|72||Gerhart, Garth||C||6-1||310||25||1||Arizona State|
|63||Linsley, Corey||C||6-3||301||22||R||Ohio State|
|70||Lang, T.J.||G||6-4||318||26||6||Eastern Michigan|
|71||Sitton, Josh||G||6-3||318||28||7||Central Florida|
|65||Taylor, Lane||G||6-3||324||24||2||Oklahoma State|
|62||McCray, Jordan||G||6-3||322||22||R||Central Florida|
|67||Barclay, Don||T/G||6-4||305||25||3||West Virginia|
|78||Sherrod, Derek||T||6-6||321||25||4||Mississippi State|
|77||Adams, Aaron||T||6-5||303||25||1||Eastern Kentucky|
|60||Vujnovich, Jeremy||T||6-5||300||23||1||Louisiana College|
|79||Fullington, John||T||6-5||300||23||R||Washington State|
Eddie Lacy obviously provided a dramatic upgrade to the running game. But don't overlook the role the offensive line played in the Packers boasting their best rushing attack since 2003. FootballOutsiders.com ranked Green Bay's line as the fifth-best run-blocking unit in the league.
Even though the Packers gave up 45 sacks, the ninth-highest figure in the league, ProFootballFocus.com charged only 28 of them to the offensive line. Based on sacks, quarterback hits and hurries per pass attempt, Green Bay's offensive line provided the fourth-best protection in the league.
It starts with arguably the best tandem of guards in the NFL. Based on ProFootballFocus.com's grading, Pro Bowler Josh Sitton was the second-best guard in the league and T.J. Lang ranked 15th. Only Pittsburgh, with the 12th- and 14th-best guards, had both guards ranked in PFF's top 16.
Big things are expected from left tackle David Bakhtiari. Last season, the fourth-round pick was thrown into the fire after Bryan Bulaga -- the centerpiece of last year's offensive line makeover -- tore his ACL on Family Night. He played so well that Bulaga is back at right tackle.
"What's my jump? Just back up my play. Become more consistent. Keep Aaron even cleaner. Just like the little things," Bakhtiari said. "And, of course, everyone's goal is, you want to be the best in this league. You want to be renowned. You want to be a Pro Bowler, all that. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't something I wanted under my accomplishments. But I've got a long way to go to get there. But those are things … I want to work on the little things and become a dominant player and work myself up to one day be a Josh Sitton on the offensive line. That'd be great. I'd love to be as good as him."
J.C. Tretter was the No. 1 center throughout the offseason. A fourth-round pick out of Cornell last year, Tretter missed most of his rookie season after breaking an ankle during the first day of organized team activities. It wasn't a lost season, though. Tretter buried his nose in the playbook and improved his upper-body strength. He returned to practice for the final seven weeks of the season, which was invaluable.
"Any time you get on the field and you see looks outside of the iPad and get an actual 3D representation of what you're seeing, it's definitely beneficial," he said. "It's better than looking at a piece of paper and looking at it that way. It helps you see the field and you have to actually turn your head and look. It's not jus, ‘OK, it's right there. OK, there you go.' It's definitely much more helpful to get out there. Even being out there and taking a mental rep. You hear the protections, you see the look and you can kind of make your calls that way."
Fifth-round pick Corey Linsley worked with the third unit throughout the offseason (Garth Gerhart was the second-teamer) but presumably will get a chance during training camp. He's got more center experience than Tretter, having started two seasons at Ohio State. Tretter, on the other hand, has never played center in a game.
At right tackle, Bulaga is back after missing all of 2013 with the ACL and the second half of 2012 with a broken hip. He's played in only 37 of a possible 64 regular-season games in his career. If he can stay healthy, he'll start and make Don Barclay an excellent utilityman.
"He's a hell of a player," Sitton said. "He was a first-round draft pick for a reason. He's a stud. If we can stay healthy as an offensive line, I think this can be the best offensive line we've had in awhile, probably ever since I've been here. So I think we've just got to stay healthy."
Bakhtiari, Sitton, Tretter, Lang, Bulaga, Barclay, Sherrod and Linsley.
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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 email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.