How the Green Bay Packers can build an elite defense
Add a thumping inside linebacker
To be able to move Matthews back outside, the Packers need to have cover inside. Sam Barrington’s return will help, and Jake Ryan will be a better player in his second season. But there’s no doubting the Packers need to add more talent at the position.
Among the top free agents at inside linebacker are two Broncos: Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. Other names include the Colts’ Jerrell Freeman and recently released former Ram James Laurinaitis. While it’s possible the Packers turn to the free agency market to find an inside linebacker, it’s more likely they find talent in April’s draft.
Reggie Ragland stands out in this year’s class, but will likely go much higher than the Packers’ first round selection. Unless they’re willing to trade up, it’s unlikely he is headed to Green Bay. Ragland is a thumping, old-school linebacker, and this is exactly what the Packers need.
Finding a tough, durable player who loves making hard tackles is what Green Bay need in the middle of the field. Matthews can do what he does best and rush the passer while the inside linebackers take on offensive linemen and swarm to the ball-carrier.
Next: It starts in the trenches