Green Bay Packers: Countdown to kickoff – Nine Nods

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Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Pennel (64). Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DL – Mike Pennel

Much can be said for the growth that Pennel has shown since he was signed as an undrafted free agent last year. Last season, he would have been a backup NT, after Raji, after Guion, after Josh Boyd. This year, his versatility is being showcased.

With Datone Jones and Letroy Guion suspended for the first and first three games of the season, respectively, the Packers are giving their big boys a chance to move around and fill a void.

Pennel has been stepping up.

He had a great game against the Patriots to open preseason and hasn’t looked back since.

Head coach Mike McCarthy and the defensive line coaches have raved about his work ethic, his improvement, his strength and versatility.

He is a virtual lock to make the roster at either the DE or NT backup position, and could push some of the established backups for snaps in practice.

Next: Joyrone Elliott