Packers: 4 possible veteran departures this summer

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Cornerback Quinten Rollins
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Cornerback Quinten Rollins /
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Kyler Fackrell, OLB

Cap hit in 2018: $836,000 ($347,000 in dead cap) 

Kyler Fackrell was one of the biggest head-scratchers in recent head-scratching drafts by Ted Thompson. A lesser-known prospect in the 2016 draft, out of Utah State, selected in the third round to address the pass rush, came as a surprise to many Packer fans, especially with players such as Javon Hargrave, Joe Schobert and De’Vondre Campbell still available, who could have addressed immediate concerns on the defense.

Fackrell, so far, has shown to be far less valuable than the third-round pick spent on him. He has been given plenty of chances, especially during the 2017 season, when he logged 447 snaps on defense. He was only able to get to the quarterback three times out of those 447 snaps.

Perhaps his largest downfall is that he seems to lack the physicality needed to be successful at his position in the NFL. There are too many times where he is completely dominated by an opposing offensive lineman and very little aggressiveness is shown. His technique is also lacking, that mixed with the lack of aggressiveness, makes him very rarely disruptive on defense.

The case for not being able to cut Fackrell is certainly there, due to limited depth among edge rushers on the team. Behind Nick Perry and Clay Matthews there is much uncertainty.

What we do know is that Reggie Gilbert showed us some impressive things in the very small sample size he was given at the end of the 2017 season. Look to see Gilbert in an expanded role next season for the Packers rushing the passer, especially considering recent praise from Mike McCarthy.

The rest of Fackrell’s competition consists of 2017 fourth-round pick Vince Biegel, 2018 seventh-round pick Kendall Donnerson, and a couple of UDFA players.

Biegel spent the first half of his rookie season on the PUP list, so we were only given a limited window into what he is capable of, but he looked to be more physically NFL-ready than Fackrell. Donnerson is a small school prospect out of SE Missouri State, who has elite athleticism for the position (40-yard dash in 4.4’s and 40-inch vertical jump).

If any free agent outside linebackers are added before training camp, I would bet on Fackrell being released by the Packers.