The Green Bay Packers have been on a spending spree to solidify one of the NFL’s best defensive units, but there is one more piece the team should add before the regular season kicks off in September.
The Packers’ starting lineup is pretty well set on the edge of their base 3-4 scheme, but producing a consistent pass rush when Rashan Gary and Preston Smith are off the field could prove a challenge if Green Bay doesn’t build out the position with a bit more depth.
An option for the franchise in this regard is former Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks defensive end/outside linebacker Carlos Dunlap. The 12-year veteran was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in Cincinnati and is nearing 100 sacks on his career, making him a quality fit who can bring some pressure off the bench behind Gary and Smith.
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Packers Pass Rush Would Benefit From Addition of Dunlap
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report wrote on Wednesday that there are three free agents the Packers must consider signing. Two of those are on the offensive side of the ball, where four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers appears thin on weapons in the passing game.
Beyond former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph and former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during the Rams’ Super Bowl win in February, Ballentine said Dunlap is the player the Packers should lock down next.
Preston Smith and Rashan Gary give the Packers two proven starters who can get after the quarterback. After that, it gets a little dicey.
It’s one of the few issues on the roster that could rear its ugly head at the wrong time. Smith only played 68 percent of snaps last season, and Gary just finished his first full season as a starter. That leaves the Packers one injury away from having a serious question at outside linebacker.
Fortunately, there are some good options left on the market. … Carlos Dunlap is the most productive left.
The Seahawks didn’t end up being a contender after bringing in the ex-Bengal, so a chance to play on a contender like Green Bay could be a mutually beneficial situation.
Dunlap Posted Solid Season With Seattle in 2021
Despite an already long career in the NFL, Dunlap was a productive player for the Seahawks last season.
Playing the outside linebacker position, he racked up 35 tackles, including eight for loss, 14 quarterback hits, 8.5 sacks, seven passes defensed and a forced fumble, per Pro Football Reference.
Dunlap posted six sacks the year before and has never produced fewer than that total in a season save for the 2011 campaign, which was just his second season in the league.