Defensive line (5)
Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, Tedarrell Slaton
Clark is a Pro-Bowl type of talent that’s capable of playing either nose or end. One of the lone bright spots on a unit that is below average otherwise.
Lowry is overpaid and underperforms. Lowry is a JAG through and through. If any other players emerge from this group in camp, don’t be surprised to see his snap count cut into. He restructured his deal this off-season so he’s a safe bet to remain on the roster.
Keke showed some flashes a year ago as a pass rusher but has a ways to go if he’s going to establish himself as more than a rotational D-linemen.
Lancaster eats up blocks and does the dirty work. Probably plays too many snaps for someone who doesn’t offer much of anything else.
Slaton is a fifth-round nose tackle with some athleticism. Consistency was a problem in college but its easy to see why they took a flyer on him.
De’Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin, Isaiah McDuffie
Campbell is a free-agent addition with starting experience. Likely to start and play significant snaps up the middle. Unspectacular player, but certainly improves the linebacker room.
Barnes is an UDFA from last season who showed flashes that vaulted him up the depth chart. Barnes has a lot of promise at the position but we will learn a lot more about the player this season. Barnes does offer a glimmer of hope in what has been a wasteland at inside linebacker for some time now.
Martin is a fifth-round pick from last season and plays every snap at 100MPH. Martin had moments of being an impact player in limited action last year, however often fell victim to playing too fast. Martin definitely has intriguing upside and will be given an opportunity this year to earn more snaps.
McDuffie is a sixth-round linebacker taken out of Boston College this year. McDuffie is a decent athlete who will have to make his mark on special teams to make the roster. I like his odds better than Ty Summers at this point, who the Packers can save money on by cutting.
Edge rushers (5)
Za’Darius Smith, Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Jonathan Garvin, Tipa Galeai
Z is the heart of this defense and brings great versatility. Violent disruptor is the only way to explain him as a player. Za’Darius Smith can rush off the edge or play snaps on the D-line.
All projection when drafted, Gary has developed and turned the corner into a consistent pass-rusher. Year 3 could be the year he takes a leap into becoming a double-digit sack artist.
Back on a restructured prove-it deal after falling flat in 2020, Preston Smith is likely going to be the third pass-rushing option but will still see starter level snaps.
Garvin is still incredibly young and possesses great athleticism. Last year was essentially a red-shirt year for the former Hurricane. Watching his development this year will be interesting.
The Rams preferred smaller edge rushers in the system Joe Barry came from. With all of the other edge rushers in a different mold, I am expecting the Packers to hold onto Galeai who is smaller and offers a different look.