Packers seventh in ESPN 2020 preseason power rankings

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Packers are seventh in ESPN’s preseason power rankings.

After an unusual and challenging offseason, the Green Bay Packers are almost ready to start their NFC North title defense.

After an excellent first season under head coach Matt LaFleur, many analysts are expecting the Packers to be competitive in the NFC again this year.

ESPN has released its NFL preseason power rankings, and the Packers are well-positioned in seventh place. Along with ranking each team, they also answered the question of who is on the hot seat for each team. For the Packers, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky chose defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

And I can’t disagree with his choice.

The Packers have invested a lot in their defense. Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, and Darnell Savage are all first-round picks. Kevin King was selected with the first pick of the second round. Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos were all given big contracts in free agency a year ago.

Green Bay also invested a second-round pick in Josh Jackson and a third-round pick in Oren Burks.

The Packers signed inside linebacker Christian Kirksey in free agency this year.

There is a lot of talent on defense. And with a number of young defensive players impressing at training camp, including rookie Kamal Martin, this defense needs to be strong in 2020.

Green Bay had the 18th-ranked defense in 2019, 14th against the pass, and 23rd against the run. With all the talent this team has, these numbers need to be better.

The defense did have some great moments. The Smith Bros. had outstanding seasons, Alexander took a big step forward, and King had by far his best season. But the NFC Championship performance can’t happen again.

The success of the defense falls on Mike Pettine.

Back to the rankings, it’s hard to disagree with seventh position. The Packers are a team with the potential to go far, but also with a lot of question marks.

What do you think?