1) Introduction: As the sixth Iowa player to be named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, Bryan Bulaga was one of the top prospects at his position going into the draft. That’s why many people were shocked when – despite his “dinosaur arms” – he fell to the Packers at the 23rd pick. In what seemed to be fate calling, Green Bay practically had to take him. Not only could Bulaga be considered the “best player available,” he was also filling a dire need for the team that allowed over 50 sacks in 2009. Many fans and media experts saw Bulaga as the Packers’ LT of the future, eventually replacing veteran Chad Clifton.
Bryan Joseph Bulaga
Height: 6-5 Weight: 315 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season: As a first round draft pick, many people expected Bryan Bulaga to be a starter at the beginning of the season. The problem was, however, that there was some uncertainty as to where along the line he should play. Since he was a LG-turned-LT in college, Bulaga was projected to take on one of those positions. Some people said he should only be trained at tackle, others said he was a superior option to Daryn Colledge and should be played at guard. And yet, despite his first round status and the paycheck that went with it, there was the thought that he should be groomed to start in 2011 and play as a backup in 2010.
As the preseason went on, the coaches clearly began to place Bulaga in competition with Colledge as the starting LG. Unfortunately, a hip injury sustained in training camp took him out of the running as a starter. He would be considered a solid backup offensive lineman at the start of the season.
4) Highlights / Lowlights: Bryan Bulaga saw his first significant playing time in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills after Chad Clifton was pulled due to a nagging injury and poor performance. Proceeding to outshine Clifton as the LT in that game, many fans (and bloggers) started calling for Bulaga to take over the job permanently. If there was any doubt in Bulaga’s playing ability, it was seemingly quelled in that performance, and it gave fans a lot of hope for the future.