Packers: Za’Darius Smith was one of NFL’s top disruptors 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) /

Another stat shows how dominant Za’Darius Smith was in 2019.

Za’Darius Smith was a home-run free-agent signing in 2019.

From his sack totals to quarterback hits, just about every stat you can find shows just what an incredible season he had with the Green Bay Packers, making it all the more surprising he wasn’t an All-Pro selection and initially missed out on the Pro Bowl.

Smith is one of the most underrated edge rushers in the league but he was simply dominant last season.

Smith not only the Packers’ leading pass rusher, but one of league’s best

Nick Shook of recently ranked the top-10 disruptors from the 2019 season, using NFL Next Gen Stats’ disruption rate statistic. Something that will come as no surprise to Packers fans is that Smith is No. 2 in the rankings.

He had a disruption rate of 17.5 percent and a sack rate of 2.8 percent. Only Myles Garrett ranked higher on the list. Smith had 84 total disruptions which, of the top 10 in Shook’s article, is second-most behind only Aaron Donald.

Za’Darius and Preston Smith were giving quarterbacks nightmares all year long but we also shouldn’t forget about defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who generates a lot of interior pressure. According to Shook, Za’Darius Smith and Clark had a combined 120 quarterback pressures, which was more than any duo from any other NFL team.

It’s surprising how little national attention Smith received despite consistently pressuring quarterbacks. When he wasn’t getting the sack, he was getting close.

Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. In Green Bay’s division-clinching win at Minnesota, Smith was the star of the show on defense, sacking Cousins 3.5 times with five quarterback hits.

This disruption rate stat is more proof that Smith is one of the NFL’s top edge rushers. It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be an All-Pro.