Five breakout Packers players from the 2020 season

Green Bay Packers (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary
Green Bay Packers, Rashan Gary (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Rashan Gary may have played himself into a starting role for 2021

Breakout #4: Rashan Gary

Sticking with the 2019 draft class, the first-round selection of that draft had himself quite the productive 2020 season. Rashan Gary was universally criticized for being selected with the number 12 overall pick in 2019.

Gary was criticized for his lack of production when he was at Michigan. Many people also felt that the Packers had a lack of depth at the edge. New signings in the Smith Bros. seemed promising but going into the 2019 draft choosing from a plethora of pass-rushers seemed like the smart plan.

When the Packers went with Gary at 12 the fanbase wasn’t too happy, to say the least. With Brian Burns still on the board, fans didn’t like the idea of choosing an unproductive college player who was going to be a project.

By the end of the 2019 season, the selection was met with more criticism because Gary barely saw the field, being behind the Smith Bros. who both had great 2019 seasons. The early signs of Gary breaking out started to show in training camp when it was being reported every day that Gary was looking great.

Fast forward through 2020 and Gary has actually outplayed Preston Smith on far fewer snaps. Gary finished up the year as Green Bay’s second-best pass-rusher behind Za’Darius Smith, and may very well find himself as a full-time starter in 2021.