2. Rashan Gary, EDGE
One of the top players to watch at training camp will be the Green Bay Packers’ first pick in April’s draft, edge rusher Rashan Gary.
A big question ahead of the draft this year was whether the Packers would still use an early-round pick on an edge rusher even after signing Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency. GM Brian Gutekunst did just that by selecting Gary at No. 12 overall, a decision that had mixed responses from draft analysts.
Gary has the talent to become a dominant pass rusher in the NFL, but he didn’t have the production at Michigan to back it up. The Packers clearly believe that will change in Mike Pettine’s defense.
What’s going to be most interesting is watching how Pettine uses Gary in his defense. Will he be a starter? Will he line up primarily on the edge or will Pettine have Gary rush from the inside more often? Will Gary play at linebacker or along the defensive line?
Gary can be a difference maker in this defense, so it’s going to be interesting to see what Pettine thinks his best role is this season, and also where Za’Darius and Preston Smith line up.