With their first fourth round pick (109th overall) in the 2013 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Davit Bakhtiari, an OT from Colorado.
After redshirting in 2009 at the University of Colorado, Bakhtiari was thrown into the fire at right tackle in 2010, starting eleven games while playing in all twelve. He earned All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention from the Associated Press after producing an 89.8% grade for blocking consistency, the second-best mark on the team, behind Nate Solder (94.3%).
In 2011, Bakhtiari took over Solder’s vacant left offensive tackle spot and was recognized as a second-team All-Pac 12 Conference performer. He was also named to the College Football News Sophomore All-American squad. He suffered a severe knee sprain on the seventh play of the season opener vs. Hawaii that would sideline him for the Buffs’ next two games before returning to the lineup for the rest of the schedule. He again finished second on the team with an 84.4% blocking consistency grade.
While Colorado struggled through yet another poor season in 2012, which ultimately led to the firing of head coach Jon Embree, Bakhtiari again was a bright spot with second-team All-Pac-12 Conference honors. He led the conference offensive tackles with 94 knock-downs, despite playing for a team that ranked 116th in the nation and last in the Pac-12 with an average of 302.75 yards per game in total offense.
Bakhtiari played in 34 games at Colorado, starting 33 contests – 22 at left offensive tackle and eleven at right tackle…He closed out his career with an 88.00% grade for blocking consistency, the best for any active offensive tackle in the Pac-12 Conference, as he also registered 255 knockdowns as a starter, an average of 7.73 per game…Also produced 27 touchdown-resulting blocks for the running corps.
5.09 40 yard dash, 28 bench, 1.79 10yd split, 34″ arms, 25.5″ vertical, 101in. broad jump, 7.7 3-cone, 4.74 20yd shuttle
What Bakhtiari offers a professional team is a well-built athlete with a tireless work ethic, one that his coaches call a “gym rat” that usually has to be chased out of the training room late at night. It was common on campus for the offensive lineman to “lock up the facility,” as the coaches would simply hand him the keys, tell him to “turn the lights out” and they would then head home hours before Bakhtiari would.
Bakhtiari has outstanding balance to attack second level defenders as a cut blocker for the ground game. He uses his long arms with force and to keep defenders from latching on to his jersey. With his timed speed and quickness, he generates and explosive retreat step and kick slide to get back and mirror edge rushers while protecting the pocket. He gets good depth in his pass protection drop-back and when uncovered he consistently works well in combination with his guards to assist in-line in pass protection, where he is known for his ability to delivers a punishing punch.
Baktiari is a tough, physical type of guy that will bring some nastiness to the Packers Offensive Line. Despite being a self-professed “gym rat,” he needs to get stronger in the upper body (arms and shoulders). I though he would have been better off staying at Coloroda for another year. He is a possible conversion to guard or even center, but I think he’ll be given a full shot to win the left tackle job. I’m a bit unsure about him in pass protection on the edge, but I’ll go out on a (short) limb and say he’s a better run blocker than Marshall Newhouse right now…
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.