GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – There’s a certain essence of nervous energy surrounding 1265 Lombardi Avenue this week. Now, this may be a long shot, but it may have to do with the NFL Draft this Thursday. All eyes are on Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst as to who he will select in the first round. And this year, it may be because of which current players are still coming back from injury. Namely an All-Pro left tackle named David Bakhtiari.
When asked about his left tackle, Gutekunst said his ACL rehab was encouraging.
“All the reports are fantastic. I know when he left here, he was ahead of schedule,” Gutekunst said. Bakhtiari went down with an ACL tear in the last week of the 2020 regular season.
The Packers struggled without him on the offensive line, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sacking Aaron Rodgers five times.
“He’s such an important part of our football team. That’s a very important part of what we’re trying to do,” Gutekunst said when asked if the injury would impact the draft. “So, I don’t think it will impact this particular draft. He’s an impactful person, so not having him out there isn’t good for us. We’re going to make sure we do the right thing as we go through his rehab, and protect him a little bit from himself, because he’s a grinder. He’s going to push himself as hard as he can to get back.”
The Packers have the 29th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.