Green Bay Packers: Ranking biggest remaining needs after free agency frenzy
2. Outside linebacker
Additions: Re-signed Nick Perry
Losses: Julius Peppers (Carolina), Datone Jones (Minnesota)
The key in free agency was to re-sign Nick Perry. The Packers’ sack leader in 2016 is back on the books for five more years, but finding another pass rusher remains a priority.
Outside of Perry, who to date has only delivered top-tier production once in his career, there isn’t much to get excited about. Clay Matthews has been plagued with injuries over the past two seasons, and his play hasn’t matched his reputation.
Julius Peppers, second on the team with 7.5 sacks last year, has returned to Carolina, the team that drafted him. Datone Jones isn’t renowned for his sacks, but he played an important role up front last year and needs to be replaced. Suddenly there’s a vacancy at outside linebacker.
The development of the young linebackers like Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott will be key.
Fortunately this is a good year to need pass rushers. The draft is loaded with them. Can the Packers find themselves a talent who can make a day one impact?