The Green Bay Packers have two second-round picks in the 2024 NFL draft courtesy of last year’s Aaron Rodgers trade. Could they potentially put one of those picks toward getting a replacement for left tackle David Bakhtiari?
The Packers will have to decide if they want to make a long-term switch at left tackle and move on from Bakhtiari during the 2024 offseason. The five-time All-Pro has one season left on his contract.
But he is still recovering from the latest injury setback with his surgically repaired left knee and carries a $40 million cap hit into the 2023 season. Should the Packers cut the cord, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine projects that Denver Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles — a 2020 All-Pro — could be a fit for them in a trade.
He suggested the Packers send their own second-round selection (No. 58 overall) to the Broncos in exchange for Bolles, an experienced vet to cover Jordan Love’s blindside.
“The Packers don’t usually trade picks for players, but they have five picks in the top 100 and 11 total picks in this year’s draft,” Ballentine wrote on February 7.
“If there’s a time to use one of those picks who could be a veteran difference-maker it’s now.” Bolles allowed just three sacks and 27 pressures over 17 games for the Broncos in 2023 and finished with Pro Football Focus’ third-highest pass-blocking grade (83.8) among the 23 offensive tackles who played at least 1,000 total snaps.
The Packers would not be getting much younger going from Bakhtiari to the 31-year-old Bolles, but they would be getting someone who is both consistently available and plays at a high level.
Packers Have Draft Resources to Find New Left Tackle
The Packers ultimately have little reason to make an aggressive trade for a new starting left tackle this offseason. For one, they have 2023 starter Rasheed Walker set to return.
He is also looking to build off a solid first season as an unexpected starter replacing Bakhtiari. He had rough spots, but he also steadied into a promising pass-blocker by year’s end.
The Packers also own three selections in the first two rounds of the 2024 NFL draft, including the No. 25 overall pick. They could potentially find an immediate starter at the position if they invest their top pick in someone like Arizona’s Jordan Morgan or Washington’s Troy Fautanu.
Although, Green Bay does not struggle to find Day 1 starters at the position in Day 3 of the draft. (See: Bakhtiari, Walker and Zach Tom).
Whether it is Walker or a rookie, though, the Packers are going to want to make sure they have someone who can build a connection with Love and stick around as their long-term answer at the position. They gained clarity on Love during his first season as their starting quarterback. Now, they must continue building the core around him.