Undrafted rookie free agent Lane Taylor is one of three players on the Green Bay Packers‘ roster that plays guard only. Unfortunately for him, the other two are entrenched starters T.J. Lang and Pro Bowler Josh Sitton. Lane’s primary competition for a backup role on the Packers will come from two players with more experience and versatility: second-year guard/tackle Don Barclay and second-year guard/center Greg Van Roten.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy brings great size to the guard position. As a candidate for a backup role, his lack of versatility does not bode well for his chances to unseat the veterans ahead of him — the Packers historically ask their backup offensive linemen to fill in at more than one position.
What does help Taylor’s chances is their planned re-commitment to the run game. With the newly-stocked backfield, the Packers figure to need a road grader or two to help get the tough yards. Size and strength are his forte, mobility is not. Taylor can excel in small spaces, but may struggle with stunts and blitz pickups. If he can prove his worth as a big body that can move defenders and adequately defend Aaron Rodgers, he will find a role.
Lane Taylor fast facts:
Size: 6-foot-3, 324 pounds
College: Oklahoma State
Jersey: No. 65
Bio: Taylor played in 50 games during his career with 47 starts. He earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior from both the league’s coaches and media. He started 24 games at right guard over his final two seasons and did not allow a sack over that span. Taylor also earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition as a junior.
Chances of making the Packers roster: Low — The Packers seem to like their backup guards, but Taylor is the heaviest of Green Bay’s offensive linemen. If he can be the run specialist, he could carve out a niche.
Practice squad eligible: Yes.