Rookies in Focus: David Bakhtiari
Our offseason rookie breakdown started with the first round edge rushers and now it’s time to take a look at the other side of the line. Offensive tackles came off the board at a furious rate, with the 2013 draft perhaps as unique as any in recent history.
Here’s a look at the first round offensive tackles, with a couple other mid-round starters and even an undrafted free agent mixed in. This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.
Round 4, No. 109: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
Role: 16 starts at LT
Unlike the previous offensive tackles profiled, Bakhtiari came to the league with little fanfare, yet he slid into a starting role at left tackle after OT Bryan Bulaga went down in the preseason due to injury. While Bakhtiari’s overall grade came in middle-of-the-pack among the fellow rookie offensive tackles, digging a little deeper into the numbers shows a capable pass protector with some upside if he can improve in the right areas.
Pass Block Snaps: 674
Total Pressures: 39
Pass Blocking Efficiency: 95.2
It may be a surprise to see Bakhtiari with the highest pass blocking grade among his rookie peers, but it was an impressive first season for the fourth-round Colorado product. While his overall pass blocking stood out, his clear weakness was the bull rush which accounted for 12 of his 39 pressures, by far the highest totals among the rookies. Putting the bull rushes aside, that leaves only 27 total pressures surrendered on his 662 remaining pass block attempts, an impressive feat for the rookie.
Bakhtiari Struggling with the bull rush:
Run Block Snaps: 464
As impressive as Bakhtiari was in pass protection, he was equally disappointing in the running game as his -15.0 easily ranked last among his fellow rookies. He was often controlled at the point of attack and he simply gave up too much backfield penetration.
Bakhtiari struggling in the running game:
The Packers should be pleased with Bakhtiari’s year-one contributions, especially given their last-minute injury situation. If he can shore up some of the strength issues that plagued him against bull rushes and in the running game, Bakhtiari has a chance to develop into a top-notch pass protector at left tackle.
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