As we observed 2019 unfold we immediately became aware of two issues the Packers will face in building the 2020 roster. The Defensive line struggled stopping opponents run game. The Offense struggled with protection at times, but did perform better than the D-Line. It appeared that LT David Bakhtiari, after sustaining some type of injury in game 8, had issues with protection the later half of the season. His RT teammate Brian Bulaga has reached the end of his contract and Brian Gutekunst has not determined Brian’s fate. Along the defensive front DT Kenny Clark needs help, no way around that.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst can scan the FA market for assistance with either of the line woes. Speaking defense, Pittsburgh Steelers Javon Hargrave or New England Patriots Danny Shelton might be affordable for the Packers. It may be a position that could be helped through the draft with TX A&M DT Justin Madubuike 6’3″/304 Lbs, or Alabama’s Raekwon Davis 6’6″/316 Lbs. Either would complement Kenny Clark perfectly. We will depend on Gutekunst and Pettine to come up with the proper solution here.
On the offensive line the Packers need another home run similar to Elgton Jenkins. Free Agent OT Jared Veldheer filled in admirably for Bulaga when he couldn’t take the field vs Seattle in the playoffs. Veldheer is 32 yrs old, but he obviously still has game left in his legs. Obviously the Packers could choose to resign Bulaga and Veldheer to one year deals. I’m more in line with obtaining a reliable younger veteran for O-Line assistance. One FA prospect I like is Philadelphia Eagles Halapoulivaati Vaitai age 27, or Carolina Panthers Daryl Williams age 28. Signing either would have to come at an affordable price tag. My favorite in the draft is the versatile 6’5″ 322 Lbs. Tristan Wirfs OL Iowa. It’s likely he won’t be available when the Pack is looking O-Line. Next in line would be Washington’s Trey Adams, Louisiana Lafayette’s Robert Hunt or TCU’s Lucas Niang. One point is certain, the Packers need another strong O-Lineman.
Throughout the off season I will continue to review prospects at the positions of need for the Packers.
As Always, Go Pack Go!!!
PackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter