Packers 53-man roster predictions following 2018 NFL Draft

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Williams /
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GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 06: Blake Martinez
GREEN BAY, WI – NOVEMBER 06: Blake Martinez /

Inside linebackers (3)

Inside linebackers: Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan, Oren Burks

All of a sudden inside linebacker doesn’t look to be such a weakness.

Blake Martinez played well last season, and was the league’s tackling co-leader with 144 tackles to his name. He’ll continue to play an important role at the heart of Green Bay’s defense.

He will now be joined by third-round draft choice Oren Burks, who Brian Gutekunst traded up to get. Considering the Packers’ inability to defend the screen pass last season, Burks could quickly become a very important player in Mike Pettine’s defense, as Zach Kruse of Packers Wire pointed out:

"“A former safety and one of the elite athletes at off-the-ball linebacker in the draft class, Burks appears to have the burst and recognition to sniff out the screen, knife through pulling linemen and make stops on the ball carrier before the play even gets moving.”"

Burks is exactly the type of player Green Bay needed at inside linebacker.

Jake Ryan, a fourth-round pick in 2015, hasn’t developed into the player the Packers hoped he would, but he still provides solid depth at the position.

The Packers look much stronger at inside linebacker than they have in recent years, but much will depend on how quickly Burks adjusts to the NFL.