February 08, 2021 at 10:23 pm

We took Bak in the 4th round and he’s the best LT in the league. Thanks, Since ‘61

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:23 pm

The Packers scouting department is adept at finding OL talent in every round. I wouldn't mind them waiting a bit as well, in a year with good OT depth, according to the real draft nerds

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:43 pm

That was another case of Divine Provenance or pure luck. Had he stayed for his senior year Bhak would have gone in the first round.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

February 08, 2021 at 02:19 pm

I think CB is at least as important as OL. We hit big on Jaire, not so much on King. Here is a 2017 PFF predraft report on KIng:

Can get lost on horizontal-breaking routes underneath, allowed 12 of 14 targets to be caught on slants and out routes in 2016.
Struggled against the raw speed of Cal’s Demetrius Robertson, getting beat deep a couple of times and didn’t have the wheels to recover.
Needs to get his hands on a receiver to prevent that big play disaster against speed.
Misses some tackles, with 10 in coverage last year alone, but he comes up quickly against the run and shoots in low.
Is less fluid against quickness underneath and is much more comfortable when he is within contact range of a receiver, which can lead to getting a bit too grabby sometimes. Had just three penalties last year, but more that would have been flagged in the NFL.

Pretty right on I'd say. If I'd read all that I wouldn't have drafted him so high, certainly not ahead of Watts.

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Razer's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:10 pm

Let's face it. In the latter years of the Thompson era, the Packers drafted poorly. I think the sweep when Gutekunst took over was much needed. I am not sure that more work needs to be done at the college scouting level especially with those evaluating the big men.

As for King, he had injury issues in college and he still has issues. After 4 years, he still doesn't know how to play at the line. Watching TB go after him couldn't have been a surprise to the coaches. It is just a wonder that other teams didn't exploit his weaknesses. If we resign King, we will have multiplied the original error.

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Demon's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:16 pm

Now add in that he was injured also. Not a good move at all by the former GM

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KenEllis's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:02 pm

So was Ted not given those all-too-accurate reports about King's shortcomings or was he so far gone that even if he read them he was not able to digest their meaning?

Either way, taking King over Watt was stupid in 2017 and looks even worse in hindsight.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:28 pm

King was an athletic freak, judging by his combine performance. Injuries have really mared his career. Ted was prone to taking chances on great potential that fell down the draft board due in part to injury concerns. It worked with Aaron Rodgers. It backfired with King and Justin (Super Bowl ring owner) Harrell.

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Swisch's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:12 pm

After King got beat for that first touchdown by the Bucs, maybe the coaches needed to be on guard. Then King was infamously beat right before the half for another touchdown. Then he was beat on another pass that was fairly deep but Evans dropped it. After all that, maybe King shouldn't have been out there at the end when he committed the devastating penalty for pass interference that ended the game.
So maybe the coaches have to be held accountable for what happened against the Bucs.
Also, if the weaknesses on his scouting report from four years ago before the draft match closely with the way King is now, then questions surface about whether this young player was developed properly -- or should have been kept around as long.
If this is the entirety of the PFF pre-draft report on King, it's remarkable for saying so little that was positive about him. How would you draft a guy like this at all, let alone in the first round?
In defense of King, perhaps he was overly hindered by injury against the Bucs. Also, perhaps in general he wasn't developed properly by the Packers to make the transition to the pro game. Was King unusually terrible in this Bucs game and generally a much better player throughout his first four years -- or was the Bucs game not all that far from typical?
Is there a possibility that Kevin King and Josh Jackson could be much better than it now appears if they get the right kind of coaching? I don't know, but your post is both eye-opening and thought-provoking, JohnnyLogan.
It also may be a good endorsement for PFF.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:30 pm

Ugh. Don't remind me. I literally posted days before the draft that K King was the one player I most hoped the Packers wouldn't pick. A number of predictions had connected him with the Packers, but he looked like another tall-but-poor-change-of-direction CB and had an injury background. :(

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:32 pm

If your scouting sense told you King had "poor-change-of-direction" coming out of Washington, your scouting sense was mistaken. Kevin King had a 9.95 RAS, according to Ken Lee Platte's formula which accounts for weight, and an elite agility grade. It wasn't lack of athleticism which has marred his short career, but a relentless flood of injuries.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Here's more detail on King's Relative Athletic Score on Ken's site:
https://relativeathleticscores.com/2020/01/06/kevin-king-ras/

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Swisch's picture

February 09, 2021 at 05:50 pm

Thanks, kb and Tgr, for the info on Kevin King when he was on the cusp of his pro career.
With the help of your comments, I'm really hoping and praying that maybe there is something there within him that can be brought out to revive his career as a cornerback in the NFL -- and if so, with the Packers.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:43 pm

King had it all physically. 6.56 three cone, 4.43 speed, height, wingspan, nice shuttle. I suppose 11 on the bench is subpar. I'd have taken Watt, but both were injury risks, Watt more so by what fans could learn.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:05 pm

I can "see" why Ted took him over T.J.Watt.

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Razer's picture

February 08, 2021 at 02:56 pm

Maybe I am alone on this one but, I don't see our O-line as all that strong. Yes we had a good regular season with Bakh but we didn't fair very well against the stronger fronts like TB. I saw Turner's numbers more times than I care to remember as he was beat equally to the inside and outside. The best I can say is that he was versatile. Wagner is done. Can't handle the speed and can't stay healthy. As we are close to $20 million over the cap, Linsley will not be signed. Lot of work and resources need to be spend on the right side.

Other than Jenkins and some "Flex Seal" patches, I don't see what Gutekunst has done to garner all that "track record". Other Runyan, who did actually play, Nijman and other project guys are practice squad projects. Bottom-line is that the front office needs to do a better job of identifying and evaluating big men of both sides of the ball.

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Swisch's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:45 pm

It seems the only defense our offensive line didn't fair well against just crunched the high-flying defending-champion Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
That game might make our offensive line look even better.

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PhantomII's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:44 pm

You're right. Chiefs were without L/R starting OT's in the game though.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:46 am

Tampa Bay had a really good defensive front. Injured offensive lines aren’t going to look that good against them.

We started last season with good starters and depth. Now, three of those starters are huge question marks and the guys behind them aren’t as good.

If we were playing tomorrow, it’d be Turner, Patrick, Jenkins, Runyon and Wagner, with no proven backups. I wouldn’t want to bet the season on that.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

February 11, 2021 at 10:18 am

Every year, I say the Packers need to invest early and often on talented big bodies on both sides of the line. I get so tired of annually getting to playoffs and seeing either the OL (think Giants, or TB), or DL beaten like a drum (think 49's or say Denver). They are not sexy picks but where the game is usually won or lost.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:38 pm

Our offensive line may not have been perfect this past season, and was overmatched against Tampa Bay, but it's simply unfair to think they weren't one of the stronger OL units in the NFL last year. Have you researched their performance relative to the rest of the league, or is your perception mostly based on an unrealistic ideal OL you imagine would be strong?

Turner isn't great, but he had a great year, exceeding expectations when lined up at RT. Try to think back to the beginning of the season when everyone was panicking that we let Bulaga go and didn't draft a OT high. No one believed Wagner could play and assumed he was the plan at RT. Turner will be a capable starter again next year.

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PF4L's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:17 pm

With OT a Need, Gutey has Strong Track Record Addressing OL
.
Cole Madison

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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:02 am

AWE :(

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feririob's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:22 pm

What a nice article, thanks)

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Minniman's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:34 pm

All the way with BPA!

Teams are always only 1 injury away from a position being a risk or a need.

If BPA at pick #29 is a CB or an OT then great!

If it turns out to be any other position than QB then so-be-it.

I think that the only certainty in this draft is that the Packers won't take a QB early.

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Lare's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:37 pm

If I had to bet, I'd say Gutekunst will do enough for the Packers to win the NFC North and be one-and-done in the playoffs again.

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Ernesto's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:18 pm

Good that your optimistic but no way this team wins the div not with the Vikes solid d ready to have that break out season.

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4thand1's picture

February 08, 2021 at 10:09 pm

The viqueens suck as much as the bearlies

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NickPerry's picture

February 09, 2021 at 06:12 am

Solid D?

Solid D AND Captain Kurt??

HUH???

The Vikings haven't "Broke out" since they tried to be clever and persuaded Brett Favre to come and play for them. There isn't and EX Packers QB's out there for them to scramble for so there will be no breaking out in Minnie!

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:54 pm

Look up "one-and-done" on google. You are mistaken about what it means. You can find an ESPN article describing Peyton Manning's one-and-done history from 2013. He ended his career with NINE one-and-dones.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has only gone one-and-done three times, and none of those have happend since the 2013 Wild Card loss to San Francisco.

Getting to NFC Championship games and losing is not going one-and-done. It's disappointing, and not what the players or fans were hoping for, but it's not one-and-done by definition.

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PF4L's picture

February 08, 2021 at 03:53 pm

An Associated Press reporter found himself alone with Brian Gutenkunst at the Super Bowl.
**************************
Reporter: Brian…looking back in retrospect, do you wish you had drafted for immediate need vs a QB for the future?
B. Gutenkunst: Are we starting with the hard questions first?
Reporter: Well…do the best you can Brian.
B. Gutenkunst: Ok thanks….i’ll pass
Reporter: Well Brian, let me rephrase the question then. Both LaFleur and yourself have expressed your opinion that Rodgers will be here for some years to come. Would your resources have been better spent drafting players that could play now?
B. Gutenkunst: That question isn’t any easier. Did anyone from the Packers approve these questions?
Reporter: How about we just move on.
B. Gutenkunst: That sounds good, i want to answer but i’d like to confer with Mark Murphy before i do. He has final say around Green Bay.
Reporter: Ok, moving on….Is it true that 7 months before the 2020 draft you flew out to scout Jordan Love playing against LSU and spent a fair amount of time on the phone getting feedback on Love from his old coaches? Some people speculate that Love was your guy going into the draft, especially trading up for him.
B. Gutenkunst: So we’re staying on the same subject?
Reporter: Trying
B. Gutenkunst: Well…let me be clear, for the record, just so there is no misunderstandings i’ll say this. I knew who Jordan Love was before the draft.
Reporter: Ok, thanks for that insight. Lets switch gears for a bit
B. Gutenkunst: Thank you!
Reporter: Is the power structure the same as when you were hired, does everything still have to be approved by Mark Murphy, or can you and LaFleur now make changes without his approval?
B. Gutenkunst: Russ Ball also has input, he’s 2nd in charge with all his new fancy shmancy job titles. But i can tell you this much, to answer your question with complete accuracy i’ll have to get back to you on this.
Reporter: I have an easier one for you. How’s the 2021 draft shaping up for?
B. Gutenkunst: It’s been fantastic! We already know who we’re picking in the first round.
Reporter: May i ask who?
B. Gutenkunst: Well, i can’t give you a name, but we will outsmart every other team out there. We have our eye on a long snapper that we really believe can be a very capable corner in this league. With about 3 years development he should be a starter that we think can shut down the other side of the field.
Reporter: Isn’t that a long time to wait to get a 1st round pick on the field?
B. Gutenkunst: We’re not afraid of having a top pick develop for 3, or 4 years when we think….he’s our guy. I’ll trade up for him if i have to.
Reporter: Ok, thanks, that should do it. Congrats on the season.
B. Gutenkunst: Thanks…i did what i could

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splitpea1's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Outstanding! Love the part about the long snapper. Really, though, I hope they've learned their lesson with trying prospects in places they're unaccustomed to, but I wouldn't fully bank on it.

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PF4L's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:17 pm

I'm proud you were raised in Green Bay Paul. That's an elite crowd.
.
Now lets examine your claim. Gutey's been GM for 3 seasons. Our O line gets steamrolled by strong front 7's. Gute got us a couple band aids in free agency. Turner has been ok, Wagner is what he is. But both got steamrolled in the NFCCG.

Should we acknowledge a GM who had a "real" knack for addressing the O line, Ted Thompson?
TJ Lang... 4th round....2009......Pro Bowler.
Josh Sitton...4th round...2008...All-Pro/Pro Bowler.
David Bahktiari....4th round...2013...All-Pro/Pro Bowler.

Just so there is no confusion.
THAT....is what i consider a strong track record.
Our viewpoints may differ.

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KenEllis's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:42 pm

Love it ... but you forgot Bryan Bulaga (round 1), JC Tretter (round 4 I think), and Corey Linsley (round 5).

Given that he played linebacker in the NFL, It is amazing that Ted was SO, SO much better at drafting offense -- QB, the OLine, and WRs especially, than defense (don't want to recount the horror show of selections other than Kenny Clark).

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Minniman's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:03 pm

The Packers weren’t the proverbial “Robinson Crusoe” in the “o-line getting dominated game” during playoffs.

Neither the Saints or the Chiefs were back-markers of o-line stats and they couldn’t stop the Buccs defensive front either.

Take a bow Todd Bowles - your well drilled and schemed defenses took down 3 future HOF QB’s in succession. Kudos, you planned well and your players executed.

On a side note, I wanted to wait till I saw how the SB panned out before posting this, but...... give yourself an uppercut to the referees chief - why make refs police holding through the regular season then take the BS approach of ‘letting players play’ during the post-season. The buccs secondary got away with holding all playoffs....... very inconsistent and not a good look for the game.

If the Packers make the post season next year, Joe Barry, Press man secondary all the way! Packers secondary should play sooo handsy that they’ll be able to tell the skin-fold measurements of their opponents by the end of the game.

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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:57 am

It's the zebra's fault!!

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Minniman's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:44 pm

Ha ha - I see what you did there!

In all seriousness though these are the 1%-ers that define games amongst relatively equal teams

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Nate-1980's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:10 pm

PF4L might be my new favorite poster ha..It’s all about dem facts..:)

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 08, 2021 at 04:24 pm

Both OT and CB look to have decent choices predicted to be available at pick #30, but that is only meaningful before Draft Day. Once your picking time arrives, all you should be doing is looking at BPA, and measuring the top guys on your board vs, one another. It's possible an "Aaron Rodgers" is sitting there, and if (whatever position he plays) he is rated WAY higher than anyone else, you should take him. Honestly, any guy you think will be great (K or P excluded...) would be good, even QB. A "sure-thing" QB just means you trade Love, etc. Even a RB would be possible, IF the Packers don't resign Jones by then. I'd be very happy with a DL, ILB, OLB, S or even a C or G (slide Jenkins to OT). We'll see who is available when the pick arrives.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:57 pm

BUT what would we write and argue about for the next month until Free Agency begins ;)

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Ernesto's picture

February 08, 2021 at 05:16 pm

Again this year Gutt has a huge to do list because he never drafts of finds talent that becomes fixture. He is a lets patch this lets patch that and see what happens.
The Vikes just cemented their pass defense for years, O line for years, running game for years, passing game for years. They can have a ball picking guys to back up the studs they have.

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Minniman's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:11 pm

I respectfully don’t agree.

He has a salary cap to work under, so that’s a major determinant on the choices that he had and the players that he could reasonably target...... but on that note, look at the previous year, he pretty much rebuilt the OLB group. That’s not tinkering.

The Packers aren’t a dumpster fire, so there’s no need for a rebuild (which would require dealing Rodgers or other key pieces for picks) - so it is a case now of tinkering around the edges.

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Nate-1980's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:51 am

Don’t feed the trolls minniman ha..:) Yeah the Vikings are set, they’ll be world beaters for sure haha..

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canadapacker's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:50 pm

OK supposedly Linsley is gone - agree because we cant afford him with what he will get and his back has been acting up. So we need some backups - while we wait to see what we have until Bak gets back and we are pretty well set if Runyon can start. But I am thinking that rather than spending draft capital here - perhaps take a long in the tooth guy for a cheaper price - like Iupati etc. Like we did with Veldheer last year. We will need to develop the Oline - but maybe that means that we bring back Lewis as a good blocking TE really helps. We really need to spend some draft capital on edge rushers and linebackers or hybrid safeties. We just dont have the Harrison smith type of guys who can really hit and cover Tightends. You have only a few draft picks and as we proved this year we have a good receiving corps and didnt get Funchess to play - so maybe we need to get someone in free agency. But if we dont address the Dline/Middle lineback area we cannot handle the teams like the Bucs did to KC. And that takes draft capital and a better coaching philosophy defensively. Now that being said - you might need to let the draft board talk to you which is what the Love pick was supposed to be - but we know where we need to concentrate our focus and that is Defense. I also would like to see us get a Cobb/Amendola/Beasley type of guy. We shouldnt use Adams there that much.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:22 pm

OK. Wow. Well. Hmm. How can I put this?

Did anyone notice how CLEAN TB12's uniform was at the end of the Super Bowl? If the dude had an endorsement deal with Clorox they would have dumped him. That jersey was shining whiter than a model's teeth in a toothpaste commercial. And did anyone notice that TB rolled through GB and KC, who both were missing key players at the OT positions, and made them look silly? And did anyone notice Yosh on the field in December or January, cause I missed it. He's two full years into the system, the cupboard is bare, and he still can't get on the field this winter. Yeah. OT in round 1 or round 2 please.

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canadapacker's picture

February 08, 2021 at 08:53 pm

Did anyone notice how much talk was about how bad the refs were? NFL network spent at least 6 hours talking about how the penalties were kind of iffy and always favored Brady. But did anybody say that for the lack of two bad calls - ie the interference penalty that wasnt called and led to a Rodgers INT and the one that was called and effectively ended the game that would have at least given a chance for AR to march down the field.? Look we were in the game and while AR was pressured not to the extent that KC was and we were missing BAK and we beat a pretty good Rams squad. We will get our OLine back to a serviceable standard and will have a new center. Bak will be ready if not at the start but at least early in the season. We have enough there now to let Linsley walk and will bring the other guys along. Even if we draft somebody in Rounds 1 or 2 they are unlikely to make the starting rosters - how many of them do to start the season. We have other major needs on the Defense - AR's jersey will be clean as like Brady he will get the ball out. How many times did Brady even try to go long - not many. Run game and quick passes - which we did all year long - and then the odd bomb.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:47 pm

"Bak will be ready if not at the start but at least early in the season."

Possible. Not certain. And even if is back, and effective, the Packers need a long-term answer at RT. How often do OL start in year 1? I don't know, ask Linsley, Bakh or Jenkins. Or Bulaga. Or Tauscher.

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canadapacker's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:03 pm

For every Linsley 5th rounder there are those who dont pan out - for every Jenkins 2nd rounder there is a Spriggs 2nd rounder. The point is what is more important - getting some D help and hope to develop the guys that we have who were late rounders like Linsley or spend the draft picks on the D. Stepaniuk fell in the draft due to injury but maybe he will overcome and play to potential - with Hanson probably being a backup center to Jenkins. And then there is Runyon and the other guys that have been there like Taylor Wagner and dont forget Njimon somewhere in the background

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nostradanus's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:17 am

Madison was a mid-late round flyer and ended up having mental issues and then a bad injury, he might have turned out to be a serviceable player. Gute has got this, he drafted Jenkins and Runyan looks like he may be ok at G.

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Nate-1980's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:07 pm

What about Lane Taylor, he was playing well before the injury, and he’s cheap..If Gute drafts interior line men he’s a moron, we’re set there, we need tackles..I know a lot of you think we don’t need receiver help, but I’d put that as 4th biggest need at the least..

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frankthefork's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:16 pm

I think the GBP's need to draft 2 OT's. Jenkins from OK State in the 2nd and Van Lanen from WI with one of the 4th rd picks would be... very nice says Borat!

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