So Who Is This Bryan Bulaga Guy Anyways?
He's a 6'6", 314 pounder raised in Illinois who was projected at one point, to be a top 10 pick in this years draft...that's the skinny of it all...and that's all that's skinny.
Bulaga was the Big Ten's most outstanding offensive lineman last season even though he missed a few games due to a thyroid condition that some feel was the reason he fell to the Packers at pick #23.
When Bulaga was asked by Green Bay reporters the status of his thyroid condition he said, "It was something that took me a little bit to come back from and what it did to my body." The issue was resolved "...the fourth or fifth week of the season; and I didn't have any problems."
It's no secret that the Packers offensive line was spotty at best last season - what with Aaron Rodgers being sacked 57 times. Poor play and deteriorating talent have left the Packers in a position to revamp the o-line and they're hoping Bulaga can be a steadying force for years to come. But where will he fit best?
Bulaga played the all-important left tackle position in college...the one that protects the backside of the QB. At times he was dominant, but against speed rushers such as Michigan's Brandon Graham and Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield, he was noticeably over matched. Once the Orange Bowl rolled around however, Bulaga was healthy, at full strength, and outstanding against Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan. Quickness is not Bulaga's game, and his heavy-footedness (I made that word up) may leave him best suited for the right tackle spot on the line.
Regardless of his eventual role, one can assume that Bulaga is instantly a better option to fill in at either tackle position should Chad Clifton or Mark Tauscher be forced out of the lineup due to injury. He is smart, more athletic than he looks, plays with a nasty streak, and is fundamentally sound in all facets. The luxury is that Bulaga won't be under pressure to start right off the bat - but he'll work his tail off to prove he can.
"I don't know exactly what my role will be, but I will push myself to win a starting job," Bulaga said.
My overall synopsis is that the Packers were willing to trade up to get this guy and feel great about the fact they didn't have to. My guess is that he's a decade long pro who will find his way to a pro-bowl or two.