Packers: Predicting edge rusher depth chart in 2021 season

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers‘ top three edge rushers were all brought in during the 2019 offseason.

The Packers signed Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith during the opening week of free agency, then used their top pick in the draft on Rashan Gary.

They will be the Packers’ top pass rushers again in 2021, and here is my prediction for the depth chart.

Packers EDGE depth chart predictions in 2021

  1. Za’Darius Smith
  2. Rashan Gary
  3. Preston Smith
  4. Jonathan Garvin

Za’Darius Smith has been excellent in his two seasons with the Packers, making the Pro Bowl in both and also being named a second-team All-Pro in 2020. He has 25 sacks in his two years with the Packers, along with 60 quarterback hits, 25 hurries, 89 pressures, and 33 quarterback knockdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.

Not to mention he’s forced five fumbles, four of which came last season, and he’s a leader for this team.

Something to watch over the summer will be who is the regular starter next to Za’Darius Smith. For most of the past two seasons, it’s been Preston Smith. But he struggled last season and Rashan Gary began to outplay him in the second half of the year. Maybe it will be Gary getting more snaps ahead of Preston Smith this season.

If Za’Darius Smith can continue the way he’s been playing in recent years, Gary continues to improve, and Preston Smith gets back to his best, this trio will be dominant in 2021.

Jonathan Garvin is entering his second season. He was drafted in the seventh round a year ago. According to Pro Football Reference, he only played on eight percent of the team’s defensive snaps last season. He was active for eight games.

His role will likely need to increase if he is the fourth edge rusher on the roster in 2021. The team may also keep five outside linebackers like they did a year ago.