In Day 2 of our Green Bay Packers draft preview, here is a look at the offensive tackles.
Packers depth chart
If the Packers lined up today, Marshall Newhouse would be at left tackle, Bryan Bulaga at right tackle. Newhouse, with excellent feet and intelligence, took a big step forward from 2011 to 2012 but is still considered a below-average left tackle. Bulaga had an outstanding 2011, had a miserable game at Seattle in Week 3 of 2012 and missed half the season with a major hip injury.
Nothing, however, is set in stone. Can 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod shake off a season’s worth of rust and challenge for a starting position? He was just starting to make a move in 2011 when he broke his leg. Would it be worth moving Bulaga to left tackle and having Sherrod or Don Barclay battle it out at right tackle?
Packers draft outlook
Considering how many points the Packers have scored with Newhouse at left tackle, the in-house possibilities and the holes elsewhere, offensive tackle is not a priority. Still, coach Mike McCarthy did say the offensive line needs to perform better, so it certainly would be no surprise if the team uses its third first-round pick in four seasons on an offensive tackle.
Strength of draft class
In a word, outstanding. Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson are potential top-eight picks at franchise-building left tackles. Mammoth Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker is a certain first-round pick. And then Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead, Florida State’s Menelik Watson and Syracuse’s Justin Pugh (who we talked about with the guards on Monday) could get into the first round, as well.
Bottom of the first (round)
Armstead and Pugh could be options at No. 26. Armstead answered the small-school questions at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine; Pugh addressed the questions about his arm length with quality play at the Senior Bowl, as well. For an extra point on Pugh, he’s the first lineman in Syracuse history to record 100 knockdown blocks in back-to-back seasons.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.