David Bakhtiari is the best pass-protecting offensive tackle in the NFL.
The numbers back up that statement, as does the tape. And good luck convincing a Green Bay Packers fan otherwise. Bakhtiari has gone from a relatively unknown fourth-round draft pick in 2013 to one of the league’s very best blind-side protectors. But somehow, like Rodney Dangerfield, he still gets no respect.
Consider these numbers from Pro Football Focus. In ten games — he missed four with a hamstring injury early in the year — Bakhtiari allowed six quarterback pressures. That’s hurries, hits, and sacks combined. That’s about one pressure every other game.
That’s just absurd.
Furthermore, as PFF notes, that came with Brett Hundley at quarterback for much of the season. Hundley has neither the quick release nor the pocket presence to navigate through a pass rush that Aaron Rodgers has, which would normally lend itself to being pressured more often. Instead, Bakhtiari truly elevated his game this season.
Lane Johnson, Tyron Smith, and Trent Williams are good tackles; they’re excellent tackles, to be sure. But there is no argument you can make that will convince this writer that any or all of them are more deserving of praise and recognition than Bakhtiari.
Like last year, it’s still possible that Bakh will end up in the Pro Bowl anyway, as he was named as an alternate, but it is inexcusable for him to be waiting on this recognition as opposed to getting it outright upon the initial announcement.