Rashan Gary could make a fast start in the new-look Green Bay Packers defense.
Many wondered whether the Green Bay Packers would still select an edge rusher in the first round after signing Za’Darius and Preston Smith in free agency. But they did just that, further strengthening the pass rush by selecting Rashan Gary in the opening round.
What role with Gary have in Mike Pettine’s defense in his rookie year?
Gary played nine games in his final year at Michigan, finishing with 3.5 sacks, 38 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. The biggest concern entering the NFL is his lack of sacks, and that’s something the Packers will be hoping improves at the next level.
Odds of making roster: 100 percent
With all of the offseason additions made this spring, there’s absolutely a chance the Packers defense can be the most improved in the NFL. But for that to happen, they’ll need Gary to produce right away.
What to expect in 2019?
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will likely move his pass rushers around, but will that mean Gary starts in Week 1? Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will likely start at outside linebacker, but could Pettine have Gary line up inside or along the defensive line? The ability for each edge rusher to move around could help Pettine find the best matchups.
What kind of impact will Gary have this season? While it’s certainly understandable to be concerned about his lack of production in college, there’s a reason the Packers were willing to select him with the 12th overall pick in April.
With the talent Green Bay has signed at edge rusher, Gary won’t face too many double teams right away, and that’ll allow him to make an impact on the game and provide pressure.
Gary can absolutely make an instant impact in the league. Not only do the Packers now have four players who all have the potential to hit double-digit sacks (Gary, Za’Darius and Preston Smith, and Kyler Fackrell) but they also have a defensive coordinator who was able to scheme pressure last season even when there was little production from the edge rushers (outside of Fackrell).
Many believed selecting Gary so early was a risk, but he could have a great rookie season in this defense.