Packers are placing a ton of faith in young defensive linemen

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

This past offseason saw some major personnel changes on the defensive line of the Green Bay Packers.

Out are longtime Packer Dean Lowry and now well traveled Jarran Reed. In their place? Two young players who now have some pretty big shoes to fill: Devonte Wyatt and T.J. Slaton.

The combo of Wyatt and Slaton are slated to take the starting positions that Lowry and Reed occupied last season, and that will be no easy task. Reed played 68% of defensive snaps in Green Bay while Lowry handled just a shade over half at 53%.

In comparison, Slaton saw the field just a bit more in his second season with 32% of defensive snaps while the rookie Wyatt had only 23% to his name. This is a considerable uptick in playing time should the duo of Slaton and Wyatt take on a large portion of the snaps vacated in the departures of Lowry and Reed.

There would be a bit less pressure on Wyatt and Slaton to take on larger roles if Green Bay would have added a veteran into the mix to handle some snaps.

Instead, the Packers decided to go in the opposite direction, drafting Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks. Wyatt and Slaton are now the most experienced players up front besides Kenny Clark. This is an incredibly bold strategy from decision makers in Green Bay to not have another player with a substantial number of NFL snaps under his belt as a part of their defensive line equation.

There will be some growing pains with this group as the above mentioned veteran Clark is the only player with significant experience. With that being said, it is clear that the Packers believe in their process, coaching staff, systems, and most importantly the talent of the young players they are placing their faith in.

This is a substantial gamble they are taking and their faith in the aforementioned areas better pay off. It could become a massive problem for those in charge if things do not work out like they expect or go down a path that they are not adequately prepared for.

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