The Green Bay Packers proved to have made a savvy decision by signing linebacker Za’Darius Smith in free agency last spring. He was already productive with the Baltimore Ravens but managed to take his game a few levels higher in 2019.
Smith signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Packers last offseason and made a significant impact right away. He played a pivotal role in the overall success of Green Bay’s defense, which ended up being key in the 13-3 record they posted in 2019.
The way Smith fit in Green Bay’s scheme proved to be rather seamless and was made apparent rather quickly. It didn’t matter whether the Packers lined him up on the edge or on the interior, Smith managed to provide a high-level impact for Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
During the 2020 season, the Packers will look to build off their success with Smith coming off the best individual campaign of his NFL career. It will be fascinating to see where his name ends up when experts and fans debate the league’s top pass-rushers after another successful season.
With that being said, let’s take a look at why Za’Darius Smith was named the most underrated player in the NFL.