Top 5 NFC North edge rushers in 2023 ranked

Two Packers and Lions edge rushers make the NFC North top five.
Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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4. Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers

Preston Smith is the definition of a reliable, solid starter. And that shouldn't be overlooked. Smith might not have a Pro Bowl to his name, but he regularly makes important plays for the Packers defense.

Smith hasn't missed much time during his four seasons with the Packers, featuring in 65 of a possible 66 games, starting 62 of them. In that time, Smith has made 33.5 sacks, 71 quarterback hits, and forced four fumbles.

He has made at least 8.5 sacks in three of his four seasons with the Packers, including a career-high of 12 in 2019. Smith started all 17 games for the Packers last year, making 8.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits.

Smith is underrated. While he might not be an All-Pro pass rusher, he is an excellent starter who the Packers can trust. Not only does Smith provide consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but he is also a strong run defender.

At his best, Smith can provide double-digit sacks and regularly make game-changing plays. At worst, the Packers have a dependable, solid starter who makes plays against the run and gets sacks.

Smith has been an excellent starter in Green Bay's defense over the past four seasons, and that isn't changing anytime soon.