Packers Veteran Puts NFL on Notice After Jordan Love Pick

Bakhtiari on Jordan Love

Getty David Bakhtiari #69 and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.

The Green Bay Packers became the talk of the 2020 NFL draft on Thursday night when they drafted the presumptive heir to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, which led to plenty of discussion about how much longer the two-time MVP will remain at the top.

Not for David Bakhtiari. Instead, the Packers’ All-Pro left tackle issued a warning to the NFL about what to expect from Rodgers once the 2020 season opens.

“Let me tell y’all something right now: Look. Out,” Bakhtiari said Thursday night on the NFL Draft-A-Thon after Love was selected at No. 26 overall in the first round. “Aaron is about to be on fire. He’s already great when I’ve seen him when he gets riled up. … getting my hair raised up right now thinking about this.”

Bakhtiari is the undisputed leader of the Packers offensive line that ranked top in the NFL as a pass-blocking unit during the 2019 season. They helped keep Rodgers safer than most quarterbacks around the league and, despite proceeding without veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga, project to have another strong group heading into 2020.

The Packers signed former Detroit Lions tackle Rick Wagner to compete for Bulaga’s vacated job and used all three of their sixth-round picks on offensive linemen, including another tackle that will provide more competition for backup hopefuls Alex Light, Yosh Nijman, John Leglue and Cody Conway.

Bakhtiari Welcomes Jordan Love . . . From his Bathtub

Bakhtiari is certainly looking forward to seeing how Rodgers’ game elevates with competition from Jordan Love behind him, but the Packers veteran tackle is also excited about getting to work with Love and even made him a … bubbly welcome video from the comfort of his bathtub.

Bakhtiari talked about Christmas presents — Rodgers bought him a sauna last year — and scouting reports that Love will be expected to prepare for each week’s game for the offense. He also tipped him off about where to find the heaters at Lambeau Field when things get frigid in the winter (at the 25-yard line at both ends of the field.)

“Look, man, all jokes aside, congratulations on being drafted,” Bakhtiari said in the video posted to the Packers’ main Twitter account. “Can’t wait to have you in the locker room and have you on the team. Looking forward to working with you, man.”

Packers Seem to Agree that Love Will ‘Take Time’

Whispers about the Packers potentially drafting another quarterback were mostly dismissed leading into the draft, but the rumor became an actuality once the Packers traded up from No. 30 overall with the Miami Dolphins and used their new spot at No. 26 to select Love.

Don’t expect the high selection to have any immediate ramifications on the make-up of the Packers’ offense, though. Both general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur described Love as a developmental piece for their future with a career pathway that could mirror the way Rodgers was eased into a prominent role with the Packers.

“Really, the plan is going to be for him to come in and learn Matt’s system the best he can and try to support his teammates, including Aaron,” Gutekunst said Thursday night in a teleconference after the first round concluded. “Obviously, where we took him, we think a lot of him and think down the road he has all the ability to be a difference-maker at the position, but these things take time, especially at that position, so he’s got a lot of work ahead of him.”

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