1) Introduction: Bryan Bulaga returned to action in 2014 after missing all of 2013 with a torn ACL. With 2014 being the last year in his original rookie contract, he was expected to return to form and play with vigor and motivation. He did just that and had a very solid season while stabilizing the right end of the formation that had been a weak spot the previous year. He was Pro Football Focus’ 16th overall tackle in 2014.
- Age: 25
- Born: 3/5/1989 in Barrington, IL
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 314
- College: Iowa
- Rookie Year: 2010
- NFL Experience: 5 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: 2014 was an extremely important season for Bulaga. Not only was it the final year in his original rookie contract, he was coming off an ACL tear that caused him to miss the entire 2013 season. A good season would mean a lucrative contract from the Packers or another team if was able to hit the open market. A poor season, or another injury-riddled season, would mean less money and playing opportunities. Bulaga bounced back nicely, and entered 2014 bigger and stronger than he’s ever been in his career. He held down the right side of the formation only had poor game all season according to Pro Football Focus.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Bulaga was very consistent all season, posting positive grades during most games. His worst game by far was the week 8 loss against New Orleans when he posted a Pro Football Focus grade of -3.9. In that game he yielded a sack and 6 quarterback hurries. However, the rest of the season went better, with his best game unexpectedly coming in the disappointing road loss to the Buffalo Bills when he graded out as +4.4.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Bulaga was noticeably bigger and stronger in 2014, and that showed up on the field. He ended the year with an overall grade of +11.9, which was third best for Packers offensive linemen and 16th best for offensive tackles. His biggest improvements were in pass blocking, and that was especially important once Aaron Rodgers tore his calf muscle and had severe mobility limitations. However, his run blocking was noticeably less effective (+0.3 run and +11.9 pass).
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Despite having a pretty solid regular season, Bulaga was pedestrian at best in the playoffs. He posted a Pro Football Focus grade of +1.0 against the Cowboys in the Divisional Round and a -0.2 grade against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. Those numbers represent average play and are nothing to get too excited about. The negative grade against Seattle is the most troubling because of the very noticeable red zone and goal line issues that left plenty of points on the field.
7) Intangibles: He managed to stay healthy during 2014, which wasn’t always the case in the past. He was motivated and was playing for a new contract, so we’ll have to see what 2015 holds for Bulaga. Being two full years beyond his ACL reconstruction will certainly help moving forward.
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: B+——————
Jay Hodgson is an independent sports blogger writing for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WISports.com.
10 thoughts on “Bryan Bulaga 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades”
Bulaga is in the top 25% of OTs. Agree with the comments and grade, though I would have given him a B. I still wonder if his bad games came when playing on astro turf or a fast track. TT should pay the man, and it probably would work out to $7 million per year or so but with lower than usual guaranteed %. Depending on how things fall during the draft, TT might also keep a lookout for OTs in this draft, which has some good depth at OT.
Swing tackle needs to be a high priority in this draft.
Dobber – we will probably use Tretter and/or Barclay in that role. Thanks, Since ’61
Barclay is coming off an injury and we don’t know how well he will recover. In any case he is better suited to play guard than tackle.
Also, Barclay is an RFA this year and he and Sitton will both be Unrestricted Free Agents next year. Lang is UFA after 2016.
The time to draft guys who can develop into backups or replacements for them is now.
Since ’61: OT has some depth in this draft. Had more last year, with several that I liked on the board at #85 and #98, the spots where we drafted Thornton and RR, respectively (and I lost my mind and ranted about it).
You are probably right that we don’t have a desperate need for one if Bulaga is re-signed. Just suggesting that TT keep it in mind if there is someone he likes. We do have some other pressing needs. Combine could change a lot of perceptions about the prospects, and who we re-sign and don’t might change what we need.
Agree. A team can never have enough big bodies. Thanks, Since ’61
Jay – as you noted Bulaga had a very consistent season. Agree with your grade. To me he is a solid, experienced NFL veteran. With a full season finally under his belt we may see his best play in the seasons ahead assuming that the Packers re-sign him which I hope that they will. I would like to see him improve his run blocking. Given our usual draft position I doubt that we pick up a better OT through the draft process, although we may be able to add some depth from the middle rounds. Thanks, Since ’61
Four of five offensive linemen graded poorly off the Seattle debacle, yet some blame play calling as the culprit. Seems to me MM did a very good job considering the mediocre play of the line.
I was fine with kicking both field goals. I had no confidence that we could punch it in. I am not MM’s biggest fan in other areas, but his play calling is not something I often criticize.
Bulaga is my guy. Hard working tackle who moves well when healthy. Bulaga’s health scares the hell out of me. Bulaga played with a torn MCL all season. Miraculously he played through it which ended the Derrek Sherrod experiment for good.
I hope when Ted resigns him with stipulations about his health.
Bulaga also had a better season and much tougher job than Linsley so the B+ grade would be incorrect.
The best part of Bulaga is when he gets a hold of the defender he plays until the whistle every time. One of my favorite Bulaga games is watching him drive Brian Robison into the turf 5 off LOS repeatedly.
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