1) Introduction: David Bakhtriari entered the 2014 season as his second year as the Packers’ starting left tackle. Following a promising 2013 rookie season, expectations were high for Bakhtiari. The left tackle position is one of the most difficult positions to play outside of the quarterback, and there are only a few elite talents playing the blindside. Bakhtiari had an up and down season and has plenty of room to improve.
- Age: 23
- Born: 9/30/1991 in Burlingame, CA
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 310
- College: Colorado
- Rookie Year: 2013
- NFL Experience: 2 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Bakhtiari was thrust into the 2013 starting lineup after Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL in the preseason during his experimental switch from right tackle to left tackle. His 2013 rookie season showed a lot of promise and he was poised to use that as a springboard into 2014. His biggest criticisms from 2013 were he was undersized and a little weak for left tackle and he needed to improve his slide step in pass protection. Bakhtiari spent considerable time in the weight room and entered the 2014 bigger and stronger than the previous year. The Packers were expecting him to own the left tackle position and take the next step.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Bakhtiari had an up and down 2014 season. Including the playoffs, he only had five positive Pro Football Focus grades, and the remaining 13 games were all negative grades. His two worst games were the week 1 loss to Seattle (-4.5) and the week 12 win against Minnesota (-4.2). His two best games were the week 7 and 16 wins against the Panthers (+2.3) and Buccaneers (+2.3), respectively.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Bakhtiari was noticeably bigger and stronger in 2014, but that wasn’t always evident in his play. On the season, he earned a Pro Football Focus grade of -7.1. His pass blocking was good, earning a grade of +7.5 despite yielding 6 quarterback sacks. Run blocking, however, was a different story and he graded out with a very disappointing -13.2. Overall, he was Pro Football Focus’ 53rd overall offensive tackle. While it was encouraging to see his pass protection to be very solid, his biggest strength coming out of college was his projection to be an excellent zone run blocker. Left tackle is a difficult position, but he was clearly the weakest link, although not a weak link, along the offensive line.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Bakhtiari had a solid performance (+2.0) against Dallas in the Divisional Round, but fell back to earth (-1.2) against Seattle in the NFC Championship Game. With Aaron Rodgers injured and needing every second in the pocket and a healthy running game, Bakhtiari didn’t deliver when he was counted on the most. Red zone and goal line issues left several points on the field against the Seahawks.
7) Intangibles: Jimmy Fallon had a skit that featured Bakhtiari as the “strongest Kardashian sister.” His teammates seem to love him and he’s a popular guy in the locker room.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(B-) Level of expectations met during the season.
(B-) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs.
Overall Grade: C+——————