Packers will be a top-10 defense

Updated: August 28, 2007, 11:56 AM ET
By Matt Williamson
The Green Bay Packers will have a top 10 defense by the end of the season. Bet your paycheck on it. Their special teams and offensive skill positions are poor, but the defense is capable of carrying the Pack.

The biggest reason for my optimism is up front. The defensive line is deep at both end and tackle and will allow the Packers the freedom to continually rotate players and stay fresh. Starting ends Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins have good size and are stout at the point of attack without sacrificing the ability to get after the quarterback. Plus, when Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is fresh he can still excel as an edge pass rusher, though he is not starting material due to his size and propensity for wearing down. Few teams in the league have three ends of this caliber.

A.J. Hawk
Aaron Kampman
At tackle the Packers will rotate a corps of deep and underappreciated players. Starter Ryan Pickett can be an effective space eater, but he has stamina issues. That should not be a problem, though, with Colin Cole, Johnny Jolly, Corey Williams and first-round pick Justin Harrell rotating in. None of these players are elite but the overall combination will be very effective. This also allows Green Bay to bring Harrell along slowly without losing out on production in the middle. Most importantly, this group should stay very fresh throughout the game and allow linebackers A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett to do what they do best: run to the ball and make big plays.