Ted Thompson has made a lot of great draft picks. But when it comes to the offensive line, Corey Linsley may be the best pick he’s ever made.
Linsley, a fifth-round selection out of Ohio State, was thrust into the starting lineup in Week One thanks to an injury to J.C. Tretter, who the Packers had groomed all off season to be their starter.
It was thought that Linsley would have some growing pains. He did. But they didn’t last long. And after 14 weeks of really solid football, Linsley is no longer a question mark on the offensive line–he’s one of the strengths.
During his 14-game stint as the Packers starter, Linsley has ranked as the third best center by pro football focus behind only Travis Frederick of Dallas and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets.
Linsley has been a revelation for the Packers, who are now set at center for the next decade with the first-year man. Aaron Rodgers said he wanted to play with a center for a long time, well with Linsley he will have that opportunity.
Scouts from around the league have been quoted as saying that the rookie from Ohio State is already one of the 10-15 best centers in pro football. He’s definitely helped the Packers line become arguably the best during Mike McCarthy’s 9-year reign as head coach and there is no doubt he has been the team’s top rookie this season.
Green Bay would not be 10-4 without Linsley at center. Period.
For the first time in Rodgers run at quarterback for Green Bay, the Packers have a long-term fixture at center. Because after the way Linsley has played, it’s safe to say the job will be his for the foreseeable future. On top of it all, Linsley should find himself playing in Arizona in late January or early February. Either as a member of the 2015 Pro Bowl team or in the Super Bowl.
Regardless, it was another great pick by Thompson, who has a knack for hitting them out of the park.