One of the areas we identified before the draft as an area of need for the Green Bay Packers was pass rusher. They addressed that in the third round by choosing Utah State outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell.
Fackrell (6-5, 245) finished the 2015 season with 82 tackles, 15 for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and five fumbles recovered.
You’re probably saying to yourself, four sacks? This guy is a pass rusher?
Fackrell missed the majority of his junior season because of a torn ACL (it’s good he got that injury out of the way BEFORE coming to Green Bay). He had 21 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2012 and 2013 combined.
So, yeah, Fackrell never had huge sack numbers, but he’s long and athletic and that’s obviously the draw here.
While Fackrell has potential as a pass rusher, two areas he’s already solid in are setting the edge against the run and coverage. The Packers need more linebackers who can cover and this ability may make Fackrell a candidate to play a dual role in the middle of the defense on passing downs.
And let’s not underestimate the importance of setting the edge. Clay Matthews is still incapable of doing that eight years in.
If Fackrell can realize his potential as a pass rusher, there will be a huge role available for him in 2017. Julius Peppers is in the final year of his contract and likely, his career.
In the meantime, Fackrell just might be that coverage linebacker the Packers have been looking for.
On to the highlights!