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June 22, 2017

Positional Analysis: Defensive End


This is the ninth of a 14-part series examining each position going into the offseason.

Starters (C+): Seven-year vet Mike Daniels is the only quality end on the roster, but considering how rarely the Packers line up in their base defense (136 times in 1,239 snaps), that’s probably enough. The former Iowa star was a bit inconsistent last year, especially versus the run. He’s capable of better in 2017. Dean Lowry (6’6, 300) looks like a prototypical 3-4 end, and after a very sluggish training camp, the fourth-round pick from Northwestern showed some life late in the season. He probably lacks the overall skill set to be anything more than a nice rotational player at this level, but that would be just fine considering his modest pedigree.

Depth (C-): Veteran nose tackles Ricky Jean Francois and Letroy Guion are versatile enough to fill in at end. Ditto former undrafted free agent Brian Price, who spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. Squatty Christian Ringo is built a lot like Daniels, but unfortunately, that’s where the comparison ends. 


Player to watch: He comes from a small school, but the NFL isn’t too big for Price. The former Texas-San Antonio star held his own last summer and didn’t embarrass himself in a brief cameo during the regular season. The versatile 22-year-old has the strength to play nose tackle and enough movement skills to function at end. He’s very hard to move at either position when his pad level is clean.

*Level of need: A team can never have too many defensive ends, but unlike running back, guard, linebacker and cornerback, this is hardly an area of major concern heading into the upcoming draft. The Packers have six D-linemen on the current roster, and all of them are capable of playing end if needed – albeit some a lot better than others.

*KEY
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6 Responses “Positional Analysis: Defensive End”

  1. Nerd
    April 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I like Ferguson, but this isn’t exactly the place for a guy who can’t stay healthy. Hope he works out tho, he’s got a high ceiling imo.

  2. Ben
    April 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I like the Ferguson signing. Why not? With Mike Pennell being cut I need a new athletic DT project to be curious about.

    As MR noted, GB does not line up in base 3-4 much, so I’d be reasonably satisfied if the line ends up looking like:
    Perry
    Daniels
    Clark
    Rookie EDGE

    While rotating in:
    Lowry
    Jean-Francois
    Ferguson

    No idea where Clay fits in at this point. Maybe he kicks inside on 3rd down and rushes from there? Is he a better than average edge defender anymore?

  3. Saguaro
    April 6, 2017 at 6:14 am

    It would be nice to find somebody who could add some inside push in the pass rush. Daniels is not enuf. I suppose some 5th or 6th rounder to UFA could be found and developed over time. That’s what Price is supposed to be. Not many of those guys drop into your lap though. Edge rusher is the bigger need.

  4. April 6, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Ferguson failed his physical.

  5. Nerd
    April 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Draft two pass rushing OLBs high, then start looking for corners.

  6. TJV
    April 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I’d prefer drafting a pass rushing OLB and CB high and then look for another OLB but that’s just a slight difference with Nerd’s post. I do agree with Michael that the need for DE – and DT/NT – is low. Particularly because the Packers base D is a 2-4-5. McGinn says they used the 3-4 just 11% of the time last season.

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