RD 3: Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
Why they picked Fackrell
It’s apparent the Packers are making pass rushing a priority on defense. Coach McCarthy announced this offseason they’re moving Clay Matthews back to outside linebacker, which is the right move.
In addition to Julius Peppers and Nick Perry, Green Bay will also being adding former defensive lineman Datone Jones to outside linebacker and use him primarily in a pass rusher role.
With Green Bay’s third-round selection, the Packers add another edge rusher with good size and athleticism. Towering at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Fackrell has downhill speed (4.72) and quickness off the snap.
After coming back from a ACL injury he suffered in 2014, Fackrell recorded a 15 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hurries his senior season to go along with 82 tackles and four sacks.
The former Utah State Aggie may have not had the sack production many desire in an edge rusher, but his hurry numbers show he consistently pressured the quarterback even if he didn’t always get home.
Fackrell’s role in 2016
Considering the Packers depth at outside linebacker, Fackrell may not see many snaps in his rookie season, barring injury. However, he could rotate in the lineup as a situational pass rusher.
Having said this, Fackrell selection may be more of a pick for the future than his potential contributions as a rookie.
The Packers may lose Peppers to retirement after the 2016 season, and both Perry and Jones are going into the last year of their contracts. Outside linebacker could be severely depleted next offseason.
With a year to develop and get stronger in the weight room, Fackrell could become the Packers’ future at outside linebacker and line up opposite Matthews on the edge.
I wouldn’t also mind seeing Green Bay experiment with Facrkell at inside linebacker in certain looks during training camp. He has the quickness and instincts to make plays from the position.
Next: Blake Martinez's fit?