Packers: An early look at the 2018 NFL Draft class

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 28: Teammates Christian Wilkins
CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 28: Teammates Christian Wilkins /
8 of 11

Edge rusher

1. Bradley Chubb, NC State (6-4, 275)

2. Harold Landry, Boston College (6-3, 250) 

3. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (6-5, 260) 

4. Arden Key, LSU (6-6, 265) 

5. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State (6-5, 265) 

Other Notable Edge Rushers: Tyquan Lewis (Ohio State), Trevon Young (Louisville), Dorance Armstrong (Kansas), Lorenzo Carter (Georgia), David Bellamy (Georgia), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma), Porter Gustin (USC), Josh Sweat (Florida State), Austin Bryant (Clemson), Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest), Hercules Mata’afa (Washington State)

Position outlook: While the upcoming edge rusher class lacks a true dynamite player, it should have a lot of depth, especially in the early rounds.

Chubb has been one of the most dominant defenders in college football this year, already recording 7.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss to go along with seven quarterback hurries.

With prototypical size and athleticism, the North Carolina State product should be one of the first pass rushers off the board in the spring.

Landry is another headliner at the position, but his production this year has fallen far short of his 16.5 sacks from his junior season.

Ferrell may have the most upside of the group, but he’s still only a redshirt sophomore and still has plenty of room to refine his game.

Key is perhaps the top athlete of the group and a guy with best bend around the edge.

However, after a dominant 2016 season, Key has gotten off to a slow start this fall. An ankle injury that sidelined him for two games has significantly hindered his production.

Hubbard and Lewis are both potential early-round prospects that anchor Ohio State’s defense, while Carter and Bellamy are a dynamic Georgia duo built for the 3-4.

Packers need: Edge rusher could arguably be the Packers’ top need on the roster going into next offseason.

Clay Matthews is on the last leg of his career, and Green Bay is beginning to have a depth issue at outside linebacker. Nick Perry is a solid starter, but he needs a dynamic counterpart.

Ahmad Brooks’ presence could help the position if he stays healthy and the Packers decide to keep him around longer. Kyler Fackrell has made very little gains in year two, but Vince Biegel could show some promise once he sees the field.

Granted, the future of the outside linebacker position should be the top priority for the Packers going forward. They need to have several effective pass rushers on the roster in order to expect any improvement out of their defense.