Green Bay Packers

Center Is Still Josh Myers' Job To Lose

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur loves to talk about getting his best five offensive linemen on the field. Coupled with Green Bay’s skill at drafting versatile linemen who can play in multiple spots, that comment offers exciting possibilities.

One of the more interesting possibilities discussed this offseason was right tackle Zach Tom moving to center, where it was reported that some of Green Bay’s staff members believe he has Hall of Fame potential. However, rookie Jacob Monk has the experience and versatility to push for a starting spot early on, especially at center.

Still, as the Packers fight to configure their best five, center is Josh Myers‘ job to lose.

Tom, Monk, and even Elgton Jenkins offer plenty of upside at center, and offensive line coach Luke Butkus recently said there would be plenty of cross-training opportunities this summer. But Butkus said, “Obviously, Josh Myers is our center” at last week’s media availability.

Throughout this speculation, Green Bay’s coaching staff is publicly committed to Myers, entering his rookie deal’s final year. Myers isn’t guaranteed to be the starting center in Brazil in Week 1, and he likely has an uphill battle to get a second contract in Green Bay. However, they can’t count on him as the starting center yet.

The outside perception of Myers constantly clashes with how the coaching staff feels about the former Buckeye.

Outside the building, pundits view center as a spot on the line that the Packers could upgrade, thanks to Myers’ inconsistent play and struggles in the run game. The Packers staff believes Myers can handle anything they throw his way, offers powerful communication ability, and improves every season.

While his 2023 PFF grade (55.8) was lower than the previous season’s 60.4, he improved in many crucial areas. He improved as a run blocker, being stuffed less and blowing 13 blocks compared to 19 in 2022. His communication skills are difficult to measure numerically, but the coaching staff praised his ability to get the line on the same page and his rapport with Jordan Love.

Still, he allowed more sacks in 2023 (five compared to three in 2022) and pressures (28 compared to 13 in 2022). He ranked 18th in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency for centers.

Despite people’s criticism, Myers isn’t bad at his job. At his current cap cost, Myers is a perfectly fine center. The leading causes of the discourse around Myers are his draft position, who was taken immediately after him, and Green Bay’s commitment to him over other options.

As a second-round pick, you’d expect more, especially coming from a college known for developing prospects. It’s an after-effect of the draft mindset and might not be fair. Still, you’d want higher-level play and more consistency from an early Day 2 selection.

The Kansas City Chiefs took Creed Humphrey one pick after Myers, and he has become the league’s best center. That’s become something people hold against Myers, perhaps unfairly. Still, in hindsight, the Packers overthought the decision on which center to pick. Had Creed been taken earlier, Myers might not have gotten the same level of criticism.

Regardless of pre-draft biases, though, the truth is that Myers hasn’t been consistent. The Packers have stronger options at center. Still, how the cascading effect would affect their “best five” remains speculation.

As noted, many believe Zach Tom’s best position could be center, where he played a significant amount of time in college. Like Tom, Elgton Jenkins could realistically play anywhere along the line. There’s just as much of a case for Jenkins as with Tom that center could be his best spot. Jacob Monk may be a fifth-round rookie, but he has tons of collegiate experience and believes his best spot is in the interior. He’ll likely be the favored backup at center to start the season. But if the Packers give him a fair chance, he could push for the starting role.

Still, the Packers are committed to letting Myers fail at center before making a change. That could be good, giving Myers the confidence and focus to be the best center he can be. But that commitment might mean keeping their best five off the field. And not having Myers cross-train at guard could cost him the chance to see if he’d do better at another spot and offer him another chance at a long-term starting role at guard.

Interior offensive line contracts skyrocketed in 2024. Unless Myers takes a massive step forward this season, it’s hard to see Green Bay investing that amount of money in a second contract. However, the Packers will give Myers every chance to prove their comments about him correct. For better or worse, Myers is set to be the starting center in 2024.

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