Packers could use some veteran defensive line help

J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers should look to add veteran pass rushers in free agency to take the load off Za’Darius Smith.

With the Packers recently cutting LB Christian Kirksey and OT Rick Wagner, it proves they are in the process of creating cap space for free agents. With the emergence of Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin, it gave them flexibility to make a linebacker transition to free cap space.

Although the Packers D-line was sufficient last season, it could exceed previous expectations.

How so?

Well, Za’Darius Smith was fantastic last season despite being double-teamed 27.2 percent of the time. That ranked second in the NFL. He still put up monster numbers. Za’Darius was a pest for the opposing offensive lines. He put up 12.5 sacks while also accounting for 52 tackles (12 for loss). He also managed to knock down the QB 23 times and create four forced fumbles in the process.

Imagine if there was another threat opposite of Smith. The D-line would be virtually unstoppable. Rashan Gary also has shown glimpses of excellence. Look for him to improve his numbers substantially. With Gary emerging and Smith being a relentless threat, a new addition could be a scary thought.

Unknown whether or not Preston Smith will be back, the Packers would still need make some necessary moves in order to sign some big name free agents.

The obvious add for the Packers would be J.J. Watt as he is homegrown from Waukesha, Wisconsin. Adding Watt would be an incredible pickup. The Packers would need to create cap room by possibly extending Davante Adams’ contract as well as restructuring Aaron Rodgers’.

Other defensive linemen the Packers could add in freeagency

DT Shelby Harris

Despite a decrease in sacks from his previous season, Harris had a career-high in QB hits with 11. He is capable of being a difference-maker and would be a solid addition to the Packers D-line.

DE Jadeveon Clowney

For obvious reasons people would not want to take the risk of signing Clowney. I’m not one of those people. We all know what he’s capable of but the question is if his motivation is there. I believe if Clowney comes to a winning culture, he could be a cheap addition while still producing as an X-factor.

DT Kawann Short

Another risky player, but I can’t help but notice the monster statistics he’s capable of putting up. If he can stay healthy and get back to his normal production, it could be a sneaky addition.

Who knows, the Packers could look to spend their money on new secondary or offensive pieces. They could look to find their D-line production through the draft.

In the end, these are some additions that could be useful for the Packers defensive line.