Packers were blocked from landing dream defensive coordinator candidate

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Ejiero Evero would've been a home-run hire by the Green Bay Packers.

Evero has done an outstanding job in his two seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator. The Carolina Panthers won two games this year, but it was their No. 32-ranked offense to blame, not Evero's defense, which incredibly ranked No. 4 in the NFL.

It was a similar story a year earlier. The Denver Broncos' first season with Russell Wilson ended in disaster, with the team winning only five games and the offense ranking No. 21. But Evero's defense held up, finishing No. 8.

The Packers were reportedly interested. According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, had Evero become available, they would've had him "near or at the top" of their list of Joe Barry replacements.

Green Bay hired Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley, which could turn out to be an outstanding decision. Hafley has worked under several excellent defensive minds and could transform this group with his aggressive system.

But would Hafley have been offered the job if the Packers had the chance to interview Evero?

Packers didn't get a chance to hire dream target Ejiro Evero

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, there was "mutual interest" between the Packers and Evero over the defensive coordinator opening.

However, Green Bay didn't get the opportunity to consider Evero for the role, as the Carolina Panthers blocked teams from interviewing him for defensive coordinator jobs. He is currently in the same role for the Panthers, allowing them to prevent lateral moves.

Evero could interview for head coach jobs but couldn't become a defensive coordinator elsewhere. Even with Carolina making a change at head coach, ESPN reports that Evero will return as the Panthers' defensive coordinator in 2024.

Matt LaFleur had a chance to hire Evero in 2021. At the time, he was the Los Angeles Rams' secondary coach and passing game coordinator. LaFleur interviewed Evero for the vacant defensive coordinator job but chose Joe Barry to replace Mike Pettine.

The Packers made a smart hire with Hafley, but would things have gone differently had they been able to interview Evero?

More Packers news and analysis