MOAR EDGE! – Packers Add Preston Smith to Pass Rush
When Green Bay signed Za’Darius Smith, many believed they were done at the EDGE rush position. Green Bay added one, and there are countless players worth drafting at that position in April. Brian Gutekunst likes to keep all of us on our toes because they added Preston Smith from the Washington Redskins to the mix. Green Bay completely changed their pass rush overnight with the addition of both Smith’s – Za’Darius and Preston. All of the sudden, this is not the Packers biggest issue heading into the NFL Draft.
Smith is a huge dude. He checks in at 6’5, 271. That’s a large human being and one that can be a force. You cannot line up a tight end against him, or he will punish them into the ground. The likability of Smith comes from his ability to make plays off the edge. Sacks totals are somewhat overrated because so much can happen from point a to point b. The real number to look at is pressures. Smith has those pressure numbers you like. If you combine his pressures with Za’Darius’s, they’re nearly 27 more than the entire Packers EDGE rushing group. Preston Smith can get to the quarterback.
There are three things to really like about the former Mississippi State standout – playmaker, run-stopper and durability. Smith makes plays. He has four interceptions and four forced fumbles for his career. For an EDGE rusher to have four interceptions, that’s impressive and shows you he can use his hands a little bit especially with that 6’5 frame. Like the Packers other EDGE signing, he is solid against the run. That’s a plus for the Packers as there were too many moments last season where backs would bounce things to the outside. Smith doesn’t leave the field. He’s only missed one game due to injury, and that’s a huge relief for a Packers team who had deal with consistent injuries from their EDGE position.
Gutekunst and Russ Ball deserve a massive amount of credit for adding two EDGE rushers that both can be factors in Mike Pettine’s defense.