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Possible Green Packers Offensive Line Combinations To Kickoff 2021 Season

The 2021 Green Bay Packers offensive line may look quite a bit different from last year's. Here are some possible combinations for this year.
Packers Offensive Line

Adam Stenavich has been given some more responsibilities by Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. Along with being the Packers offensive line coach, he will now also serve as the run game coordinator. The move is looked at as a promotion to Stenavich. Stenavich has been an unsung hero for the Packers coaching staff. Not only did he replace a well-respected offensive line coach in James Campen, but the Packers offensive line has been one of the best since putting Stenavich in charge. Stenavich wasn’t just given this new title, but it was something he has earned. However, he is facing a very daunting task in 2021. The 2021 Green Bay Packers offensive line may look quite a bit different from the one you saw in 2020.

Some Possible New Faces To the Starting Green Bay Packers Offensive Line

Last year’s starting Packers offensive line was one of the best the Packers have had in recent history. The group, consisting of David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Corey Linsley, Lucas Patrick,  and Billy Turner, made up one of the best offensive lines in the NFL last season. However, the 2021 version of the Packers offensive line is expected to look quite a bit different compared to 2020.

For at least the start of 2021, the left tackle position isn’t expected to be held down by Bakhtiari. The standout-out Packers starting left tackle suffered a torn ACL late in the 2020 season. With him suffering the injury so late in the season, his return date for 2021 is still up in the air. All indications are that his recovery is going well. However, he still has a long way to go to make it back onto the field.

Left tackle isn’t the only position on the Packers offensive line that might have a new face on it. Starting center Corey Linsley, who is a free agent this off-season, isn’t expected back for 2021. Linsley had an incredible season for the Packers in 2020. He earned All-Pro honors, the first time in his career, in 2020. While his play was no doubt appreciated by the Packers, it also sealed his fate for his future in Green Bay. The Packers are over the salary cap as of right now and it is expected that he will get quite a bit of money on the open market.

Stenavich and LaFleur will need to find the right combination for the starting Packers offensive line to protect their three-time MVP and 37-year-old quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.  Here, we take a look at some possible scenarios for the Packers offensive line to start 2021.

Packers Offensive Line, Scenario #1

Turner at left tackle, Jon Runyan Jr. at left guard, Jenkins at the center, right guard veteran Lane Taylor, and the right tackle being either a free-agent addition or someone selected from this year’s draft.

In every scenario you will see here, Turner will be the starting left tackle until Bakhtiari is healthy and ready to return. When the Packers offensive line lost Bakhtiari, Turner held his own, until the NFC Championship game. In that game, Turner struggled mightily with the eventual Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line. Still, Turner showed enough last season in his spot duty at left tackle that he is capable of playing there while Bakhtiari is out.

Runyan Jr saw some time at left guard when Linsley was injured and Jenkins moved over to center in 2020. He did well and with a possible full training camp this season, he should be ready to go if needed.  Jenkins can play anywhere on the Packers offensive line and he can play it well.  Playing center won’t be an issue.

The questions will be on the right side. Taylor had a strong training camp in 2020 which earned him the starting right guard position. Sadly, he was lost to a season-ending injury in Week 1. The injury along with him being a free agent doesn’t make him a guarantee to be back in 2021.  However, if he is healthy, the Packers should look to bring him back.

Right tackle will be something to watch. Rick Wagner, who saw time there last season, was cut this off-season. He could be brought back, but that is questionable. General manager Brian Gutekunst might be forced to either sign or draft a player who can start at right tackle. One possible candidate could be veteran Jared Veldheer.

Packers Offensive Line, Scenario #2

Turner at left tackle, Jenkins at left guard, Patrick at the center, Taylor at right guard, and Yosh Nijman as the starter at right tackle.

If the Packers believe that Jenkins best value is at left guard, this very well might be the lineup in Week 1. Patrick has seen some spot duty at center and has shown he is capable of holding that position down. Arguably, Patrick might be better off at center than he is at guard.

Still, the question mark here will be the right side of the offensive line. There are so many questions facing that side going into next season. For this scenario, the Packers start former undrafted free agent Yosh Nijman at right tackle.  This shows how thin they are at right tackle. Nijman hasn’t started a game in the NFL. However, the Packers have invested two years in the Virginia Tech product. If he isn’t ready to play, with the Packers needing a starting right tackle so badly, then why keep wasting a roster spot on him?

Packers Offensive Line, Scenario #3

Turner at left tackle, Runyan Jr. at left guard, Patrick at the center, Taylor at right guard, and Jenkins as the starting right tackle.

Out of these three scenarios, this is the one that would put the most athletic (with Bakhtiari out) offensive linemen at tackle. Jenkins played some at right tackle last season and proved that he is more than capable of playing there.  It would weaken the interior of the offensive line, but protection at tackle for Rodgers will outweigh the danger. Turner has the athletic prowess and ability to be the long-term answer at right tackle on the Packers offensive line.

In all three of these scenarios, the wild card is Lane Taylor. If he is healthy, the Packers will just need to worry about the right tackle.  If the injury is too much for Taylor to come back, Gutekunst will be hurting and in a crunch.

A Daunting Task for Gutekunst

Gutekunst has been given a lot of credit for drafting Jenkins and signing Turner to a free-agent deal. The credit was deserved. Jenkins looks like a once-in-a-lifetime offensive lineman and because of Turner’s ability to shift to left tackle, it could have saved the Packers season. However, this off-season we will find out how good of an offensive lineman evaluator Gutekunst truly is.

Already, there are moves being made for offensive linemen. Trent Brown was recently traded from the Las Vegas Raiders back to the New England Patriots for just a fifth-round draft pick. Brown would have been a nice pick-up for Gutekunst and the Packers. However, he was either not in that conversation or if he was, he wanted that fifth-round pick for using it on another special teams weapon.

Gutekunst and his staff will need to show the same type of magic they had in selecting Jenkins and signing Turner. If not, it is going to be a very bumpy start or possibly season for Rodgers and the Packers.

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