Packers 2014 Offseason Review: Free Agent and Draft Guard Targets

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As part of our ongoing series this offseason, we're taking a look at position needs and what names to keep an eye on during the coming months. Today's focus: offensive guard.

No position along the offensive line has been stronger or more stable in recent years that guard. Josh Sitton, finally recognized as an All-Pro for his tremendous play, and T.J. Lang form one of the league's best tandems on and off the field. Barring injury, the Packers won't have to worry about their starting guard position until their contracts expire following the 2016 season.

Less certainty exists for the players behind Sitton and Lang.

Heading into 2014. The Packers' depth chart at guard features Lane Taylor, Greg Van Roten, and J.C. Tretter. Other than Tretter, a 4th-round selection in 2013 who missed most of his rookie year, the team is not beholden to any interior linemen besides the starters. Accordingly, it wouldn't shock anyone to see some new faces in Green Bay next season.

Outsiders

Jamon Meredith

This name might sound familiar to you. That's because Jamon Meredith was once a 5th-round selection by Green Bay. While Meredith isn't a tremendous player, he played in 12 games last year at both left and right guard. He's also lined up as a tackle in the past. That versatility could intrigue the Packers who often favor versatility over other traits in their reserve linemen.

Paul McQuistan

Like Meredith, Paul McQuistan has spent time at both guard positions and at tackle. Once a starter, McQuistan has been phased out in Seattle over the past two seasons. His size and tenacity make him a good fit for the Packers' increasingly physical ground game.

The College Guys

Chris Watt

It's no secret that Ted Thompson prefers offensive linemen who played left tackle in college. However, a lesser-known commodity valued by the Packers' GM values is a lineman with 40 starts. It's the latter category that could bring Notre Dame's Chris Watt to Green Bay. Watt just missed the 40 start mark (he was a three year starter who missed only one game during his career), but he also played in every game his freshman year. That should be enough in the aggregate to attract Thompson's attention. It also doesn't hurt that Watt played well at both guard positions.

Russell Bodine

Bodine's main assets are his athleticism and versatility. He spent much of his career at center but played left guard this past season for North Carolina. Bodine's quickness and power make him a strong fit for the Packers zone-gap hybrid-blocking scheme.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.

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