Packers LT Rasheed Walker ‘a lot more confident’ heading into Year 3

By: Paul Bretl 5/24/24

The Green Bay Packers drafted left tackle Jordan Morgan in the first round, providing competition for Rasheed Walker. However, after playing 974 snaps last season, Walker is confident in his ability to prepare and perform on the field.

“I feel elite,” said Walker after Tuesday’s OTA practice. “Names and labels don’t really dictate how I move. I see man just as man is. I’m in a good spot. I’m never really worried about who I’m going against. It’s am I prepared? What do I have to do to prepare? That’s where I keep my focus on.”

With David Bakhtiari’s season ending after the first game, Walker was thrust into the starting left tackle role. As should have been expected, there were ups and downs as Walker navigated starting for the first time.

He finished the 2023 season, allowing six sacks and 36 pressures. Out of 50 eligible tackles, Walker ranked 35th in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric and 41st in run-blocking grade.

When either Matt LaFleur or Adam Stenavich have been asked about Walker’s play, they both noted the athleticism and flashes he showcased, along with the need for more consistency over the course of a game, “playing 70 plays at a high level,” as LaFleur put it. 

While Walker’s overall numbers show up and down play, like many of the Packers’ young players on offense last season, he began to find his footing during the second half of the season. During Week 9, the Packers introduced an in-game rotation at left tackle with Walker and Yosh Nijman that lasted six games before Walker asserted himself as the full-time starter.

Over Green Bay’s final six games, including the two playoff games, Walker gave up just one sack and nine pressures. He ranked 10th in pass-blocking efficiency and 29th in run-blocking grade.

“That you just have to be locked in every play,” said Walker on what he learned from last season. “It’s all really about preparation and confidence. As long as you prepare the right way, go into a game confident, and have a short-term memory while playing, you’ll put yourself in a good position. 

“That’s how I go about it: staying focused, being consistent with my preparation and ignore the good plays and ignore the bad plays. Just be good every play.”

During Tuesday’s OTA practice that was open to the media, Walker was the Packers’ starting left tackle. Morgan would see snaps at both tackle positions during that practice. 

A theme of the offseason, when GM Brian Gutekunst spoke with the media, was the importance of creating competition within each position group to help elevate the entire unit’s play. Competition along the offensive line certainly isn’t anything new to the Packers, nor is it for Walker, who has been competing for a roster spot or playing time since he was selected in the seventh-round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Morgan may be a first-round pick, but Walker has experience and now confidence that should make him the front-runner for the Packers’ starting left tackle.

“I would say I’m a lot more confident than when I first started,” said Walker. “More decisive, being able to play faster.”