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Which Packers player would you protect against an Expansion Draft?

Say you can only protect one player (besides Aaron Rodgers). Who’s it going to be?

Green Bay Packers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the National Hockey League held its expansion draft for the league’s new franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. The new Vegas franchise was the first expansion team in the NHL since the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild entered the league in 2000.

The rules of the draft required the Golden Knights to pick one player from each of the other 30 teams’ rosters. The players available for selection are any players who have more than two years of NHL experience, while teams were allowed to protect a certain number of eligible players from selection.

The NFL has not had an expansion draft since 2002, when the Houston Texans became the 32nd franchise in the league. However, it’s an interesting exercise to imagine which player or players would be the most critical ones to protect for an NFL team in a theoretical expansion draft.

SB Nation’s NFL writers imagined just this scenario this week, assuming the following rules: starting quarterbacks are automatically exempt, as are players entering their first or second years in the NFL. In other words, we don’t have to worry about Aaron Rodgers going anywhere, nor do we have to consider anyone from the last two draft classes.

Before discussing SB Nation’s pick for the Packers’ protected player, let’s examine a few options, whom you will recognize from the top players in our 90-man roster ranking earlier this spring.

DE Mike Daniels

The Packers’ top defensive presence is Daniels, our second-ranked player this offseason. Daniels is the anchor of the front seven at this point, and also is the defense’s emotional leader.

LT David Bakhtiari

As mentioned in the move The Blind Side, “The first check is for the mortgage, but the second is for the insurance.” Could you blame anyone who votes to protect the player who is most critical to protecting Aaron Rodgers? Bakhtiari is one of the top pass-protecting left tackles in the NFL at this point, and he’s just 25 years old.

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Clinton-Dix has become to the Packers’ secondary what Daniels is to the front seven. Just 24 years old, Clinton-Dix made his first Pro Bowl last year and received a fifth-year option for 2018 this offseason. He is already one of the NFL’s top all-around safeties, equally good in both pass coverage and run support.


Which player would you protect in a theoretical Expansion Draft scenario?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    DE Mike Daniels
    (207 votes)
  • 65%
    LT David Bakhtiari
    (1032 votes)
  • 20%
    S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
    (329 votes)
1568 votes total Vote Now