The Green Bay Packers have a two headed monster at their OLB position.
Rashan Gary is no longer a secret in this league, he has established himself as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
Preston Smith played so well in 2021 that he earned himself a five-year extension worth $53.5 million. He can make $75 million total between his current deal and his extension.
All of that being said, they have little depth beyond their top two pass rushers.
Rookie OLB Kingsley Enagbare is immediately listed as pass rusher #3 on the Packers’ depth chart (for whatever that is worth).
Followed closely by pass rushers TJ Slayton, Jack Heflin, and Jonathan Garvin. Combined, those 4 players behind Gary and Smith have a grand total of 0 career starts and 29 games played in. That is why three-time Super Bowl Champion Dont’a Hightower would made a ton of sense for Green Bay.
Dont’a Hightower to Green Bay?
Dont’a Hightower was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Patriots did not missed the playoffs with the linebacker on the roster.
In 2020, New England went 7-9 and did not make the the postseason, however Hightower opted out of that season due to COVID.
Hightower returned to play 634 defensive snaps in 15 regular-season games in 2021 as the Patriots posted a 10-7 record and returned to the playoffs. Dont’a Hightower is a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro. He has recorded just under 600 tackles and 27 sacks in his career.
He is certainly one of the last members of a dying breed of oversized linebackers that love to live in the gaps. Hightower is a special challenge teams have to plan for.
However, if you go beyond the stat sheet, you’ll see that Hightower is one of the most criminally underrated players the game has ever seen.
Bill Belichick has called him one of the best linebackers to ever play for the New England Patriots. This type of player would certainly be huge for the Packers’ defense. A versatile linebacker who can fill gaps anywhere on the defensive line.