Packers: Predicting four first-time Pro Bowlers in 2020

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Preston Smith

Za’Darius Smith was a Pro Bowler in 2019, and well deserved, but teammate Preston Smith missed out despite putting together a career-year.

Preston Smith was another home-run free-agent addition by the Packers last year. He did everything in Mike Pettine’s defense. He made 12 sacks, good for second on the team and eighth-best in the NFL. His 23 quarterback hits ranked 13th in the NFL.

Smith also made 12.5 tackles for loss, four pass defenses, one forced fumble, and one interception. He made big play after big play, often helping the Packers close out big wins.

Along with Za’Darius Smith, no pass-rushing tandem combined for more sacks in the league last season. And they also showed up in the postseason. According to Pro Football Focus, this duo combined for 18 total pressures against the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional-round victory. Dominant. Despite consistently pressuring quarterbacks, both Preston and Za’Darius Smith often went overlooked. While Za’Darius did eventually make the Pro Bowl, he initially missed out.

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Preston Smith started all 16 games for the Packers last year, setting new career-bests in sacks, tackles, QB hits, and tackles for loss. He’s now made five interceptions in the past four seasons.

Smith is a game-changer, a difference-maker, and a soon-to-be Pro-Bowler for the Packers.