That’s not the case after losing another Pro Bowl guard.
After losing their two Pro Bowl guards in less than seven months, it’s become clear the Packers aren’t going to pay top dollar for that position. They were in the mix to retain Lang, who would have stayed in Green Bay if the money was close. But indications are that Ted Thompson's offer wasn't, so now the Packers are left with a significant hole to fill. How they do so will be one of the biggest storylines the rest of this offseason.
There’s no clear-cut choice.
Don Barclay? He re-signed with the Packers on a one-year, $1.3 million deal, but he’s more of a utility man who can fill in at multiple positions in the short run. Barclay was the first choice after Lang broke his foot last season, but he couldn’t finish his first start because of a shoulder injury.
Jason Spriggs? The second-round pick last year started the other two games Lang missed because of the foot injury, but he’s a tackle and is expected to stay at his natural position.
Kyle Murphy? The second-year pro was drafted in the sixth round as a tackle but, unlike Spriggs, there’s some sentiment that guard could be his eventual position. If he gets stronger in the offseason, then he’s a possible candidate to move from tackle.
Lucas Patrick? The Packers love his potential, but the undrafted free agent spent his entire rookie season last year on the practice squad. He would have to take a big jump, but at least he’s a natural guard.
Bryan Bulaga? The veteran right tackle probably wouldn’t be thrilled about a move inside, especially after he had perhaps the best season of his career last year. When asked at the combine whether he would consider moving Bulaga to guard, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said: “I’m not even going to think about that.”
At this point, the depth chart at right guard probably would look like this: Barclay, Murphy, Patrick.
There’s always the possibility the Packers could add a lower-cost free agent, but a draft pick seems more likely. It’s a weak offensive-line draft, but here are three potential second-day guard picks to keep an eye on: Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp (a likely second-round pick), Utah’s Isaac Asiata (a potential third-round) and LSU’s Ethan Pocic (another possible third-round pick).