Packers in top five of PFF defensive line rankings for 2020

Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Packers have made the top five of PFF’s defensive line rankings for 2020.

The Green Bay Packers‘ defensive trio of Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, and Preston Smith is about as good as any in the NFL.

Between them, Clark and the Smith Bros. combined for 31.5 sacks and 67 quarterback hits last season. Za’Darius and Preston Smith combined for more sacks than any other duo in the league, while Clark was one of the best interior pass rushers in football.

Ahead of the 2020 season, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has ranked all 32 defensive lines in the NFL. The Packers come in at No. 5.

Over the past decade, it’s been the Packers offense behind most of their success. But with the defensive line ranking fifth by PFF, Green Bay is higher on the list than all of its NFC North rivals. The Chicago Bears are a position behind at No. 6, the Minnesota Vikings at No. 24, and the Detroit Lions all the way down at No. 27.

Considering Green Bay’s awful run defense last season, this may come as a surprise. But this article includes the Smith Bros. and Rashan Gary as part of the defensive line, and with that in mind, it’s no surprise to see the Packers near the top of the rankings.

In terms of getting after the quarterback, few defensive fronts are as strong as this one.

This year, the Packers’ defensive front could be even stronger. Second-year Rashan Gary should see an increased role as Kyler Fackrell signed with the New York Giants in free agency. Gary’s ability to line up inside will help him get on the field more often. If Gary makes a second-year jump, there might not be a better pass rush in the NFL.

With Clark, the Smith Bros., and Gary, the Packers’ pass rush can be one of the league’s best in 2020.