We know the Green Bay Packers have an excellent defensive line, but will they be backed up by the inside linebackers?
In short, absolutely.
Once a weakness of this defense, inside linebacker is now one of the biggest strengths for the Packers.
Coming off an All-Pro season, De’Vondre Campbell returns to Green Bay on a new five-year deal. Campbell will again be a key player in the middle of the Packers’ defense.
He will have some help from Quay Walker, the Packers’ first-round pick in April. Walker can play on all three downs. He gets to learn from Campbell and has Pro Bowl potential.
Krys Barnes has plenty of experience in Green Bay’s defense, having made 23 starts over the past two seasons. He adds valuable depth and can also contribute on special teams.
After drafting Walker, opportunities on defense may be limited for Ty Summers, but he has become a key special teams player in recent years.
Given Green Bay’s depth at the position, it won’t be easy for an inside linebacker outside of the top four to make the 53-man roster.
However, there will be competition from second-year Isaiah McDuffie, rookie Tariq Carpenter, Ray Wilborn, and Ellis Brooks.
Expectations will be high given Green Bay’s talent and depth.
Campbell was arguably the Packers’ best defensive player last season. He was always around the ball making key tackles and stops.
The Packers also did something they rarely do, drafting an inside linebacker in the first round. Especially after signing Campbell to a new deal.
Exactly how big of a role Walker will have initially remains to be seen, but there’s no doubting his potential to become an excellent player.
With solid depth at the position, there’s no reason why inside linebacker can’t be one of the Packers’ biggest strengths on defense.