3. Outside linebacker
Concerns with the pass rush could soon be a thing of the past. Once again, one of last season’s biggest weaknesses ranks high on this list thanks to a great offseason. Brian Gutekunst made the tough decision to not re-sign Clay Matthews and to release Nick Perry, but he wasted little time getting to work in free agency, bringing in Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in the opening couple of days.
Both Smiths are listed at linebacker on the team’s official website, but defensive coordinator Mike Pettine could look to move them around to find the best matchups.
The Packers landed one of the top edge rushers in April’s draft with the 12th overall pick, with Rashan Gary joining a much-improved depth chart at outside linebacker. This trio, along with the Packers’ sack leader last season, Kyler Fackrell, ensure this defense has more talent and depth than in recent years.
If Green Bay can also get bigger contributions from Reggie Gilbert and Kendall Donnerson, the Packers could have one of the strongest pass rushes in the league. That’s before we even mention the interior pass rush (more on that in a moment).
Outside linebacker could be the team’s most improved position this season.