2013 was a bumpy year for Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. He started out the season on a tear, but his season was shortened after a shoulder injury he suffered in Week 9. That injury would ultimately keep him out for around two months. Rodgers came back for Green Bay’s Week 17 win-or-go-home matchup versus the Chicago Bears. The Packers need to make it their initiative in this year’s draft to address their offensive line and protect Rodgers.
While the ex-California Golden Bear has had a ton of success in his career, Rodgers has constantly played with bad offensive lines. Green Bay’s offensive line in 2013 gave up 2.9 sacks per game. That number must improve if the Packers want to keep Rodgers upright. Rodgers is 30 years old, and he will be Green Bay’s quarterback for at least the next seven years. Rodgers gives the Packers the best chance to win, and it is vital that they make sure to have him healthy for each and every season.
The Packers lost Evan Dietrich-Smith in free agency, and they must improve the center position in the coming months. The relationship between the quarterback and center is often under-appreciated, but it makes a difference to have a guy in front of you that you can trust. Although he played decently in 2013, David Bakhtiari is still extremely young. He will need to have a good season in 2014 because he is Rodgers’ blindside tackle. Bryan Bulaga is one of the top guards in the league, and he makes this unit better as a whole.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Packers could very well take an offensive linemen in the first two rounds. This year is a good tackle class, and there are many instant-impact guys that could be good players in the NFL. The Packers need to also draft a center in May’s draft. The best centers in this year’s class are Travis Swanson and Weston Richburg. Drafting one of these players in the third round would be a step in the right direction to make this line better. Ted Thompson and co. need to make it their goal to improve this offensive line before the 2014 NFL season starts.