Report: Packers Add Veteran Offensive Tackle
Help is on the way on the offensive line, with the Green Bay Packers reportedly claiming veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer off waivers on Wednesday.
A third-round pick out of Division II Hillsdale in 2010 following a superb workout at the Scouting Combine, Veldheer started 113 games with Oakland from 2010 through 2013, Arizona from 2014 through 2017 and Denver in 2018. After playing in and starting 12 games last season for Denver, he signed a free-agent contract with New England but retired during OTAs.
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Once Veldheer passes a physical and officially joins the team, the Packers will have to make a corresponding roster move.
Depth on the offensive line was a concern all year after Jason Spriggs suffered a season-ending injury during training camp and became a bigger issue after left guard Lane Taylor went down in practice in September. With Bryan Bulaga potentially out for Sunday’s game against the Giants with a knee injury, Green Bay will have to elevate either Alex Light or Lucas Patrick into the starting lineup. Adam Pankey and rookie Yosh Nijman, who was promoted from the practice squad on Tuesday, are the other members of the O-line depth chart.
Veldheer provides an immediate upgrade in terms of experience. Last year, 58 offensive tackles played at least 50 percent of their teams’ offensive snaps. Veldheer finished No. 20 in that group in ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-blocking efficiency, which measures sacks, hits and hurries per pass-protecting snap. All of his action last season came at right tackle; he started at both tackle spots for Arizona in 2017.
“He’s a good dude, man,” said Turner, who was teammates with Veldheer last season with the Broncos. “He’s an athlete. He’s light on his feet. He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s a veteran. He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s played multiple positions. More than anything, he’s smart and he’s able to go from scheme to scheme and adapt. He proved that last year when I was with him in Denver.”
At the 2010 Combine, Veldheer measured 6-foot-8 and 321 pounds. He ran his 40-yard dash in 5.09 seconds, his shuttle in 4.51 seconds and put up 32 reps on the 225-pound bench press.
“He’s in his 30s; I like to see another guy in his 30s here,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said with a smile.
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