Next up in the Unpacking a Future Packers countdown is Jackson Carman. The Clemson offensive tackle checks in at number 52 in the countdown.
Jackson Carman finished his collegiate career with 27 career starts at Clemson, with all 27 starts coming at left tackle. Carman was tasked with protecting the blindside of Trevor Lawrence, the presumed No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
Carman is a physical specimen. He checks in 6’5 and over 300 pounds. He’s a mountain of a man and an imposing figure.
“Carman’s biggest positive(s) is his size, physicality, and functional strength,” Nick Price, a contributor for withthefirstpick.com said. “He’s a listed 6-5, 335 I believe and he will straight flatten you in the run game.”
Offensive lineman will always say they like run blocking more than pass blocking because they’re the ones doing the attacking. Carman does his best work as a run blocker. He’s a straight-up bully as a run blocker and loves to bury the man across from him.
Carman moves well for a man of his size and can easily climb to the second level.
“Carman will make you look silly in the run game,” Price said. “He does a great job with proper hand placement and his strength really helps him out a lot.”
Carman holds his own in pass protection but is inconsistent. According to Pro Football Focus, he gave up four sacks this past season.
Carman has strong hands and the upper body strength to stonewall defenders. His sets in pass protection need work and he can be whipped by quicker edge rushers. While it’s not always pretty, he has the foundational traits to be a starting tackle at the next level.
“Overall I thought he did a solid job in pass protection this season,” Price said. “I still think his length holds him back a little and he lacks superb athleticism.”
Carman can struggle with quickness, which has led many to question if a move inside to guard is in order?
Carman is an absolute road grader as a run blocker and is excellent at playing in a phone booth. A move inside could prove to be beneficial for Carman. Any team that drafts him is likely drafting him with the hopes of playing him at tackle, with the backup plan being a move inside to guard.
“I think you play him at tackle to start off,” Price said. “Let him take some reps there for a season and make a decision afterward. He certainly has the capability to play guard but in fairness to him and his youth, I’d give him a shot at tackle.”
Fit with the Packers
The Green Bay Packers had one of the best offensive lines in football this past season. That offensive line could look dramatically different in 2021-2022.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari could miss the start of the season due to a leg injury. Starting center, Corey Linsley is likely to sign elsewhere in free agency. Rick Wagner was recently cut. Elgton Jenkins can play anywhere along the line, so it’s unclear where he’ll line up to start week one of the season. Billy Turner can play guard or tackle. Lucas Patrick could play guard or center.
With so much uncertainty, it’s a safe bet that Packers general manager, Brian Gutekunst will address the offensive line early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
A player that the Packers could target on day two of the draft is Carman. Carman could play either tackle position or kick inside to guard. That type of versatility will be attractive, considering all the moving parts for the Packers.
“I would draft Carman for his upside in pass pro and physicality as a run blocker,” Price said. “He could potentially offer some inside/out versatility and that’s always a positive for me.”
Carman may not be a plug-and-play starter at left tackle. However, he could slide into a vacant starting guard position if Jenkins moves to center or tackle.
For a team that needs depth along the offensive line, Carman could be a slam dunk pick on day two of the draft for the Packers.