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David Bakhtiari could replace Bryan Bulaga for Packers

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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When offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a season-ending ACL injury, it seemed to blow up Plan A for the Green Bay Packers' offensive line.

It has been speculated that the Packers would revert to last year's starting left tackle, Marshall Newhouse, or that Don Barclay would swing to the blind side. 

However, according to well-connected Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bob McGinn, the Packers' consternation about keeping Aaron Rodgers upright is less than it would seem from the outside. The main reason is the team's confidence in rookie tackle David Bakhtiari, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado.

"It's remarkable how easy Bakhtiari has made it look in the first 10 days," McGinn wrote Monday.

Bakhtiari started Tuesday morning's practice at left tackle, according to multiple reporters, with Newhouse staying at right tackle

At 6-foot-4 1/2 inches and 304 pounds, Bakhtiari has the feet and arm length to play left tackle. He displayed quick footwork, was calm against the blitz in the recent scrimmage and has "stymied" Clay Matthews in the two times he's gone against the Packers' best rusher during camp.

"So far, Bakhtiari has performed as if he was drafted in the first or second rounds, not the fourth," McGinn wrote.

Putting a rookie on Rodgers' blind side wouldn't come without some concerns and growing pains, but we believe McGinn when he says Bakhtiari has the most upside of the group. Keeping Rodgers clean and healthy was a priority this offseason. Things didn't go as planned, but sometimes injuries open a door for a young player to shine; Bakhtiari could get that chance.

One thing is for sure, there is little chance Rodgers could be pressured more than he was last season.

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