GREEN BAY – A year ago, David Bakhtiari said it would be “funny” if the Packers’ starting left tackle was voted to his second All-Pro team despite being snubbed for the Pro Bowl.
After that scenario came to fruition in 2017, Bakhtiari was asked again last month what his reaction might be if he wound up being named All-Pro for the third consecutive year in the wake of being shut out again from the Pro Bowl for a second straight season.
“I think it would be hilarious, since we’re going to go with different adjectives this year,” Bakhtiari said.
Bakhtiari wasn’t just voted to his third All-Pro team Friday. The 27-year-old left tackle was named first-team All-Pro for the first time in his six NFL seasons, as determined by a vote of 50 media members of the Associated Press.
The honor comes one year after Bakhtiari became only the second offensive tackle in team history (Forrest Gregg; 1959-60, 1962-67) to earn AP All-Pro recognition in consecutive seasons when he was voted to the second team for the second straight season.
Widely regarded as one of the best left tackles in the NFL, Bakhtiari played through several injuries throughout the course of the year to start all 16 games on the Packers’ offensive line.
Aaron Rodgers praised Bakhtiari for his performance and availability last month, particularly after a knee injury the Packers’ quarterback sustained in the opener against Chicago limited his mobility through the first half of the season.
“He's an All-Pro. I think he has Hall of Fame potential. He’s an incredible player,” Rodgers said. “He’s been a rock for us. When he’s over there, you feel really comfortable with him locking down pass rushers throughout the game. He’s played through some injuries, (but) he’s had a fantastic season again and obviously having him out there has been great.”
When asked about not being voted to the Pro Bowl last month, Bakhtiari cited winning a Super Bowl, and making sure Rodgers and the organization are pleased with his performance as his primary motivations. Everything beyond that is extra credit.
“I’ve said since my rookie year – as long as my quarterback is happy, my head coach is happy and the guys upstairs like me, those are the main people I care about,” Bakhtiari said. “Offensive linemen, at the end of the day, are team players. We don’t have statistics, so we pride ourselves on wins. We pride ourselves on other players’ success in the offense and ultimately winning a Super Bowl. That’s all I want.”
Bakhtiari was the Packers’ only All-Pro selection this season.