Packers: NFC North edge rusher power rankings for 2020

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

Who is the best pass rusher in the NFC North?

The Green Bay Packers added not one, but two star edge rushers in free agency a year ago. But which pass rusher is the best in the NFC North?

From Khalil Mack to Danielle Hunter to Trey Flowers, there are many great pass rushers in this division.

But who is the best?

5. Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears

Robert Quinn signed with the Bears in free agency, replacing Leonard Floyd as the starter alongside Khalil Mack. Quinn led all edge defenders in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric last season, and he finished with 11.5 sacks.

Quinn is a good free-agent addition for the Bears, making their defense even stronger.

4. Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers

Preston Smith dominated in his first season with the Packers, making 12 sacks, 23 QB hits, an interception, and a forced fumble. He was all over the field making plays and consistently pressuring quarterbacks.

Smith was a home-run addition by Brian Gutekunst a year ago.

3. Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings

Danielle Hunter has 48.5 sacks over the past four seasons. He led the Vikings in sacks last year.

He’s only 25 years old but is a two-time Pro Bowler and was a second-team All-Pro in 2018. Last season, Hunter tied his career-best in sacks with 14.5, and he set new career-bests with 22 QB hits and three forced fumbles.

2. Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers

No player made a bigger impact on the Packers defense than Za’Darius Smith last season. He finished the year with 13.5 sacks and a league-best 37 QB hits. He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as a result.

Smith was finally given an opportunity to start each week after being a backup for much of his career in Baltimore. And he spent every game showing the Ravens why they made a huge mistake not re-signing him.

1. Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

Khalil Mack is still arguably the best edge rusher in all of football. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro finished 2019 with 8.5 sacks, the lowest total since his rookie year, but he still made a huge impact. Mack also had 14 QB hits and forced five fumbles.

Mack is in the prime of his career and will likely get back to posting double-digit sacks this season. Playing opposite Quinn will help.