If the Green Bay Packers used their top pick on an offensive tackle there would most likely be a lot of angry Packers fans. The Packers have big holes to fill at EDGE pass rusher and even more so at the cornerback position. Top personnel executive Brian Gutekunst added defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in free agency, but he is an inside pass rusher, which doesn’t help out the depth behind starting outside linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. In regards to the cornerback position, Gutekunst and the Packers missed out on the top free agent cornerbacks, instead signed an aging Tramon Williams to a free agent contract. However, the Packers also have a dire need at the right tackle position. Mike McGlinchey might be a target with the Green Bay Packers top pick.
Green Bay Packers Might Target Mike McGlinchey
The 2017 Packers dealt with a lot of injuries, but the right tackle position might have been hit the hardest. A total of five different players lined up at right tackle this past season. Out of the five, three of them, Bryan Bulaga, Kyle Murphy, and Jason Spriggs, were all lost to season ending injuries.
With Bulaga, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Bulaga has played eight seasons in the NFL and has only played a full 16 regular season schedule just once. In 2013, Bulaga suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. This past season, Bulaga only played in five games before suffering a torn ACL. Because of this, it’s possible he won’t be ready to go by this year’s training camp.
When healthy, Bulaga has performed well starting at the right tackle position opposite of standout left tackle David Bakhtiari. However, because of his injury history, the Packers aren’t able to rely on him. Because of the big money contract he signed back in the spring of 2015, Bulaga could be a salary cap casualty. It is hard to blame the Packers organization if they decided to part ways with Bulaga. Without being able to stay healthy, he just isn’t worth his contract.
Questionable Depth behind Bulaga
The top two backups to Bulaga, Murphy and Spriggs, are also coming off season-ending injuries. Murphy injured his foot midway through last season and had to undergo season ending surgery, while Spriggs suffered a dislocated knee late in the season. This forced Justin McCray, who is better suited to play inside, to see time at right tackle.
Out of the two top backups, Murphy outplayed Spriggs. Murphy is a former sixth round pick out of Stanford and saw action in three games last season. He struggled at left tackle, but did a decent job on the right side. Murphy might serve behind Bulaga, but could also compete for the right guard position. There’s no established starter at the position, and Murphy showed potential in 2017.
In 2016, former Packers general manager Ted Thompson traded up in the second round to draft Spriggs, an Indiana University product. The Packers believed Spriggs could be a valuable asset backing up Bulaga but also Bakhtiari on the left side. However, Spriggs has struggled in his two seasons with the Packers.
Spriggs struggled against power pass rushers, but also lacks the first step to deal with speed rushers. Spriggs has seen time at left and right tackle, but also inside at guard during his short NFL career. Frankly, he hasn’t impressed at any of the positions he has played. Unless Spriggs dramatically changes, his time with the Packers could be coming to an end.
McGlinchey Projects as a Right Tackle
WalterFootball.com has McGlinchey rated as the top offensive tackle in this year’s draft. Although his 2016 season was better than his 2017, he has the tools to be a solid tackle at the next level. He started at left tackle for the Fighting Irish, but would be better suited at right tackle. As John Bava of LWOS talked about in his draft profile, he did have some struggles against speed rushers at the college level. He will need to improve his pro set at the next level, but if chosen by the Packers, he will work with one of the best offensive line coaches currently in the NFL in Packers offensive line coach James Campen.
McGlinchey is superb run blocker, something that most NFL teams ask their right offensive tackles to do. Because he played on the left and right side at Notre Dame, he could be utilized in case of an emergency on the left side.
Wouldn’t be a Flashy Pick
In ESPN Draft Expert Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft he has McGlinchey projected to go 16th to the Baltimore Ravens. That would make some believe that he wouldn’t be much of a reach if the Packers were to select him with the 14th pick.
Gutekunst learned under Thompson and as most Packers fans know, Thompson believed in the draft the best available player philosophy. This off-season, Gutekunst’s free agency moves have shown he is a lot like Thompson. Therefore, it wouldn’t be farfetched that he sticks with Thompson’s philosophy. If McGlinchey is the top player available when the Packers are on the clock, his name might be called.
The Packers have a lot more glaring needs to fill on the defensive side of the ball. Still, there is a need at right tackle, which might make McGlinchey a strong possibility for the Packers in this year’s draft.
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