What is a luxury a team with a first year starting Quarterback would like to have? You can talk about weapons all you want, but I think the entire offensive line returning is a big one as well. The Green Bay Packers have this luxury. Every single member of the Packers Offensive Line that played a snap in 2022, is returning for 2023. And that is huge for Jordan Love.

When it comes to the players that will be likely lining up in front of Love this season, each and every one of them knows the Offense already. The only new thing for them will be whose voice they are hearing call the shots. Even then, most of them are already familiar with Love. The likely starters are arguably the best left side in football, David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins. The right side will likely consist of Jon Runyan and either Yosh Nijman, or Zach Tom. And the middle will likely be third year starter, Josh Myers.

This starting squad gave up 32 sacks last year. This number sits at the middle of the pack when put up against the rest of the league. If I’m being honest, some of those sacks I think came with an indecisive Aaron Rodgers. So, perhaps take away 4-5 of those sacks, and we’re looking at being the fifth lowest in the league. That’s not to say it’s all Rodgers’ fault, but some sacks you just can’t completely place the blame on the protection.

Some of those sacks and bad plays did however, come at the expense of now second year player, Zach Tom, who I would expect to make a big leap in 2023.

Player to Watch: Zach Tom

I wrote about Zach Tom a lot last season. There was zero doubt that the fourth-round pick was carving out a spot for himself on the Packers offensive line. He showed up with the hype of being like an offensive line Swiss army knife. He could play it all, Tackle, Guard, Center, and he started at 2/3 of those positions his rookie season.

Zach Tom was nearly flawless when lining up in the Tackle position last year. He did it on the right side and the left. This year, I think he will challenge Yosh Nijman for that starting spot on the right side of the line. However, there is one other spot I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get some reps.

Josh Myers has been more or less an average Center so far. He’s shown some bright spots, but he’s also shown some rough patches as well. With Zach Tom logging 1100 snaps at Center in college, I think Matt LaFleur should keep the idea of Tom at Center in his back pocket. You want your five best linemen on that field at once, right? Well, I think Zach Tom challenges Josh Myers for that number 5 spot.

Future Starters

David Bakhtiari isn’t going to play forever, right? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2023 is his Packers swan song. The aforementioned Zach Tom is an obvious replacement choice. But there are three towering young linemen currently considered project players that I wouldn’t be surprised to see get their shot eventually.

Caleb Jones stands at 6’9, Luke Tenuta at 6’8, and Rasheed Walker at 6’6. These guys possess the type of size you pray for along your offensive line. They also possess the physicality that you want on your line. The only thing these three need, is refinement.

Packers offensive line coach, Luke Butkus stated that it’s been fun to watch these three grow. Improvement from them since 2022 will be noticeable, but they still need work. He expects them to be ready to take on larger roles by 2024.

It looks like the present, and the future is very bright along the Packers offensive line.

How will this work in Love’s favor?

As I already said before, having an entire compliment of linemen that already know the system and are ready to roll, is a huge advantage. Jordan Love will not have to worry about constantly pulling a rookie Offensive Lineman or new to the system lineman aside and insure they know what’s going on. That work should be very minimal.

I go back to the stat-line of the Packers Offensive Line being near the middle of the pack for sacks allowed. Aaron Rodgers has made a career out of extending the play. These linemen have had to work overtime occasionally to insure the QB goes untouched. Yet they still kept him on his feet more than most of the rest of the league. I see Jordan Love being a little quicker to get rid of the ball than Aaron Rodgers. I see him a little more willing to hit his check-down and take the free 5-6 yards on first and second down than buying time and hoping someone gets open for the big play.

With this philosophy, I could see this offensive line sitting in the top 5 of least sacks allowed in 2023. Without defenders breathing down his neck at all times, Jordan Love could sit comfortably in that pocket and be able to grow by leaps and bounds as a starter from Day 1.

If Love can be comfortable off the bat, and this line can pave the way for Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon as they have been, look out. This could be the start of something special.

Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.