Build on a strong pass rush
The Packers were tied for No. 7 in sacks last term with 43, but 10.5 of those belonged to 36-year-old Julius Peppers. Peppers will be back in Green Bay for the final year of his contract, but his snap count will likely get reduced somewhat to keep him fresh. We saw the beginnings of this in 2015.
Mike Neal and Nick Perry are free agents, so the Packers need to ensure there are enough talented pass rushers. As the Broncos proved en route to the Super Bowl title, getting after the quarterback is one of the most important parts of winning in this league.
Clay Matthews’ move back outside will help, but finding players to join him is crucial. Whether Thompson does this in the draft or makes another Peppers-esque move in free agency is yet to be seen.
Potential first round options include Clemson’s Kevin Dodd, Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence and Georgia’s Leonard Floyd. What the Packers do with their first pick is anyone’s guess, but there should be a number of talented pass rushers available when the Packers hit the clock with the 27th overall pick.
Next: Youth is crucial