Packers: 5 players Green Bay should target in free agency

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29: Tight end Jimmy Graham
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 29: Tight end Jimmy Graham /
6 of 6

Aldon Smith, Outside Linebacker, Oakland Raiders

The Packers’ pass rush was dreadful this year under Dom Capers, and it put pressure on an already-weak secondary.

The Packers recorded only 37 sacks on the season, which was their worst total since the disastrous year the defense had in 2011.

MORE PACKERS: Who should Green Bay re-sign, let walk in free agency?

Clay Matthews, one of the leaders of the Packers’ pass rush, hasn’t put up big numbers for a couple of years now. With a possible release or pay cut on the horizon, bringing in a younger Aldon Smith would significantly improve the pass rush overall.

He wouldn’t necessarily replace Matthews, but new competition should bring out the best in both him and Smith.

Although Smith hasn’t put up big numbers since his early days in San Francisco, like the 19.5 sacks he made during the 2012 season, he is capable of being a force on defense.

Next: Packers: 12 players that need to go this offseason

In addition, Smith is not that old either. At 28-years-old, he is in the prime of his career. Smith will be able to perform at a high level for the next five seasons, at least. He would be able to thrive in the Packers’ 3-4 defensive scheme under Mike Pettine.