Packers: Za’Darius Smith should be an All-Pro in 2019

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Last week, Za’Darius Smith wasn’t voted to the Pro Bowl. During the Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings, he showed why he should be an All-Pro.

Za’Darius Smith was already having an excellent first season in Green Bay. But on Monday night, he had one of the best performances of any Packers defender in recent memory.

Smith seemed to make a stop on just about every Vikings drive. He made seven tackles, 3.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and 5.5 tackles for loss. Smith was the number one reason why the Vikings only managed seven first downs and 139 total yards of offense.

Smith now has 13.5 sacks on the season, which leads the Packers and ranks sixth in the NFL. He also leads the league in quarterback hits with 35 and is third in tackles for loss with 17.

According to Pro Football Focus, Smith leads the league in pressure rate this season.

The Packers desperately needed better production from their edge rushers entering 2019, which is why they handed big contracts to both Za’Darius and Preston Smith. This duo has been as good as any in the league.

Za’Darius Smith makes an impact in every game. Even when he’s not making sacks, he’s often providing an assist or hurrying quarterbacks in some way.

Smith led by example on Monday night. In the Packers’ biggest game of the year with a chance to clinch the NFC North title and move within one victory of a first-round bye, Smith stepped up and changed the game. The Vikings offense couldn’t get going all evening with their only points scored following turnovers, and Smith was a big part of that.

Smith might have gone under the radar for a lot of fans of other teams, but not anymore. In a primetime game, he showed the world what Packers fans knew already. He is having an All-Pro season, and this was his best performance yet.