Leaving Za’Darius Smtih & Preston Smith Off Top EDGE Rushers Duos is a Crime
Pro Football Focus giveth and Pro Football Focus taketh away. In our piece about A.J. Dillon yesterday, I mentioned how Pro Football Focus can be viewed as something you either like when it goes well for you or hate when it doesn’t. Today, we’re back to the hate side because Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith were left off the list of top EDGE rushing duos. I’m unsure how this happened considering both players were great last season but it did. Not sure if it’s numbers or a lack of respect that is plaguing the Smith Bros.
It doesn’t make sense that these two were left off the list. Pro Football Focus has a way of putting together these lists based on their metrics, but how could they miss the boat with Za’Darius and Preston? The answer does not seem to be with Za’Darius. The analytics site rates him a 90 overall player based on his 2019 season, so, they respect him. It is Preston who lacks some respect. PFF saw Preston as a 66 overall for last season. This is driving Green Bay’s ranking down. Therefore, it is more of disrespect to Preston than anyone else. This is hard for me to wrap my head around when Preston Smtih had 12 sacks last year, one of the top pressure EDGEs in the NFL.
Does it matter in the long run? Not really. It is small potatoes. But at the same time, it enrages you. Packers deserve some respect for their EDGE rushers and their defense. The other list of players boils the blood a bit when you consider the impact both Za’Darius and Preston had on the team last season. Myles Garrett and Oliver Vernon? Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport? They also mentioned the Bears’ new passing rushing duo without a single snap played.
Let’s hope that Za’Darius and Preston get their moment in the sun. Packers did what they could to promote these guys at all times, and it seemed like the football media latched on to them. But there still is work to be done for people to understand what they mean to the Packers’ defense.