Packers news: David Bakhtiari is a potential Hall of Famer, according to Aaron Rodgers
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Packers’ David Bakhtiari is a potential Hall of Famer, according to Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Packers, David Bakhtiari

David Bakhtiari is one of the most important largely-anonymous players in the NFL. As the Green Bay Packers’ entrenched starter at left tackle, he has the job of protecting the blindside of superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers. And while casual fans may not know of the six-year pro, Rodgers’ glowing assessment of his performance over the years should certainly make up for his relative lack of notoriety.

“I think he has Hall-of-Fame potential. He’s an incredible player. He’s been a rock for us,” Rodgers said last season, in a video posted on Friday to “When he’s over there, you feel really comfortable with him locking down pass-rushers throughout the game. He’s had a fantastic season again, and obviously having him out there has been great.”

Bakhtiari was named First Team All-Pro last season despite Green Bay surrendering 53 sacks, third-most in the league. Pro Football Focus rated him as the league’s second-best offensive lineman, too, giving him an 87.3 overall grade. It was pass protection, though, where Bakhtiari fared best, grading out at a top-ranked 92.3. He also finished 91st in the NFL Top 100, a list of the league’s top players as voted on by their peers.

The 27-year-old’s rise to the top of his position has been something close to meteoric. A fourth-round pick out of Colorado in 2013, Bakhtiari started every game at left tackle as a rookie, missing just six games due to injury in the interim. He made his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro Team in 2016, also earning All-Pro honors the following season.

In September 2016, Bakhtiari signed a four-year, $48 million extension that will keep him in Green Bay through the 2020 season.