The Packers’ depth at outside linebacker was exposed Tuesday as Clay Matthews and Nick Perry were rested during team drills. Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert have combined for only six sacks in 40 games.
“You look at the depth at the outside linebacker position, and it’s not that great,” Matthews said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That’s not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself, but you look around the league, a lot of times they’re rotating in pass rushers. You can look a couple years ago when we had Mike Neal and Julius [Peppers] here, Datone [Jones] as well. We had a pretty good rotation.”
Neal, Peppers and Jones have combined for 183.5 sacks in more than 25 seasons. Peppers and Jones remain in the league.
The Packers’ draft was heavy on the defensive side. They spent a first-round choice on cornerback Jaire Alexander, a second-rounder on cornerback Josh Jackson, a third-rounder on inside linebacker Oren Burks, a seventh-rounder on defensive lineman James Looney and a seventh-rounder on outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson.
“I’m happy with the picks they made,” Matthews said. “And at the same time, it does show, you know, their confidence in Nick and myself, as well as the guys we have. At some time I’m sure [depth at outside linebacker] will be addressed, but for the time being, the guys we have here are the guys who have to hold up their end of the bargain.”