It’s hardly a surprise that an edge rusher is featured first in this article. The Packers’ pass rush has been much improved.
The Packers had high hopes for Za’Darius Smith when they signed him to a four-year, $66 million deal in the spring. So far, Smith has been outstanding and potentially even exceeded his high expectations. In four games, Smith has three sacks, which is second on the team. He also has seven quarterback hits.
Smith has already made a significant impact on this defense. Even when he’s not the player making the sack, he’s regularly pressured quarterbacks and helped this defense dominate. The Packers have 12 sacks, good for eighth in the NFL after four weeks, and Smith has almost half of them.
Not only has Smith made an impact as a pass rusher, but he’s also a leader of the defense along with Preston Smith. It’s no surprise he was named one of the team captains for the 2019 season, despite only being in his first year in Green Bay.
Smith has already made a huge difference to Mike Pettine’s defense, and the Packers are going to need him throughout the season to make a push for the playoffs.