J.C. Tretter to Packers: How Does Cornell OL Fit with Green Bay?

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IApril 27, 2013

Photo: Gridironfans.com
Photo: Gridironfans.com

Despite drafting two top-flight running backs and an offensive tackle, the Green Bay Packers weren't done attempting to upgrade the way they do business up front on offense in the 2013 NFL draft.

With their second of three fourth-round picks, the Packers selected Cornell offensive lineman J.C. Tretter. 

A former quarterback and tight end, Tretter slid inside to offensive tackle and quickly became an Ivy League force. In the NFL, Tretter has the opportunity to move inside and potentially play all three interior line positons. 

Here's how Tretter fits in Green Bay.


Role: Depth across the line, project center?

Considering the Packers selected Colorado's David Bakhtiari to be a potential down-the-road answer at tackle and Tretter to be a depth pick across the line, it's clear Green Bay made fixing the offensive line a priority in this draft. 

And after the struggles Green Bay had up front last season—in both the pass and run game—it's easy to understand why. 

The Packers needed to get better at a number of offensive line positions, including tackle and center, to compete in the rugged NFC. 

Tretter is a step in the right direction. 

A gifted athlete who once played both quarterback and tight end, Tretter was asked to put on weight and slide inside to tackle at Cornell. Once he did, Tretter was lights out as the team's left tackle. He made 20 straight starts and was named All-Ivy League in each of his final two seasons. 

His athletic build at 6'4" and 299 pounds will be enticing at tackle in the NFL, and it's entirely possible the Packers will attempt to develop him as a long-term answer on either the left or right side.

However, Tretter is probably better suited to move inside to either guard position, or even center. 

He's a little on the short side in terms of ideal tackle height, and his 33 3/8" arms likely won't help him in that area. But the size translates well to the interior. 

And while 6'4" is taller than the prototypical center, the Packers will likely want a chance to see how he works at the anchor, for no other reason than the depth issues currently plaguing the position. 

Behind Evan Dietrich-Smith, Green Bay is very limited in terms of capable center options on the roster. 

Tretter certainly isn't a big name, but he does provide the Packers with depth across the offensive line and a potential long-term answer at center.