Packers Could Target Offensive Line Help In 2024 NFL Draft

JC Latham, Packers
Packers Coverage, NFL Analysis Network

Coming into the 2023 season, arguably the strongest position group on the Green Bay Packers was their offensive line. However, a massive x-factor for that group was their health, which has not been there yet this season.

The Packers had their projected starting lineup play one game together. Naturally, it was the team’s most dominant performance this season, as they blew out the Chicago Bears 38-20 in Week 1 of the season. From that point on, Green Bay has been without at least one starter each week.

Week 1 was actually the last time we saw David Bakhtiari on the field. He has missed the subsequent three games because of his balky knee. Left guard Elgton Jenkins was injured in the Week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons and hasn’t been back on the field either.

Right guard Jon Runyan Jr. is currently dealing with an ankle injury but was able to battle through it to play in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions. Right tackle Zach Tom has also battled some injuries but has played in all four games.

Things are certainly not going according to plan, but there isn’t much that the Packers can do about the offensive line in season. They have to hope that players such as Rasheed Walker continue playing at a high level as replacements for the starters.

Next offseason, however, changes could be made. Matt Holder of Bleacher Report believes that Green Bay could look to add an offensive lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft. One prospect to keep an eye on is JC Latham of Alabama.

“David Bakhtiari turns 32 years old at the end of the month and only has two years left on his deal. While Zach Tom could slide over to be Bakhtiari’s replacement, the Cheeseheads could use another tackle, and Latham projects as a good right tackle in the NFL, per B/R’s NFL draft scout Brandon Thorn.

“Latham is a massive, long-bodied tackle with very good power and a nasty demeanor,” Thorn said. “This leads to major displacement and movement in the run game with thunderous finishes. Latham is also a patient pass-blocker with the independent hand usage, tact and timing needed to play on an island.

“He is still learning how to maintain proper positioning and leverage against effective inside counters and speed to power moves, but his size, power, movement skills and demeanor suggest that he can stick at right tackle or move inside to guard in the NFL.”

Given the severity of Bakhtiari’s knee injury, it will be impossible for the Packers to count on him. With an astronomical cap hit of $40 million in 2024, he is more than likely going to be cut to save money.

Even if Walker runs away with the job this season, Green Bay will bring in some competition along the offensive line next offseason. Given the versatility of players such as Tom, the Packers could kick him inside and add Latham at tackle as well.