It seems to be more so in recent seasons, but Packers’ right tackle Bryan Bulaga takes a lot of flack for someone who has given Green Bay stability at an incredibly difficult position for nearly a decade.
Now, injuries have been a part of his career as he has only played a full 16 game season twice in his nine years but his durability has been a bit exaggerated over the years.
Yes, he did miss all of the 2013 season and in 2017 he would play in only five games, but excluding those two seasons, he has played in 57 out of 64 games since 2014. He’s also been top ten on the team in each of those seasons in total snap percentage.
Do we wish he had played in more games than he has? Of course we do, but he’s been available far more often than not and when he’s been on the field he has been very impressive.
First off, finding a top-tier talent at either tackle position is incredibly difficult. To play the position it takes a combination of size, speed, and strength that just not many players possess.
Tackles must be quick enough to handle blitzing linebackers and speedy EDGE rushers in open space, while also having the brute strength to handle bull rushes and take on defensive tackles at times.
There is a reason that this is a premium position in the NFL and the Green Bay Packers have been lucky enough to have Bulaga holding down the right side for a while now.
Having just turned 30 a few months back, Bulaga is coming off of a very good 2018 season. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Bulaga finished the season with a pass-blocking grade of 84.1 which ranked as the sixth-best season by a tackle since PFF started recording.
Bulaga would allow just five sacks, three hurries and 14 pressures in his 559 pass-blocking attempts. He would also finish the season with 136 consecutive pass blocks without allowing a single pressure which was the longest streak for any guard or tackle last season.
Another metric used by ESPN Analytics to measure success among offensive linemen is Pass Block Win Rate. What it tells us is the rate at which an offensive lineman can sustain a block for 2.5 seconds or longer. Out of all the tackles in 2018, Bulaga finished second with a success rate of 92 percent.
The name of the game for the Packers is to keep Aaron Rodgers upright, even with all the changes made this offseason that still holds true and Bryan Bulaga is one of the best at it.
This is the final year of Bulaga’s five year deal with the Green Bay Packers and he will be set to make $5.8 million. With the return of Cole Madison, as well as the additions of Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins along the offensive front, it will be interesting to see how things play out next offseason and if he will be back in 2020 with the Packers.
However, at this moment we don’t need to know that answer but we do know that the Packers have one of the best tackles in the league on the right side and fans need to appreciate the role that he has played for this team since he started as a rookie in 2010.