Best: Za'Darius Smith
Another big move the Packers made in 2019 was to sign former Baltimore Ravens edge rusher Za'Darius Smith. Gutekunst knew Green Bay's pass rush needed significant work, having moved on from previous starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
Matthews and Perry had combined for only five sacks in 2018. Gutekunst replaced them with Za'Darius and Preston Smith and also drafted Rashan Gary in the first round.
Za'Darius Smith was a game-changer in the Packers' defense, and he made a dominant start in his first year.
Smith made 13.5 sacks, 37 quarterback hits, and forced a fumble in a Pro Bowl 2019 season. He put in a dominant performance in a crucial Week 16 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, making 3.5 sacks and five quarterback hits, leading the Packers to a 23-10 win that clinched the NFC North title.
He made another 12.5 sacks and 23 quarterback hits in 2020 but only played one game in 2021 due to injury. The Packers moved on last offseason, with Smith signing with the Vikings in free agency.
Smith was dominant in his first two seasons with the Packers, making 26 sacks and 60 quarterback hits in 32 games. He is one of Gutekunst's best free-agent signings.