Four edge rushers in the 2018 NFL Draft that could help improve the Green Bay Packers’ defense.
Going into the 2018 season, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ current pass rush situation. The Packers had one of the least effective pass rush and defensive back combos in all of the NFL last season, and thus far this offseason they have made no changes to their edge rush group. I’m not saying a free agent edge rusher should have been signed either, as this free agent pool of edge rushers possessed very limited quality options.
The most well known of the group, Matthews, is going to be 32 years old at the start of the season and has certainly seen his stat line dip in recent years. That’s not to say that he isn’t still a very solid player, because he most definitely is. He is a chess piece on defense that can still get after the quarterback, move inside when needed, and helps the defense in ways that don’t always show up on the stat sheet.
Perry was the big re-signing of the offseason last year. He is a player that the Packers must see more production out of, especially with a cap hit of nearly $11 million for the 2018 season. In his six seasons in the NFL, he has only posted one year with a double-digit sack total, which happened to be in his contract year in 2016.
Fackrell, a 2016 third-round pick, has been a disappointment so far, especially considering how valuable of a pick was used on him. He has a lot to improve on before the start of his third NFL season.
Biegel is a 2017 fourth-round pick, who started off his first season injured and didn’t get into action until Week 9. He showed some flashes, but failed to record a sack in his rookie year. Biegel will have to take a big step in his sophomore season in the NFL, hopefully beginning with staying healthy throughout the offseason and into the regular season.
Gilbert was an undrafted free agent in 2016. He was finally given a chance to get some quality snaps at the end of the 2017 season in the final two games. He showed that he could apply some pressure to the quarterback, and do it fairly well. If given more opportunities he may be able to help this defense.
At least one quality edge rusher must come from the 2018 draft, more than likely a couple are needed.
The number one name among Packers fans is Harold Landry out of Boston College. Landry posted an insane stat line in his junior season at BC: 50 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, one interception, four pass breakups and seven forced fumbles. The problem is, he followed that up with a much more disappointing senior season: 38 tackles, 8.5 TFL, five sacks and two PBUs.
I understand this could be a very unpopular opinion, and he well could be the answer at 14, but I personally am not on the Landry train due to his 2017 film. To me, he looks like a liability against the run, he showed little consistency in his senior year, showed minimal effort when playing away from the ball, his motor wasn’t always on full tilt, and looked like he plain just didn’t care at times.
He could most assuredly make me eat my words, because his potential is through the roof and he has shown to have some well-rounded pass rush moves.
With all of that said, here are some options that I would love to see in a Packers uniform and I believe could really help their lackluster pass defense.