The Packers defense probably hasn’t looked this good on paper since the 2014 season. The front seven is loaded with talent and the secondary actually appears to have some playmakers. Yet, beneath the surface, there still may be some sleepers you aren’t thinking about but probably should be.
- Josh Jackson
Jackson has put on some muscle as he prepares to rebound in his second NFL season. As is the case with most rookies, the first year can be a bit of a rollercoaster. It was not different for Jackson who struggled to find consistency. However, penalties aside, he is still a big play waiting to happen. Let’s not forget about his pick-six against the Steelers in the preseason and special teams touchdown in week two facing the Vikings. Jackson will get plenty of reps to make a strong impression in 2019 and he has the ball skills to be a difference maker.
2. Oren Burks
Burks has been the starter alongside Blake Martinez during OTAs. Last years third-round pick had a rough season as he started off with a shoulder injury that made him miss the first two games of the season. Burks never quite found his footing as he struggled to get off blocks and be a productive tackler. It got to the point that Burks was pretty much limited to special teams snaps down the stretch of the season. This season will be his second under Mike Pettine and he won’t have to get past Jake Ryan and Antonio Morrison on the depth chart. A full NFL offseason could do a lot for Burks in year two.
3. Montravius Adams
Adams stepped up when injuries sidelined Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels in 2018. Daniels could be on his way out after this season and Adams could be the next man up. He saw consistent reps towards the end of the season as he finished with 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. The Packers pass rush will be loaded in 2019 and Adams could reap the benefits commanding less attention. Reports indicate he has gotten himself in tremendous shape this offseason which is something to keep an eye on. Once pads go on, Adams might be a guy turning some heads.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.