GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers selected Corey Linsley with a fifth-round pick in 2014. About four months later, starter JC Tretter suffered a knee injury in a preseason game and Linsley was thrust into the lineup. His NFL debut? At inhospitable Seattle and against the mighty Seahawks.
“I’m going to pray for him,” Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin said a few days before the game. “It’s going to be a long night, man.”
No prayers were necessary. It wasn’t a long night for Linsley but it has been a long career. For the past seven seasons, the Packers have had nary a worry about the man in the middle. Including playoffs, he’s started 110 games. In 2020, he was named first-team All-Pro.
For Linsley, with free agency beckoning, the timing was perfect. For the Packers, they might be looking for a new center.
While starting guards Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick have center experience, the Packers could be looking for a center in this year’s draft. One option is Oklahoma’s Creed Humphery, who was the first-round pick in Zack Patraw’s mock draft for SI.com’s NFL Draft Bible. Humphrey didn’t allow a sack in three seasons for the Sooners.
“The Packers used a sixth-round pick last year on Oregon center Jake Hanson but Hanson didn’t impress during training camp, failed to make the final roster and spent most of the year on the practice squad before landing on injured reserve,” was part of my analysis of the pick.
The Packers need help at receiver and cornerback, too, which Patraw took care of in the second and third rounds.