5. A Revamped Defense
The Packers put a premium on speed and athleticism this offseason via the draft. Their first two picks, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, were both top-10 cornerbacks per SPARQ. Oren Burks is a converted safety that now plays inside linebackers. This puts him in line with recent NFL trendsetters, such as Deone Buchannon and Mark Barron. He will instantly improve their linebacker coverage, which is an area that has given the team trouble in recent seasons.
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Mike Pettine is here to simplify the defensive scheme while complicating the looks that they give the opposing offense. Locked on Packers host Peter Bukowski discussed it on his Tuesday podcast. Dom Capers defense was known for complex schemes that can confuse offenses, but it had grown stagnant when he refused to change. Pettine will change up that issue, as his defenses have consistently ranked in the upper tier of the NFL.
After being a sack-happy team at the beginning of Capers’ tenure, the team has slowed in that area. They only ranked 17th last season in that area. Pettine’s scheme will increase pressure, which will help the team’s lowly pass coverage. The secondary is very young, and the less time that they spend in coverage will be for the best. Cornerback was a major weakness depth-wise last season, but that has now changed.