Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Now Introducing the Packers Linebackers

This off-season, the Green Bay Packers’ biggest need was at the inside linebacker position. Green Bay parted ways with veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, leaving the team with an extremely young corps of inside linebackers.

Barring injury, this much we know about the linebacker situation in Green Bay...Clay Matthews will start on the inside with Sam Barrington to begin week one against the Chicago Bears on September 13.  We also know that Julius Peppers will be on the outside with Nick Perry.  However, I believe Nick Perry will receive stiff competition from Jake Ryan, Carl Bradford, Jayrone Elliott and Adrain Hubbard.

#91 Jayrone Elliott

#49 Adrian Hubbard
Nick Perry, was a first round draft choice in 2012.  He played at USC. Perry was selected by the Packers to give them another "edge rusher" to sack the quarterback. Perry has 9 career sacks in 3 seasons. Need I say more?  He needs to step it up until Jake Ryan has been caught up to speed at the inside linebacker position so that Clay can be moved to the outside more often.

#53 Nick Perry
Jake Ryan vs Carl Bradford. Doesn't matter which 4th round pick wins the ILB position opposite Sam Barrington, so long as one of these two guys wins the position so that Green Bay can finally move Clay Matthews back to the outside edge rushing, which is what he was built to do. Bradford may surprise people this preseason.

#47 Jake Ryan and #54 Carl Bradford
In my eyes, second year players Carl Bradford and Joe Thomas will be competing for time at the inside linebacker position, though they face a more uphill battle. While Ryan and Barrington seem to be ahead of Bradford and Thomas on the depth chart for the time being, training camp could see sleepers emerge and rise up the depth chart.

Don't forget....Carl Bradford may have been a "healthy inactive" last year, because guys like Hawk, Lattimore, and Jones were in his way (taking up roster spots). As it looks right now, nobody stands in his way for a roster spot or for that matter, a starting position. On the other hand, I believe hard hitting Jake Ryan, the 4th round pick out of Michigan, will have something to say about that by the end of camp.

Ryan is a versatile player from Michigan with above average speed who can play both inside and outside. Like most rookies, he will need grooming to become a more complete player, but he has the athletic ability and desire for success to develop into a play maker for Green Bay.

#47 Jake Ryan led the Wolverines in tackles, tackles for a loss and sacks.
Next time I will introduce the "D" linemen and conclude with the DB's.  Until then, #GoPackGo!!


  1. Joe Thomas has an edge because of ST. Those back up LB will make or break on ST play. Great job !

  2. A bigger factor in the LB play is if that DL can't tie up OL and our OL is busy fighting them off as we have in the past then it really won't matter in the back 8.

    Ryan is a guy that I think they want to come in and fill the Mr.Steady role that Hawk vacated.