Five players that need to contribute in 2018 for the Green Bay Packers to contend for the Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers are coming off of one of their more disappointing seasons in recent memory. As always, the team had high aspirations of contending for a championship. However, those dreams fell short when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone for the second time in five seasons.
Fast forward to the 2018 offseason. The team has a new general manager in Brian Gutekunst, a new defensive coordinator in Mike Pettine, and a new “attitude”. Everything appears to be on the up-swing for Green Bay. Perhaps the most comforting and assuring thought is that Rodgers will be back on the field in 2018. However, Rodgers can not play every position himself. While his rare talents and sharp abilities may compensate for the deficiencies at other positions, the 35-year-old quarterback will need some help if this team wishes to contend for a championship in 2018.
One could argue that rookie GM Gutekunst has recognized these deficiencies. He has gone out and added a plethora of talent via the NFL draft and free agency. The team may even still be looking to add talent that could immediately contribute. However, as the current roster stands, there are already a number of players who can play a big part in a 2018 success story.
1. DE Muhammad Wilkerson
One of the biggest question marks for this Packers team was the pass rush. Gutekunst brought in the talented and disruptive defensive lineman, Muhammad Wilkerson, to do just that. Wilkerson will look to boost this pass rush during the 2018 season.
The eight-year veteran signed a one-year contract after spending his first seven seasons with the New York Jets. Hopefully, a one year deal will motivate the 28-year-old and a breakout season ensues.
New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has two years of experience with Wilkerson and surely knows how to get the best out of him. Wilkerson will join a group of defensive linemen that was already considered one of the best in the league.
The disruptive defensive end will look to aid in applying pressure from the interior of the offensive line. When Wilkerson was at his best, he was one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. He can also provide this Packers defense with a much-needed “swagger” that has been lacking in recent years. A successful year from Wilkerson will go a long way towards a deep playoff run.