mock draft has Packers adding top pass rusher in first round

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Adding a pass rusher should be a top priority for the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Packers‘ pass rush struggled for consistency this year, especially after losing Rashan Gary to a season-ending injury.

Gary’s return in 2023 will help the pass rush, while Preston Smith is a solid starter. Kingsley Enagbare, too, showed some promise in his rookie season.

But it’s still a top area of need after the Packers made just 34 sacks. That’s their worst record in over a decade.’s Daniel Jeremiah seems to agree, as he has the Packers addressing their pass rush in the first round of his recent mock draft.

The Packers have selected Georgia defensive players with their past three first-round picks: cornerback Eric Stokes in 2021 and inside linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt in 2022.

Jeremiah has that theme continuing, with Green Bay selecting Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith with the 15th overall pick.

“He has elite burst and change of direction. Expect him to garner some comparisons to Pro Bowler Haason Reddick,” writes Jeremiah.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Green Bay strengthen its pass rush early in the draft. It’s so important to be able to consistently rush the passer, but the Packers were unable to get enough pressure at some key moments in the season.

Smith could develop into an excellent starter. In year one, he could sit behind Gary and Preston Smith, providing some depth.

And, hey, another bonus? The Packers would have an all-new Smith Bros.

Will Green Bay add yet another Georgia player to its defense in the first round? If Nolan Smith is still on the board at No. 15, it might not be such a bad idea.

At some point in the early rounds, GM Brian Gutekunst needs to add more talent at edge rusher.