For the Green Bay Packers, their offensive line was one of the best parts of their offensive attack this year. Having helped keep Aaron Rodgers (and Jordan Love) upright while clearing holes for Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, this was one of the best years in recent memory for this unit.
This unit greatly benefited from both the return of David Bakhtiari and the drafting of Zach Tom, plus the development of Yosh Njiman into one of their starters at tackle. Seven players (Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Njiman, Jon Runyan, and Tom) saw time for Green Bay on their OL in the 2022-23 season, and they all played big roles in a top-3 OL unit, according to PFF.
Having averaged less than two sacks allowed per game this past season speaks to the growth of this positional group, as well as the work done by OL coach Luke Butkus and assistant OL coach Ryan Mahaffey, among others. With Rodgers’ mobility far from what it used to be and his receivers at times having issues getting open, this unit was tested often but stood the test of time over the course of the season.
Of the seven members that earned game time this year, only Myers and Runyan made starts in all 17 games, with Bakhtiari (11 starts), Jenkins (15), Newman (6), Njiman (13), and Tom (5) suiting up in limited action. Both Newman and Njiman saw action in all 17 games, just didn’t record starts in every game.
The health of Bakhtiari has been an important part of how well/poorly the OL unit has performed, having not played in a full season since 2019. His 11 games came on the heels of his return from the ACL injury suffered back in December 2020, a recovery that included three surgeries during a period of 18 months.
Couple that recovery with missing three games due to an appendectomy, and you have a huge uphill battle for Bakhtiari that resulted in less than 600 snaps. But a silver lining heading into next year – Bakhtiari only allowed 10 hurries on 339 pass-blocking snaps and allowed 0 sacks all year.
GM Brian Gutekunst will likely draft a few pieces for the OL, as he typically does every year, so this might not be the same starting unit that suits up Week 1 in the fall. With the cap sheet also needing some help, there could be some changes made to the offensive line group for money-saving purposes as well.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23
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