Packers: Kyler Fackrell Adds Depth to Pass Rush, OLB

The Green Bay Packers made seven selections in the 2016 NFL draft — one of the best, may very well be Kyler Fackrell.

Facrell is an outside linebacker from Utah State, who the Packers selected with their third-round pick. Fackrell played as outside linebacker for the Aggies and last season, he racked up 82 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recovered four more.

Obviously, in today’s NFL, you can never have enough pass rushers. And with Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Datone Jones all on one-year deals, the Packers were in desperate need of some depth at outside linebacker and with Fackrell, they got it.

One thing I really like about Fackrell is that he doesn’t have to make a transition. He played in the 3-4 in college as a stand-up linebacker, so doing it in the NFL will be no big deal.

Fackrell is comfortable on his feet. He can be a little stiff in coverage, but he at least he’s familar with it and his length (6-5, 250) is an asset in zone coverage because it can cut into some passing lanes for the quarterback.

As you will see in this game film of Fackrell vs Boise State, there is a lot to like about his game and some things that will transfer very well to the Packers’ 3-4 defense.

Fackrell is nimble around the edge and seems to play with a natural bend. He’s solid at setting an edge and honestly, I can see him contributing this season for the Packers in a rotational spot. He will have to fight it out with Jones and Jayrone Elliott for snaps and rushes on the outside and he will probably earn his way on special teams to start.

Long-term, Fackrell is going to have a chance to be a key player on the Packers defense in coming seasons. The Packers will lose at least Perry, Peppers or Jones after this season and maybe even two of the three. That leaves Fackrell, Elliott and Clay Matthews.

Green Bay probably isn’t going to need a lot of production from Fackrell this season, but make no mistake, in the near future, he could find himself with a chance to start opposite Matthews.

chris peterson

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