This Packers Offensive Lineman Could Lose His Job In 2023

Josh Myers

The Green Bay Packers offensive line is one of the deeper positions on their roster. When healthy, which has been an issue the past couple of seasons, it is one of the best in the NFL. But like with every position on an NFL roster, competition brings the best out of players. That is why starting center Josh Myers should have competition in training camp next season.

Josh Myers Should Have Competition in 2023

As recently pointed out at, the Packers are loaded with returning starters on the offensive line. That includes starting left tackle David Bakhtiari who recently restructured his contract.  But out of all the starters, there is one that should face competition when the Packers open camp.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst selected Josh Myers with their second-round pick in 2021. Gutekunst selected Myers, making him the heir apparent to longtime starting center Corey Linsley. Gutekunst and the Packers allowed Linsley to depart as a free agent that offseason.

With Linsley gone, Myers became an instant starter as a rookie. He started the Packers first six games before he was lost to a season-ending injury. While he had the normal rookie struggles, for the most part, he was solid in his injury-shortened rookie season.

Back healthy, Myers returned as the Packers starting center this past season. He started all 17 games for the Packers, but the results were pretty underwhelming. Pro Football Focus gave Myers a final grade of 60.4. Pro Football Focus isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to grading players. But it does give you an idea that Myers has a lot of improving to do.

Throughout Gutekunst’s tenure, he has given his draft picks a lot of time to progress. By no means should he and offensive line coach Luke Butkus give up on their third-year player. However, with Myers struggling against stronger and faster interior defensive linemen, it might be in the Packers best interest to find him some competition.

Competition Within the Packers Roster

If Gutekunst and Butkus truly want to find competition for Josh Myers, they won’t have to look far. Heading into 2023, the Packers have two viable candidates already on their roster.

Before Elgton Jenkins became a standout guard for the Packers, he was a standout center for Mississippi State. During his time at Mississippi State, he started 26 games at center. He allowed one sack combined during his junior and senior seasons. He was named All-American by the Atheltic for his play in his senior season.

I don’t think many would argue, if Jenkins were to take on Josh Myers to be the Packers starting center, Jenkins would come out as the winner. But by naming him the starting center, it might actually hurt the Packers overall play on the offensive line. Butkus and Matt LaFleur have utilized Jenkins at tackle at times. But Jenkins has shown his best position is at left guard. By playing him at center, it wouldn’t be playing him at his best position.

Zach Tom is another internal candidate to compete against Myers. Before shifting to left tackle, Tom was Wake Forest’s starting center. His play helped him earn honorable All-ACC honors. But similar to Jenkins, moving him to center might hurt his development as an NFL offensive lineman. Tom saw time at left tackle last season and did well. He could be the Packers future starting left tackle. But for the present, Tom might be an upgrade over Myers, if he can beat Myers out in training camp.

Finding Competition Through the NFL Draft

If the Packers truly want competition for Josh Myers, they could find it through the NFL Draft. Currently, the Packers have ten selections in this year’s NFL Draft. They obviously have the ammo to find someone to compete against Myers for training camp.

As stated earlier, the Packers are deep on the offensive line. But as Gutekunst has stated, you can never have enough big men. Butkus, LaFleur, and offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich (the former offensive line coach) love to cross-train their linemen to play multiple positions. So, the Packers wouldn’t have to draft a player who just plays center. They could look for a tackle that has the athletic ability to play center.

One player to keep an eye on is Michigan’s Olu Oluwatimi. He started his college career at Virginia. There he became an honorable mention All-ACC. Interestingly enough, he did play one game at guard during his time at Virginia. He transferred to Michigan for his final season. He was a standout in his only season at Michigan. He started all 14 games and was one of the best centers in the nation. He won the Rimington and Outland trophies.

Oluwatimi has the athletic ability to play either guard or center. He would be a good fit if the Packers want to bring in someone who not only can compete against Myers, but also could be a contributor at other spots on the offensive line.

Center Play will be Vital in 2023

Being a starting center in the NFL is an unsung position. When you are talking about an offensive lineman, most of the press goes to the starting tackles. Center usually goes unnoticed. But as Philadelphia Eagles starting center Jason Kelce has proven, it is a vital piece to the success of an offensive unit.

The center position will especially be important for the Packers offense next season. At the time of this article, all signs point to Aaron Rodgers being the next starting quarterback for the New York Jets. That means the Packers will be starting very inexperienced quarterback Jordan Love in 2023.

With Rodgers expected departure, offensive line calls will fall on the starting center. If Josh Myers is the starter, he will need to step up his game. He faltered in 2022 and it is essential that he plays better in 2023 with Love under center.

Fair or not, Myers will also have to battle the comparison to Kansas City Chiefs starting center Creed Humphrey. Humphrey was selected in the same draft as Myers. Even though he was rated as a better prospect than Myers, he was selected one slot after Gutekunst took Myers. Humphrey has overshadowed Myers so far. He is arguably one of the best starting centers in the NFL. He also had a better grade than Myers in 2022.

The Packers are hoping that Myers can get up to Humphrey’s level. If they have any reservations, which they should, then they need to have Myers compete in training camp. With the inexperienced Love starting, Myers needs to play better, if not they need to find someone who can hold down the position.

Main Photo: Mark Konezny – USA Today Sports