Green Bay Packers Could Make Surprising Roster Move After NFL Draft

Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers
NFL Analysis Network

The Green Bay Packers may opt for a significant overhaul at both tackle and guard positions in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

While their starting lineup appears solid, the team suffered substantial depth losses in free agency with the departures of David Bakthiari, Jon Runyan, and Yosh Nijman, who collectively boasted 203 career starts with the Packers.

Following Runyan’s exit, there’s a noticeable gap at right guard.

Sean Rhyan, now in his third year, is the leading candidate for the position, but the Packers are likely to seek additional competition through the draft. Presently, the backup options on the offensive line include Royce Newman, Kadeem Telfort, and Luke Tenuta.

It’s evident that reinforcements are necessary, and further adjustments might follow suit.

Newman’s performances in critical moments last season highlighted his limitations. Despite starting two games due to Elgton Jenkins’ injury, Newman failed to inspire confidence in head coach Matt LaFleur.

According to PFF, Newman yielded one sack, nine pressures, and seven hurries during those games. Consequently, Sean Rhyan emerged as the preferred backup at guard over Newman.

This scenario echoed a similar narrative in 2022, where Newman’s struggles against the New York Jets underscored the team’s offensive woes. With Newman allowing one sack, five pressures, three hurries, and one QB hit in that game, it became apparent that his reliability was questionable.

Although Newman has one year left on his rookie contract, the Packers could opt to part ways with him post-draft, potentially saving $3.12 million in cap space, as per Over The Cap. This would be a prudent move considering Newman’s projected limited playing time in 2024.

The Packers have a penchant for drafting versatile college tackles who can transition to guard, emphasizing flexibility across the offensive line. Two enticing first-round prospects fitting this profile are Washington’s Troy Fautanu and Duke’s Graham Barton. Boasting impressive Relative Athletic Scores, they possess the ability to slot into various positions along the line, including left tackle, where they excelled in college.

While the Green Bay Packers may delay their offensive line upgrades until the draft, it appears inevitable that Newman will be released this offseason to facilitate necessary changes.

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