Packers 2023 offseason position review: Edge rushers

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers didn’t use an early-round pick to strengthen the pass rush in 2022. Unfortunately, it proved to be a mistake.

While the Packers have talent at edge rusher, they lack depth, which we saw in 2022.

For that reason, adding to the pass rush should be high on this offseason’s to-do list.

2022 season review

Rashan Gary dominated all summer during training camp. This was supposed to be his breakout season. And Gary looked well on his way to the Pro Bowl, making six sacks and 12 quarterback hits in the nine games he played.

Gary was on track for career-best numbers but suffered a torn ACL in Week 9.

Without him, the Packers’ pass rush struggled for consistency. Green Bay finished with its lowest sack total for over a decade.

Gary’s return will help in 2023, but the Packers need to add more depth.

What’s next in 2023?

The good news is that the Packers have talent to build around at edge rusher.

Gary will be back at some point in 2023. What’s unclear is whether he’ll be ready for Week 1 or will miss the start of the season. It can take time for players coming off significant injuries to hit their best form, so that also needs to be considered with Gary.

Preston Smith is under contract, and his cap hit is less than $2 million higher than in 2022, so there’s a good chance he is back.

Kingsley Enagbare showed potential as a pass rusher. The Packers will hope he can continue to improve in year two.

But edge rusher should be one of the team’s top priorities in the offseason. They didn’t do it last year, but it’s important to use an early draft pick to strengthen the pass rush.

Adding more help for Gary and Smith is a must in April’s draft.