Packers take OT Bakhtiari in fourth round


Associated Press

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 27 at 2:02 PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Determined to protect their biggest investment, the Green Bay Packers gave quarterback Aaron Rodgers some help on Saturday.

The Packers, who signed Rodgers to a five-year contract extension on Friday, selected Colorado offensive tackle David Bakhtiari with the 109th pick and Cornell offensive tackle J.C. Tretter with the 122nd pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Green Bay also added its second running back in as many days via the draft, taking UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin at No. 125.

Bakhtiari, a 6-foot-4, 299-pound tackle, started 33 of 34 games for the Buffaloes, 22 at left tackle and 11 at right tackle. Bakhtiari entered the draft after his junior year and allowed just 5 ½ sacks and only 11 quarterback pressures in three seasons at Colorado.

Packers offensive line coach David Campen likes Bakhtiari's versatility and solid footwork.

"I think that David can play multiple positions and he certainly is athletic enough to do so," Campen said.

"I feel I can play left tackle, but wherever the Packers want me to play that's where I'm going to play," Bakhtiari said in a conference call with Wisconsin reporters. "They're going to give me the playbook, they're going to let me know the position and I'm going to study it and try and (play) the best I can."

With their second pick of the fourth round, the Packers selected another offensive tackle, this time an Ivy League big man.

Tretter, 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds, is just the seventh Ivy League offensive lineman ever selected in the NFL draft. He started all 20 games at left tackle in the final two seasons at Cornell after playing tight end his first two years. During his senior season, Tretter allowed just one sack on 853 pass plays while registering 214 knockdowns.

Campen likes the addition of Bakhtiari and Tretter to bulk up the Packers' line.

"They both possess that ability to play through a whistle and up to a whistle well within the rules," Campen said. "They do finish, they do stay engaged with people with their blocking. They do a very good job with their fundamentals, maintaining proper base fit, those type of things. They're both active hands-type players."

This is the sixth year in a row Packers general manager Ted Thompson has drafted an offensive tackle.

The Packers traded Denver picks Nos. 146 and 173 to receive No. 125 to select Franklin. It's the second day in a row Green Bay has drafted a running back.

Franklin had a highly productive career at UCLA. He rushed for 4,403 yards, which ranks fifth in Pac-12 Conference history, and had 4,936 all-purpose yards. A solid 5-foot-10, 201 pounds, Franklin averaged 5.59 yards per carry after starting 45 games in his career.

It's going to be a busy final day of the draft for the Packers and Thompson, who have stockpiled nine picks after wheeling-and-dealing the opening two days.