April 24, 2024

The Green Bay Packers are likely to pursue offensive linemen in the 2024 NFL Draft, and former Duke lineman Graham Barton is modeling his game after a team legend.

Barton has emerged as a trendy option in previous mock drafts for the Packers at 25th overall. A video from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is gaining traction after Barton informed reporters that he models his game after former Packers All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder shared a video of Barton’s explanation via X:

“Someone I’ve watched for the past three years is David Bakhtiari,” Barton told reporters. “I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from how he wins his blocks. He is agile and moves swiftly off the ball.He’s someone I’ve recently attempted to get influence with. I have a lot of respect for his game and style of play.

Graham Barton Is the Perfect Packers Prospect

Popular Packers' pick IOL Graham Barton impresses at Pro Day - Yahoo Sports

 

Even if he isn’t the most exciting draft prospect, Barton makes almost too much sense for a Packers team that is known for drafting and developing offensive lineman.

Prior to going to Duke, Barton was a 3-star recruit out of high school in Tennessee. He left the Blue Devils as a two-time All-American and first-team All-ACC pick.

Despite being a smaller tackle (6’5″ and 313 pounds), Barton dominated competition throughout his college career. His agility, play strength, and competitive toughness make him a possible first-round pick, even if he lacks the necessary arm length to play offensive tackle.

In the draft, the Packers often go for athletes with strong athleticism, and Barton easily fits that description. As a projected offensive guard, Barton had one of the finest Relative Athletic Scores (RAS) in the database’s history, ranking third among 1,532 prospects.

Given Bakhtiari’s measurements, Barton’s comparison makes a lot more sense. While Barton is the superior RAS athleticism, both entered the league as undersized tackle prospects expected to kick inside.

 

David Bakhtiari aiming to play in 2024

 

If the Packers sign Barton, they hope he can follow in the footsteps of the player he emulates.

The Packers Need Offensive Line Help

Regardless of who they select in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Packers sorely need offensive line depth.

Currently, the Packers’ depth chart only includes one backup with substantial playing history. That backup is Royce Newman, who some observers say should not be on the 53-man roster for the 2024 season.

Concerns have been raised regarding the Packers’ current projected starting offensive line. Rasheed Walker, the left tackle, showed flashes of brilliance in his first year as a starter, but extra competition in training camp could help him get to the next level.

Meanwhile, offensive guard Sean Rhyan spent the second part of the season rotating in and out with Jon Runyan Jr., and it’s unknown how he’ll manage a full-time role.

There are numerous doubts about Green Bay’s offensive line, so don’t be surprised if general manager Brian Gutekunst prioritizes adding depth to the line in this year’s draft.

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