September 1, 2016
By Iman Sadri
In the National Football League the average span of a career is three years. The N.F.L., sarcastically is said to stand for Not For Long for this limited shelf life of the average player. To make a roster many odds have to be defied. To stay with a team for an extended period of time, insurmountable odds have to be overcome. For David Bakhtiari, the Iranian American starting left tackle for the Green Bay Packers, he has proven that he not only belongs in the N.F.L. but is an instrumental reason for his team’s success.
Bakhtiari is entering his fourth season with Green Bay. At only 24 years of age the University of Colorado product hailing from Burlingame, California performs like a seasoned veteran. He has started every game that he has played in, including starting every game his rookie season. Selected in the fourth round of the 2013 N.F.L. Draft with the 109th overall pick, Bakhtiari has been a formidable presence for the Packers’ offensive line. His job: To protect All Pro Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
In his first three seasons thus far his Green Bay team has compiled a record of 30-17. Aaron Rodgers who he has so consistently protected has had three stellar consecutive seasons, in part because of #69 Bakthiari. Thanks to the extended time in the pocket given to him by Bakhtiari and the rest of the offensive line and team’s play, Rodgers won the 2014 N.F.L. MVP Award. From 2013 to 2015, he has thrown for over 10,000 yards, 86 touchdowns and has only had 19 interceptions.
Both Bakhtiari and Rodgers are Northern California products. In fact, Bakhtiari seems to share plenty of traits with top quarterbacks. He attended the same high school as Tom Brady, Junipero Serra High in San Mateo. But, it’s not just the locale of his upbringing or the high school he attended that he shares with two future Hall of Fame quarterback’s though. Bakhtiari is also similar to Rodgers and Brady in that he has defied others expectations.
It is the exceeding of these expectations and playing with veteran poise beyond his years that alloted him a pay raise for his third season. It is his indelible qualities and the behind-the-scenes work ethic that will help Bakhtiari secure a new lucrative long term contract with the Packers.
On a multitude of the Packers’ offensive plays Bakhtiari can be seen blocking his QB with great consistency. At 6’4, he possesses great agility and swift feet for his size. His quick reflexes and poise have made him a left tackle to be reckoned with. David Bakhtiari prolifically protects his quarterback’s blind side because he is a player with great vision for the game.
Iman Sadri blogs for Persian Media outlets and also is the author of ‘Prime Time Persian : David Bakhtiari’ • He can be followed @ImanSadriTV