Pro Football is in Combine Interview's DNA

In our latest draft exclusive, we introduce you to a versatile and athletic offensive lineman who met with the Packers at the Scouting Combine. His brother has spent several years playing linebacker in the NFL.

David Bakhtiari is heading to the NFL. His brother, Eric Bakhtiari, has spent five seasons playing linebacker in the NFL.

David, however, says neither brother is the best athlete in the family.

"My sister, she's the most athletic one," Bakhtiari said. "Me and my brother always talk about it: She's a stud, and I have to give her credit for it."

Bakhtiari, a standout offensive tackle and junior entrant from Colorado, had a formal interview with the Green Bay Packers at the Scouting Combine. A second- or third-round prospect, Bakhtiari fits the Packers' model for an offensive lineman: He started at right tackle as a redshirt freshman before replacing Nate Solder on the left side for his final two seasons.

At 6-foot-4 and 299 pounds with 34-inch arms, he has offensive tackle tools. The Packers overwhelmingly have drafted collegiate left tackles during general manager Ted Thompson's tenure. Versatility, of course, means so much when only two or three backups are active on Sundays.

"You have to have the athleticism to play on the outside," he said, "and I think I have the athleticism to play on the outside but I have the leverage to play inside."

He put up good numbers in the 40 (5.09) and bench (28 reps) at the Combine. Along with that athleticism, Bakhtiari's personal scouting report includes words like "aggression" and "finishes plays." More than that, he spoke of his maturity.

"A lot of scouts asked me (why he left school early)," Bakhtiari said. "The biggest point was I thought I was mentally mature enough to take on the next step. I wanted to make this my career. I wanted to treat it like a full-time job and I wanted to be surrounded by guys who this was also their job. The big key someone told me is if you decide to go to the next level, you're going to be taking a grown man's job and steady income away from a working man. I understand that."

Bakhtiari has been compared to San Francisco's veteran left tackle, Joe Staley, who played a key role in the 49ers' divisional playoff victory against Green Bay with a gutty performance against Clay Matthews.

"My (position) coach (at Colorado), Steve Marshall, he gave us a little scouting report to do on players he thought most resembled us," Bakhtiari explained. "I always liked the way Joe Staley played and I was fortunate enough that he picked the same guy that I felt that I had marked my game after. He's got good feet, plays with good leverage. He's not the tallest guy but he's got long limbs, plays to the whistle. He's a really good guy."

During his career, he said he's played every position but center but is prepared to learn the nuances of that position. Anything, he said, to contribute.

"I would just love to play," he said. "Come Sunday, I just want to be on the field, so whether that's at left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, right tackle, extra tight end – whatever."

Bakhtiari said he's leaned on his brother "a tremendous amount" during the predraft process, from making the decision to jump to the NFL a year early to training in preparation for the Combine. Now, it's off to the NFL and possible one-on-one assignments against his mentor.

"Me and my brother, I made a promise to him that I would work my tail off and if I made it to the next level, we would have to go against each other to decide," he said. "Now, our object is to play on the same team or line up against each other on Sunday."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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