Evan Dietrich-Smith is set to become the full-time starter at center for the Green Bay Packers this season, after taking over the role for Jeff Saturday late in 2012. He has reportedly come a long way from the player who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2009 and released by the Packers back in 2010. Now, Dietrich-Smith is spearheading an offensive line that is hoping to take a big step forward.
Dietrich-Smith's resumption of the center spot is one major shift among several that the Packers have in store along the offensive line. The biggest is perhaps Bryan Bulaga's move to left tackle coming off a hip injury. The position was a sore spot last season, with Marshall Newhouse proving less-than ideal. Newhouse moves to right tackle, where he could rotate with Don Barclay to form what should be a capable partnership.
T.J. Lang will move to right guard and Josh Sitton will move to left to complete the mirror-effect on the offensive line. At a glance, starting a new face at each of the five positions on the offensive line is a recipe for disaster, but it could work out very well for the Packers. In this case, Bulaga is the most talented player in the unit, so it makes sense to try to fit him at the most important position. He has chemistry with Sitton, so keeping the pair together can hopefully ease any transition pains.
As for Dietrich-Smith, the Packers hope he can continue to be the capable player he was late last season. No one expects him to be a superstar, nor does he have to be. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback surrounded by formidable skill players, the Packers' offensive line just needs to be serviceable after being a liabilty last season, and the offense could once again be one of the league's best.