Packers 2017 Recap: G Jahri Evans
In the 2006 NFL Draft, general manager Ted Thompson elected to choose kick and punt returner Cory Rodgers with the 104th pick. Three selections later, the New Orleans Saints chose guard Jahri Evans.
Evans has been named to the Pro Bowl six times, a first-team All-Pro guard four times, and won a Super Bowl with New Orleans.
It’s unknown whether Green Bay was interested in Evans during the 2006 draft, but Rodgers certainly failed to live up to expectations. He was released by the Packers after training camp and would play parts of three seasons in the Canadian Football League.
Thompson brought Evans into Green Bay on a one-year deal to replace departed guard T.J. Lang in 2017, and the future Hall of Fame guard was every bit as advertised.
- Appeared and started in 14 games
- Penalized twice for holding and once for a false start
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Met
Analysis: Evans capably replaces T.J. Lang
The 34-year-old Jahri Evans was not the type of free agent the Packers have signed during Thompson’s tenure. However, Green Bay signed Evans just before the start of the draft. It likely affected their draft strategy, as they passed on offensive outside of sixth-round developmental project Kofi Amichia.
Evans capably prevented pressure as a pass blocker throughout the season, whether it was Aaron Rodgers or Brett Hundley at quarterback. Injuries to both David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga kept the offensive line shuffling early in the season, but Evans was steady and dependable.
His best game of the season came against his old team, the Saints. On rookie running back Aaron Jones’ 15-yard run on the game’s first play, Evans was able to subdue two defensive linemen. It was the first of many well-executed blocks that day, and his efforts helped keep Green Bay close in the game.
At times, it was evident Evans was not the athlete he once was. Against the Bears in Soldier Field on a rainy day, the guard was asked to pull from one side of the line to the other as a run blocker five times. Each time he traveled across the field, it seemed lineman and linebackers avoided Evans.
It’s unclear whether Evans will continue his playing career next season. If he does decide to retire, his final season with the Packers was a success.