There’s always a premium on pass rushers in the NFL, and even though the 2016 edge rusher class isn’t quite as deep as it was in the previous two years of the NFL Draft, there are still plenty of intriguing prospects the Green Bay Packers could consider selecting on draft day.
For 2016, the Packers seem set at edge rusher with Clay Matthews returning to outside linebacker and Julius Peppers coming back for at least one more season. Green Bay also re-signed Nick Perry this offseason, and they have returning second-year man Jayrone Elliott and recently signed free agent Lerentee McCray to add depth to the position.
On top of this, we learned this offseason that Datone Jones may be used more as a standup edge rusher, a similar transformation Mike Neal went through a few years into his career.
However, the Packers could still target another pass rusher to add depth on their roster and play a rotational role as a rookie. They may also want to consider finding Peppers’ eventual replacement at left outside linebacker.
There are plenty of players to like at the position at each stage of the draft.
I organized the prospects in four tiers to get a better sense of how they stack against each other. The first tier being elite prospects with first round consideration, the second tier early round prospects, the third tier mid-round guys, and the fourth tier late round role players.
Also, keep in mind I’m projecting the prospects that would play either 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL, regardless of the position they played in college.
Next: Tier 1: First Rounders