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Do Packers Really Need Defensive Line Help?

Mike Pennel

If you look around, there are plenty of people suggesting the Green Bay Packers are in dire need of help on the defensive line. They’ll tell you that’s why the Packers will end up using their first-round pick on a defensive lineman.

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one.

And in this case, there are a lot of assholes spouting opinions.

Would it be great if the Packers could add an impact player on the defensive line? Of course it would.

Do they absolutely have to have one?


Much of this idiocy began when B.J. Raji abruptly announced his retirement in March.

“Boy, now the Packers have a huge hole to fill on the defensive line!”

That became the refrain.

Of course, that ignored two very important things.

First, Raji hadn’t been good in years and unless 2016 has a wormhole to 2010, that wasn’t going to change. Second, and much more importantly is this — Raji wasn’t even on the roster when he retired.

He was a free agent. In reality, the Packers lost nothing since the guy wasn’t under contract to begin with.

In fact, if there was an event that suddenly put the Packers in the defensive line market, it wasn’t Raji’s retirement. It was Mike Pennel’s suspension.

Pennel, along with Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion, was penciled in as a defensive line starter when the offseason began. That looks like a pretty solid line to all of us.

Then the suspension.

Not only will the Packers need someone to fill in for Pennel for the first four games of the season, they now have to be thinking they can’t trust the guy. Players only get suspended for violating the substance abuse policy, as Pennel did, after a second positive test.

In other words, this guy is either and out-and-out moron or he’s got a problem. Either way, he obviously can’t be counted on.

The cupboard still isn’t bare though.

Josh Boyd missed the majority of 2015 with an ankle injury, but he started four games for the Packers in 2014. They also have 2015 sixth-round pick Christian Ringo, who spent last season on the practice squad. The Packers gave him a raise to stick around last November, so they obviously see potential.

What the Packers need here is depth.

Could the Packers choose a defensive lineman in the first round of the draft?

Of course they could.

In fact, we’d bet the house that the best player available among these positions — defensive line, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and tight end — ends up becoming the pick.

However, the Packers won’t be a failure in 2016 if they don’t get a defensive lineman in the first few rounds.

And if and when they do pick this position, it won’t be because B.J. Raji retired. It will be because Mike Pennel is an idiot.

Mordecai Jones

Mordecai is a writer living in Los Angeles. He primarily writes screenplays, but also does crap like this because GREEN BAY PACKERS, baby!



  1. Pocahontas April 21, 2016


  2. Phatgzus April 21, 2016

    Brilliant insight as always…fucking NOT.

    Packers needed more defensive lineman eve if they had re=signed Raji had he not retired: Pennel and Boyd are talented but young and unproven and now one of them’s not that far away from having his career cut short and this draft is loaded at the top with very talented big men and you do NOT pass on 1st -round calibre d-linemen to overdraft a 2nd-round calibre (at best) TE or a non-generational type inside backer, it IS THAT fucking simple.

    1. Phatgzus April 21, 2016

      even*, re-signed*

  3. V April 21, 2016

    Riiggghhhhtttt…keep telling yourself you don’t need what guys like myself have stated you do. I’ll trust my own judgements when it comes to the draft since a great majority of players I favored and targeted in past years have excelled in the pros.

    D Line, specifically, a NT who can occupy two blockers is essential to pick early in Rd1 or Rd2.

  4. Howard April 21, 2016

    Packers have indicated they want to improve their pass rush. Would not expect a true nose tackle in round 1. If Ogbah, is still there and the Pack has a decision between him and the 5th or 6th rated offensive or defensive lineman. Take Ogbah. The other wildcard is Nkemdiche. If he drops and TT does not have serious character concerns do the Pack grab him? Nkemdiche really disrupted Alabama last year. Both of those guys can impact the passing game and that is were the value is.

  5. Pack Attack April 21, 2016

    Was happy with the trio we had going in. Pennels suspension def. hurts. Maybe theres another daniels in the later rounds

  6. V April 21, 2016

    You don’t improve your pass rush by being weak up the middle. A man like Vernon Butler is drawing favorable comparisons to someone we should’ve grabbed over the Viqueens but didn’t (Linval Joseph). I want a lead dog who looks to eat! So, Butler has that temperament… No more mister nice guy!!! (Mike Daniels words).

  7. Howard April 22, 2016

    I like Vernon Butler also. Not only can he help in the run game he does have some pass rush ability. He also has the length to play DE in 3-4 if needed. Not sure about the competition he played against, however he still showed up when playing against better competition.

  8. PF4L April 22, 2016

    I don’t get into ..if we had this guy, or drafted that guy, because i think that’s all fools gold where were sitting. I hate this time of the season, but i love draft day.

    Concerning a 1st round pick…. this author indicated it would be great to find an impact player on defense, but we don’t have to have one. I call bullshit once again. I think it’s about high fucking time Ted finds an impact player in the 1st round, whether it’s offense or defense. When is the last time the Packers drafted an impact player in the 1st round?

    If you said 2009 i’d agree. I’d love an impact player, in the 1st round, it would be a nice change of pace, on defense or offense.

  9. Kato April 22, 2016

    PF4L- what do you mean by impact? Hall of fame type player? I would argue, despite his down year last year that bulaga has been a pretty solid starter. Clinton Dix has been pretty good, just need more turnovers generated by him. Jury is definitely still out on Randall, but I like what I see there.

    1. PF4L April 22, 2016

      An impact player has the potential to change the course of a game. Bulaga will never be in that conversation. Randall and Dix right now, are also not in the discussion of being impact players. I think maybe you missed the point i was making.

      If we can’t draft an impact player in the 1st round (usually the easiest round to find them). in a perfect world with hindsight, i’d rather parlay those picks into more 2nd and 3rd round picks via trades on draft day.

      In 11 1st round drafts, Ted has drafted 2 impact players, one 11 years ago, the other 7 years ago. The problem is…When your philosophy is to draft and develop and drafting the BPA, you have to have a better hit record than that. The fact that one of those players was Aaron Rodgers 11 years ago, has covered up a lot of sins. I think we have a pretty good idea of what the Packers might have looked like had we never had Aaron Rodgers.

      1. Phatgzus April 22, 2016

        ANY player on the active roster for any team has the potential to change the game. And impact player is more someone who can take over a game, or more likely a series, quarter, or even half. I’d say HHCD can do that, he had a very good season last year outside of 1 God-awful game. I’d wager Randall has that potential as well. and even Nick Perry IF he can EVER stay healthy.

        1. PF4L April 22, 2016

          Those examples are what you wish to be “potential” impact players.

          I’m talking about a real impact player phatgzus.

          I guess Richard Rodgers is an impact player because he caught a hail mary once and “changed” the game.

          Know the difference between an impact play, and an impact player.

          1. Phatgzus April 23, 2016

            Read again: “… impact player is more someone who can take over a game, or more likely a series, quarter, or even half”. Never said play.

          2. PF4L April 24, 2016

            I read it wrong, my bad.

  10. g April 22, 2016

    Randal is an idiot, who cant figure out zones
    Clinton dix whiffs on every other tackle

    Bulaga is a bum with a bum knee

  11. Feck April 22, 2016

    You are exactly right it’s Pennel not Raji. Or alternatively you can say the Packers have needed to draft a franchise NT since 2012, because it isn’t Raji. I have.

  12. Deepsky April 22, 2016

    They don’t need defensive lineman as bad as they need offensive lineman.

  13. MikeChicago April 22, 2016

    You don’t need to draft a lineman. Raji will be back next year at full strength.

  14. billabong April 23, 2016

    assholes have opinions like in this stupid article…