Ranking the strongest position groups on the Packers roster.
While much of the offseason focus has been on the Green Bay Packers‘ biggest weaknesses and their failure to address positions of need, today we’ll take a different approach.
What are the Packers’ biggest strengths?
It wasn’t easy to choose between many of these positions, but here are my rankings for Green Bay’s four strongest position groups entering 2020.
1. Edge rusher
Led by Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, the Packers’ starting edge-rushing tandem is as good as any in the NFL. No other pass-rushing pair could match the Smith Bros. 25.5 sacks in 2019 and they will once again be two of the most important pieces of Mike Pettine’s defense this season.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said second-year Rashan Gary will see an increased role this season. If he can make a second-year jump, the Packers’ pass rush will be up there with the league’s best.
2. Running back
Aaron Jones is a superstar after putting up his first 1,000-yard season in 2019. Blink and you’d miss one of his 19 regular-season touchdowns, a total to which he’d add four more to in the postseason.
Jamaal Williams was a solid complement to Jones and chipped in with five receiving touchdowns last season. Now the Packers have added powerful back AJ Dillon in the second round.
Dillon has the talent to make a fast start to his NFL career, which would give the Packers an exciting thunder-and-lightning pairing in the backfield. With Williams and Tyler Ervin offering depth, the Packers should be in great shape at running back.
Aaron Rodgers is still the man in Green Bay and that’s not changing anytime soon. He’s still a world-class performer and the Packers’ most important player in their bid for another championship.
The backup situation improved this offseason with the arrival of Jordan Love. Love might not be ready to take on the starting job, but he should be able to overtake Tim Boyle on the depth chart.
4. Offensive line
Had Bryan Bulaga re-signed, this position group would be even higher. From left tackle to center, the Packers offensive line is rock solid.
Four-time All-Pro David Bakhtiari and center Corey Linsley both led their positions in ESPN’s pass block win rate metric a year ago, while left guard Elgton Jenkins made the top 10 at his position in his rookie season.
The concerns begin on the right side, starting with guard Billy Turner who had an up-and-down first year in Green Bay. Ricky Wagner could also be a downgrade on Bulaga.
But the Packers have good depth. Lane Taylor is still under contract and they drafted three offensive linemen on Day 3.