Larrivee: Packers need pass rush threat opposite Matthews

CREATED Apr. 24, 2012

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GREEN BAY - Two days from the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers are assessing potential picks to make that could solve some deficiencies the team endured in 2011, including that of a lack of pass rush.

"I think what they need is to get is a guy who can offer some kind of resistance on the opposite side of Clay Matthews," said Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers, Wayne Larrivee. 

"They need a threat there.  They need someone who can threaten the quarterback."

The question becomes, do you pick a defensive end or an outside linebacker to be that main pass rush threat?

Typically, the Packers tend to use blitzes by linebackers and use three down linemen to tie up blockers, but they would not complain if a defensive end can get to opposing quarterbacks, either.

"The Packers like their defensive ends (to be) 6'4", 6'5", about 300 lbs," explained Larrivee. 

"There are some of these guys here, but a lot of these players who have their hand on the ground are going to be asked to stand up in a 3-4 defense. That's what you have to determine as a scout."

Who could be among that list of possible picks?  Larrivee mentioned a few, listed in alphabetical order:

Andre Branch (6' 4", 259 lbs., Clemson)

"A kid with long arms, you look for that out of a pass rusher at outside linebacker."

Zach Brown (6' 1", 244 lbs, North Carolina)

"A speed player, a great outside linebacker potential."

Quinton Coples (6' 6", 284 lbs., North Carolina)


"Top 10 physical talent at defensive end, has some bust potential in him.  He's a Richard Seymour type, but he's got an attitude, a little bit."

LaVonte David (6' 1", 233 lbs., Nebraska)

"He's more of an inside linebacker."

Melvin Ingram (6' 2", 264 lbs, South Carolina)

"Where do you put him? He could be an outside linebacker, he could be an inside linebacker, he could be a defensive end.  You really wonder what kind of transition he's going to make."

Chandler Jones (6' 5", 247 lbs., Syracuse)

"A pass rusher, a defensive end, probably better as a defensive end than an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense."

Shea McClellin (6' 3", 260 lbs., Boise State)

"Most people have a 3rd-4th round grade out of him.  The Packers probably, if they really like him, they could get him in the 3rd round, maybe the 2nd round if they want to go that high."