Green Bay Packers: Top 10 defensive linemen of all time

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Ezra Johnson is introduced as part of the 1982 team honored in the 2012 season opener at Lambeau Field.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

4. Ezra Johnson

Johnson was a great player in a not-so-great era of Packers football.

Johnson ranks sixth in Packers history for career sacks, despite sacks not becoming an official statistic until halfway through his career.

In fact, Johnson’s career total is listed as 41.5 sacks, but this only counts the sacks he had over the last six seasons of his career (’82-’87).

Some experts have estimated Johnson’s career sack total is more accurately around 89 when they also include all of the unofficial sacks he had in the first five seasons of his career. If this is true, this would make him the Packers all-time sack leader.

In his one Pro Bowl season in 1978, Johnson recorded an unofficial 20.5 sacks, which would beat out Tim Harris‘ franchise record (19.5) for most sacks in a single season.

Unfortunately, Johnson often gets overlooked in Packers lore because his numbers fall short in the record books and he played during a forgettable decade of Packers football.

Nonetheless, the 6-foot-4, 240 defensive end is still a member of the Packers Hall of Fame and one of the more dynamic edge rushers to ever wear the Green and Gold.

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