The Green Bay Packers landed a single offensive lineman on the NFL Top 100 list this summer, as left tackle David Bakhtiari showed up on the list at #91. For fans who watch him week in and week out, that ranking was absurdly low, putting him fifth among offensive tackles and seventh overall among all offensive linemen.
However, Bakhtiari has a much more appropriate ranking on a list this week. On Tuesday, Pro Football Focus published a ranking of the 25 best offensive linemen this season, and Bakhtiari shows up very high on the list. However, he is joined by another linemate, Corey Linsley.
Before you say it, we’ll present the caveat: it’s Pro Football Focus, so as always take their “grades” with a grain of salt.
PFF’s list thankfully does not go strictly by their grading system, however, as they appear to have taken into account some useful pressure-related numbers and other advanced stats as well. As a result, the Packers get the second-rated lineman overall in Bakhtiari, while Linsley slots in at 15th place.
Bakh’s pass protection is as good as it gets from a blind side tackle in the modern NFL, but he continues to be an effective run-blocker as well. Through 14 weeks, the Packers rank in the top seven teams in the NFL in adjusted line yards (via Football Outsiders) when running off left end or left tackle, underscoring Bakhtiari’s run-blocking ability.
As for Linsley, he is the third-ranked center in the league on the list, coming in behind only Jason Kelce of Philadelphia and Oakland’s Rodney Hudson. PFF notes that he has allowed zero pressures in six of the Packers’ 13 games, an impressive number given the talented interior rushers he has faced this season. Linsley should absolutely be in line for a Pro Bowl appearance this year, which would be his first such honor.
Perhaps the most critical factors around these two for the Packers this season has been their availability. Bakhtiari has missed just 11 snaps all season, while Linsley is working on a two-year streak of not missing a single play. He missed a single snap in week 15 of 2016, which was the only play he has taken off since returning to the field from the PUP list in week nine of that year.
While the rest of the offensive line — and indeed the Packers’ roster as a whole — has dealt with injuries and inconsistency, Bakhtiari and Linsley have soldiered on, playing at an elite level all season long.