Ranking the Packers (No. 57): OT John Leglue
GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.
OT John Leglue (6-6, 301, first year, Tulane)
In high school, Leglue was an all-state pitcher with a mid-80s fastball and a curveball that was his go-to pitch. Football, however, would be his calling. His fledgling NFL career was thrown a curveball just before Christmas, when the undrafted rookie was added to the Packers’ 53-man roster off the Saints’ practice squad.
“I was thrilled,” he said at the time. “You dream of playing in the NFL. Each step is just another stepping stone. When my agent told me Green Bay wants me on the active roster, I said, ‘Let’s go.’ I was super-excited.”
Not only did he get in town just in time to get a huge TV from Aaron Rodgers as a Christmas gift, but he got a jump-start on learning the offense. That's a big deal in any instance but even more so this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out the offseason practices.
Leglue started 38 games at Tulane. He signed with Denver after the draft but was released at the end of training camp. The native of Alexandria, La., joined the Saints’ practice squad just before the start of the season. In college, his starts came at right tackle (15), right guard (13), center (nine) and left tackle (one). He’s also got long-snapping experience.
“I went to a small school in Alexandria,” he said. “Originally, I was going to play tight end. I was like 6-5, 220 as a freshman. Our center couldn’t snap the ball, so my head coach said, ‘We need you on the offensive line.’ So, I ended up playing center my whole high school career until my senior year, when he let me move to tackle to help me get recruited. It ended up benefitting me tremendously because my sophomore year of college, our center went down against Navy, so I moved from right tackle to center and started nine games at center. My senior year, I started 13 at guard. The year before that, I started 13 at tackle. Being able to play all these different positions, you know more of the scheme opposed to just knowing what you’re supposed to do. Understanding the scheme is going to help you understand how the defense is going to try to attack you. It benefitted me tremendously from college to now.”
Why he’s got a chance: While three draft picks have the Packers well-stocked at the interior line positions, the Packers are thin at tackle behind starters David Bakhtiari and Rick Wagner. Unless there’s a sudden change of heart regarding Jared Veldheer, Leglue will challenge Alex Light and Yosh Nijman to be the No. 3 tackle.