Could David Bakhtiari be the latest fourth-round gem added to the offensive line by general manager Ted Thompson.
Thompson landed guards Josh Sitton (2008) and T.J. Lang (2009), and they've developed into stalwarts up front. Getting a top guard in the fourth round is one thing. Landing a quality tackle is quite another.
Of the 64 projected starting tackles, based on Ourlads.com's scouting reports, just three were taken in the fourth round and 16 were landed in the fourth round or later. Bakhtiari, however, has all the tools to buck that trend.
During the daily one-on-one pass-blocking drill, Bakhtiari owns a 6-2 record. Both days, he scored decisive victories over Clay Matthews.
"He's definitely one of the best, if not the best so, yeah, if you can block Clay, you can block anyone," Bakhtiari said.
During the one-on-one run-blocking drill on Tuesday, Bakhtiari was just as impressive, scoring wins over Ryan Pickett, Datone Jones and Josh Boyd. He easily sealed Pickett and then overwhelmed Jones. Those were no small feats, either; Pickett is the defensive line's best run defender and Jones has had a sensational start to camp.
Bakhtiari, a junior entrant from Colorado, has had plenty of help to get here. His brother, Eric, is a journeyman outside linebacker. Matthews trained with Bakhtiari for about two-and-a-half weeks before the draft.
"We weren't doing one-on-ones, so to say, but just working with a guy that definitely works his tail off in the offseason," Bakhtiari said of Matthews. "We talked every few days and would go over certain things that a defensive player thinks about and certain tips he'd give me. So, hearing the tips and hearing the other side of the coin will only help me. Hearing what a defensive player is thinking about in his mind, that definitely helps me out."
One reason why Johnathan Franklin was deemed one of the best all-around running backs in the 2013 draft class was his work in pass protection at UCLA and, more importantly, the Senior Bowl.
That ability did not come to the fore during the first one-on-one blitz drill of camp.
The drill started well enough for Franklin, who blocked and blocked and blocked Jarvis Reed. Finally, the whistle blew. A frustrated Reed gave Franklin a shove, and Franklin's fellow backs hooted their congratulations for a job well done.
Reed, however, is not Nick Perry. With 250-ish pounds of Perry charging in. Franklin lost back-to-back reps. On one, he was sent reeling by Perry and couldn't recover in time. On the next, Franklin was too high and Perry basically ran right through him.
To be fair, none of the backs — other than fullback John Kuhn, who went 2-1 against Matthews — excelled.
"You're on an island in that particular drill," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It should never be that way as far as the spacing between you and the defender and the people around you. I felt like the outside linebackers clearly got the best of the running backs today. We were too high. We weren't sitting down. We didn't have our head up. So, it'll be good tape to watch. That's a drill I'm sure we'll do again."
Franklin will need to do it better if he wants to unseat Kuhn from the third-down role.
Position of the day
The battle is on at safety, where Jerron McMillian made a series of impact plays.
During a red zone drill, his hit on D.J. Williams thwarted a potential touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers. McMillian could have pulverized Williams but let up, but it was still enough. Moments later, McMillian stepped in front of a pass to Jeremy Ross for a pass defensed. He also was in the right position on a fade to tight end Jake Stoneburner. Later, in seven-on-seven, his deflection led to an interception by Loyce Means.
"Here's another guy that's spent a lot of time here and knows the defense inside and out, is a lot more comfortable," McCarthy said. "You don't see him thinking back there like he did as a rookie. Played a lot of snaps last year, was kind of up and down and did some really good things for us but the consistency wasn't there. I see a much more consistent player, which I'm excited about because he also has big playmaking ability and we've seen that already."
If that consistency continues, he will beat out M.D. Jennings.
— The controversy — or whatever you want to call it — involving Eddie Lacy's weight is about the stupidest thing imaginable and shows what's wrong with today's media world. Too many people have too many opinions. Opinions are good and welcome when there are facts to back them up. Opinions turn into utter nonsense when they are spouted by so-called experts who have never set foot in Green Bay or watched a practice this summer. It wasn't just the hack bloggers and predictable drivel from sites like Bleacher Report. Lacy's weight made it on Yahoo and National Football Post.
"It's something for people to talk about I guess, but that's not my business. I'm here to play football, and that's what I'm doing," Lacy told a ridiculously large group of reporters.
— Cornerback Davon House is past a bout of food poisoning that turned into an ear infection that messed with his balance. More importantly, House ditched the harness he had used since injuring his shoulder in last year's preseason game at San Diego.
"One of the trainers asked about my shoulder. I said, ‘Shoulder? Oh, I had shoulder surgery,'" House said. "It feels like I didn't even have surgery. Once I got out there, the harness wasn't even a thought until one of the training staff brought it up."
— While Johnny Jolly went 2-0 in the one-on-one pass-rushing drill, Boyd went 0-4, Jordan Miller went 0-4 and Gilbert Pena went 0-5. That bodes well in Jolly's long-shot bid for a roster spot. Jones went 2-0, including running over T.J. Lang for the second consecutive practice. Bryan Bulaga is 4-0, including two wins over Matthews and one against Dezman Moses.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.