Where Does Jordan Morgan Belong?

The versatile first-round pick could find his way to the starting five.

If you've been around dogs for a considerable amount of time, you know that they have their trigger words and noises. When they hear these words they'll perk up, maybe tilt their heads in your direction, or begin excitedly dancing around the room. There are common words like "walk" or "treat" but with one of my dogs, she'll perk up and tilt her head if you say the word "itchy." I've never figured out why, but seeing her reaction every time is fun. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst obviously isn't a dog, but if he were, I have a feeling his trigger word would be "versatile." Gute loves his versatile players who can be placed at several different positions on offense or defense.  Not only does it increase their value for game planning, but it also helps fill voids when injuries strike. 

In the first round of this year's draft, the Packers selected Left Tackle, Jordan Morgan. At first glance, you'd think Morgan is a left tackle and that's it—37 collegiate starts at left tackle, and nowhere else. With the team finally parting ways with All-Pro lineman, David Bakhtiari, it would be pretty fitting for them to take a left tackle early, plug them in and take off. But the Packers have depth on their offensive line, they don't just plug and go. They want to make sure that when they take the field on game day, they're not just fielding the best two tackles, the best two guards, and the best center on their roster, they're fielding the five best offensive linemen on their roster. That's why they selected Jordan Morgan. Despite his collegiate career never leaving the blindside, Morgan has the talent to move to the guard position and the right side of the line as well. 

If the season were starting today, I would likely line up the Packers' offensive line from left to right with Rasheed Walker, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Sean Rhyan, and Zach Tom. Of course, I'm ignoring Zach Tom's injury for the time being as we'll just say in this case, he's ready to go. When looking at that lineup though, I see two, maybe three positions up for grabs. Rasheed Walker was solid last year at left tackle, but I don't see his job being locked down just yet. Sean Rhyan was given a few opportunities to dethrone Jon Runyan last year for the right guard position, but he just couldn't seem to completely pull it off. Josh Myers' starting career at center has seen improvement, but I wouldn't be shocked to see him replaced if a worthy challenger surfaces. 

I haven't seen any commentary on whether Jordan Morgan can play center, so that gives him two possible chances to crack the top five, most likely at either left tackle or right guard. During OTA's we've seen Morgan line up at left and right tackle as well as left and right guard. Perhaps the most notable position has been right guard replacing Sean Rhyan with the presumable starting offense. The Packers have been notorious for not just handing rookies positions and making them earn them, so with Andre Dillard mainly occupying the right tackle position in Zach Tom's absence, this isn't any concern. It makes a little more sense to not give Morgan as many reps at that position given Zach Tom will likely anchor that spot when he's cleared. 

Just seeing Jordan Morgan take reps with the starting group in OTA's already is enough positive activity to raise the chances of him starting.

So Where Does He End Up?

Personally, for me, there are two answers to this question. There's where do I want Jordan Morgan to end up, and where do I think Jordan Morgan will end up?

Back in late February, I wrote that it could be Sean Rhyan's time to shine in taking over the right guard position. However, I noted that the fact that he couldn't dethrone Jon Runyan during the 2023 season worked against him. He was up against a lineman that the Packers most likely were not going to re-sign after the season. If he showed them even a slight edge over Runyan, he would've completely taken over the position, Runyan wouldn't have even thought about staying in Green Bay, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. But we are. And that's why I think if Jordan Morgan is going to start on this team, his most likely position is right guard. It's the least "held down" position on the line currently and if he cracks the top 5, this is his most likely shot. 

That's where I think Jordan Morgan will end up. When it comes to want though, I would want Morgan to line up at left tackle. Of course, if he's not ready, he wouldn't be there, but even if he shows skill a little below Rasheed Walker, I'd want the Packers to consider starting him. I hate to look at it from a contract perspective, but it's a little inevitable. If Rasheed Walker ends up being our left tackle of the future, we're going to have to pay him in 2026. That's just two years before he's getting that big left tackle payday. If Jordan Morgan ends up taking it, we have 4 to 5 years of a left tackle on a rookie deal until possibly 2029. It's not exactly all about money though, it also has to do with knowing who that left tackle will be for the next 4-5 years perhaps searching again in two years. 

Is Jordan Morgan going to be Jordan Love's protector? Or will it be Rasheed Walker? Time will have to tell. But until then, I like seeing that Jordan Morgan could line up anywhere and be productive. That's what you want from all of your players. 

 

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Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

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Comments (38)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

June 16, 2024 at 06:54 am

Morgan and Monk are going to be fun to watch in camp...especially in the run game.

Myers is vulnerable against the run. Walker is OK in run plays but better in pass blocking.

Monk is a mauler...and plows the road for the ball carrier. Morgan does both well, and like Jenks and Tom is very effective making blocks at second level per his college video.

Morgan is the more well rounded LT, but Walker is now an NFL vet who has played in the front lines, Both will make each other better.

The M&Ms may not both start the season...I have a feeling like Tom, and Jenks before him, both may be after a few games.

Packers now have the men for a solid starting line...and quality backup depth.

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DragonSilk's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:50 am

I forgot all about Monk and even had to look him up. Him and Morgan both have to prove they can make the step up to the next level, which is not a given. Assuming they do it would be awesome to plug in 2 starting rookies into a line with Tom and Jenkins. If even 1 of the others makes a leap forward this year that's an offensive line for the ages!

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Bure9620's picture

June 16, 2024 at 06:59 am

One thing to watch is this whole report of the coaching staff believing Zach Tom is potentially a "hall of fame" Center. If that is actually their assessment, Zach Tom needs to be moved to Center. Immediately. I know some will say "he can make more money at Tackle" Well if Tom is a Hall if fame caliber Center, he will get not just get a second contract but a 3rd as well. You put your players in position for success. This opens up Right Tackle and you play Morgan there to begin with.

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Matt's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:19 am

It is especially true with the philisophy of best 5 on the field and now when we added two quality pieces to the room. Meyers was said to be the weakest link and now it's time for him to be above average or become a depth guy.

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Guam's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:19 am

Dunno about that third contract. The Packers are loath to sign O-linemen to third contracts. Linsley was a pretty damn good center and the Packers passed on a third contract with him. Interestingly Linsley just retired due to back problems and didn't finish his third contract which cost the Chargers some dead money.

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cheezyone's picture

June 16, 2024 at 08:57 am

I read that Linsley retired due to heart problems

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Guam's picture

June 16, 2024 at 09:09 am

Just looked it up and you are right - heart problems, not back problems. At my age I shouldn't trust my memory! Thanks for the correction.

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mrtundra's picture

June 16, 2024 at 08:13 am

In the recent past, some people have said that Elgton Jenkins' best position is Center. Throw him into the mix at Center and things really get interesting. The entire OL could get switched around. Plug and Play players all across the OL. I just hope the best players at their best positions get to play.

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Guam's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:14 am

The author pretty well nailed my feelings about the Packer O-line. Left guard and right tackle are set (Jenkins and Tom respectively), center has Myers with Monk to push him and left tackle and right guard have Walker, Rhyan and Morgan battling for starting roles. Walker is a much more proven starter than Rhyan although he is not totally secure at LT yet. Rhyan has never yet earned a starters role with the Packers and this is his opportunity to do so. Is he good enough - I just don't know. Morgan is the rookie and #1 draft choice - he is talented but inexperienced at the pro level.

Let the best men win during training camp. There is no reason to draw any conclusions yet - let their play determine who gets the starting jobs. With reserves like Dillard, Monk, one of Walker/Rhyan/Morgan and one or two from Glover, Jones, Tenuta, Telfort and Newman the Packers should be fine this year.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:38 am

NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Not the dreaded Newman!!!

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Guam's picture

June 16, 2024 at 08:08 am

I don't want him either JB27. I left him off my list as I first typed my comment and then for some inexplicable reason decided I had to include him as he was still on the team. My bad!

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LeotisHarris's picture

June 16, 2024 at 08:26 am

Can any of us ask for more in life than to find a place where we belong?

Happy Father's Day.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 08:28 am

The main issue with Morgan at the moment is they haven't given him any snaps at RG. I'm interested to see if they do early in TC or not. If not Newman probably makes the roster unless they put Jenkins at RG. Right now the 2nd team RG is the lead footed Kadeem Telfort.

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Packman60's picture

June 16, 2024 at 09:21 am

Yes, they have. If you've read any of the coverage or listened to any of the podcasts. Morgan has been struggling thus far, as his head is spinning with trying to learn 4 positions on the OL, 3 of which he has never played in college. He has gotten a lot of reps at both tackle and guard positions.

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 16, 2024 at 10:53 am

That's what rookies get fed in pre camp stuff. Challenge them and see how they respond.

Then evaluate them when they arrive at Camp. Are they showing up more chiseled and in shape...knowledgeable in the playbook...ready to accept even more challenges the coaches heap on them?

Gute's draft classes have a common thread...most are high character, hard working, team leaders and/or former captains.

More wheat than chaff.

Happy Father's Day!

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 10:54 am

He's played LG but not RG. At least that's what I heard on local radio this week. They were speculating about moving Jenkins to RG so Morgan wouldn't have to switch sides his rookie year.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 16, 2024 at 11:31 am

Didn't Jenkins @RG not work out very well last time they tried him there before moving him back to LG? I can't remember if it was before or after his injury though.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 12:39 pm

I don't think Jenkins has played RG since he was a rookie. He played RT for a few weeks after returning from his knee injury.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 16, 2024 at 12:48 pm

You're right...my bad. I knew they had him on the right side for a short while and it didn't go particularly well.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 01:17 pm

That was probably a combination of just returning from the knee injury and not being used to playing RT. He looked much better at LT right before the injury. IIRC he also struggled at LG for a couple games after they moved him back there from RT.

I remember wondering in TC that year why they weren't practicing Nijman more at RT. I thought it made more sense to put the healthy guy at an unfamiliar position and the guy coming back from injury at a familiar one. That was Butkus' 1st year as line coach and I think they had more faith in Newman at T than they should have.

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lou's picture

June 16, 2024 at 09:08 am

Assuming no injuries with the offensive linemen Morgan will determine when and where he will play, as a #1 pick he will get every opportunity to start somewhere on the line. Runyan because of injuries showed early that he could be a starter in spot duty, Tom because of pure talent showed quickly he could be a starter at multiple positions. Guys like Clifton and Bulaga were high picks that showed they could start on day one at the positions they were drafted to play. On the other side of the coin a #2 pick like Spriggs who had the perfect size and RAS score had every opportunity to start and was a bust.

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Packers0808's picture

June 16, 2024 at 09:22 am

Have a funny hunch that Newman will sill be a Packer come opening day. On 53 or PS.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 10:56 am

They could cut him, throw him on the PS and then if they bring him up a week later they'd save about $3 million.

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dobber's picture

June 16, 2024 at 07:04 pm

As much as we dislike him, it's very possible that a younger and cheaper guy with T/G starting experience cut at the end of camp could get claimed to someone else's 53.

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mnbadger's picture

June 17, 2024 at 10:06 pm

newman damn well better not be a Packer!
I can think of at least 3 jersey colors other than green/gold that he'd look better in.
GPG!

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 16, 2024 at 10:55 am

I'll be happy with Morgan as a swing tackle backup this year. Then next year, when Myers leaves, we do the big reorganization.
Now, if Morgan shows himself to be one of the top five, play him, but I'm hoping that Walker and Rhyan both ball-out and keep him in the "quality backup" role.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 16, 2024 at 11:02 am

I think that might be the best thing for him this year. He has quick hands and feet but he's a heel clicker and his hand placement is horrible at times. If he really wants to start he'll take a couple weeks before TC to work with a position trainer and come in ready to apply it.

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GregC's picture

June 16, 2024 at 11:45 am

That's what I'm thinking too. Unlike the author of the article, if Morgan and Walker are equal, I would be more inclined to play Walker. Morgan will have another chance to beat him out next year.

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bdaumueller's picture

June 16, 2024 at 12:33 pm

He will play where he fits best when he is ready. The coaching staff will determine his readiness but it doesn't sound like that is now. Of course the question is best left to training camp.

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Turophile's picture

June 17, 2024 at 08:46 am

As unexciting as this reply is, it's the best answer to the question.

The answer may also be different this year to next year and beyond.

If Morgan learns at Tom speed (fast) there is one projection for him, if he learns at Rhyan speed (not as fast) there is a different projection ...............and injuries in-season can also mess with things a lot.

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TKWorldWide's picture

June 16, 2024 at 01:47 pm

L to R:
Morgan, Jenkins, Tom, Dillard, Walker?

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dobber's picture

June 17, 2024 at 09:03 am

I'll take, "local ambulance-chasing law firms" for $2000, Ken.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 17, 2024 at 11:00 am

Morgan, Jenkins, Myers, Rhyan, and Tom. Bet on it.

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TheTaxiSquad's picture

June 17, 2024 at 04:50 pm

If Tom’s going to be on your list, put him at center center! They’ve already anointed him as a Hall of Famer there!

Morgan, Jenkins, Tom, Rhyan, Walker

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Leatherhead's picture

June 18, 2024 at 10:23 am

They aren't putting Tom at Center. The coaches like Myers. They've made that clear.

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Cheezehead72's picture

June 17, 2024 at 05:32 am

I will not predict where I believe Morgan will play or when because predicting what the Packers will do is like predicting what my wife will do or is thinking. Yes I never get it right.

I want him to develop into a swing tackle that can play both positions equally or close to equally well.

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TKWorldWide's picture

June 18, 2024 at 07:49 am

It’s a good “problem” to have options rather than, “well, this is what we’ve got”.

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TheTaxiSquad's picture

June 19, 2024 at 12:22 am

And it seems like that’s exactly what BG has done to this team. Every single unit has competition and depth. And the culture is that all of these guys, if they’re there, or bustin’ their ass working to get better every minute of the day. So wherever they land, they’ll have had that experience and standard.

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