Green Bay Packers: 15 greatest pass rushers of all-time

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Green Bay Packers
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10. player. 49. . DE. (1977-87). Ezra Johnson

Best pass rushers in Green Bay Packers history: 10. Ezra Johnson

  • Pro Bowl (1978)

  • 3x Packers season leader in quarterback sacks (1982-83, 1985)

  • 14.5 quarterback sacks in 1983

  • 41.5 official career quarterback sacks w/Packers

Ezra Johnson spent 15 years in the NFL. The first 11 came with the Packers, as he was a first-round pick out of Morris Brown in the 1977 NFL Draft. After playing in 14 games as a rookie in 1977 and recovering a fumble, Johnson made his first and only career trip to the Pro Bowl in 1978. He played in all 16 games that season and recorded a fumble.

Johnson was certainly a great pass rusher for the Packers from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. This was further illustrated by his pass-rushing prowess coming in the advent of the quarterback sack in 1982. Johnson would lead the Packers three times in quarterback sacks in 1982, 1983 and 1985.

His best career total as a pass rusher came in 1983 when Johnson amassed 14.5 quarterback sacks. Surprisingly, he did not make it to the Pro Bowl, despite nearly averaging a sack a game. That would be the only time that he achieved double-digit sack totals in his 15-year football career spanning three stops.

After having just 7.0 quarterback sacks in 1984, Johnson bounced back with 9.5 to lead the team for the third time. However, he only managed a combined 5.0 in his final two seasons in Green Bay in 1986 and 1987. Johnson would leave the Packers after the 1987 with 41.5 official quarterback sacks with Green Bay.

He joined the Indianapolis Colts in 1988, but had 3.0 quarterback sacks in his first year with the new team. His second and final season in Indianapolis saw Johnson bring the quarterback to the ground 8.5 times in 1989. Johnson would leave the Colts to play his final two NFL seasons with the then-Houston Oilers in 1990 and 1991 before retiring with 55.5 career quarterback sacks.

Thanks to his dominance in the trenches, Johnson was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1997. At the time of his release from the organization after the 1987 season, Johnson was the franchise leader in unofficial quarterback sacks with 84, finishing his 15-year NFL career with the Oilers with an unofficial 99 in that department.