The Green Bay Packers are entering the 2021 NFL season with quite a few question marks surrounding the roster. Will Aaron Rodgers play this season or will he be all-in with the team if he does play? Can Za’Darius Smith and the defense step up and take the next step to power the Packers into the Super Bowl?
In back-to-back years, the Packers have made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game and lost. A lot of the issue has been on the defensive side of the football. That isn’t on Smith’s shoulders, but the team needs to get better.
During the 2020 season with Green Bay, the Packers’ star pass-rusher racked up 52 total tackles to go along with 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two defended passes. Those numbers made him one of the most dangerous pass-rushers in the NFL. That is not expected to change in 2021.
Around Smith, the Packers have two other quality pass-rushing talents in Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. They have taken some pressure off of the 28-year-old superstar. Smith is hoping to take his numbers even higher this season.
With all of that being said, what should the Packers be expecting from Smith in 2021?
We are projecting that Smith will end up recording 65 total tackles, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, and another two recovered fumbles. He has the talent and skills to be the top pass-rusher in the NFL. The 2021 season will showcase that once again and the Packers are going to make opposing quarterbacks have nightmares about facing them.
If the Packers can convince Rodgers to stick around, they are going to be a Super Bowl contender once again. At this point in time, no one knows how that situation will work itself out, but it seems likely that the reigning NFL MVP will play at least one more year in Green Bay. Should Smith and the defense take a step forward, the Packers could very well find themselves playing for a ring.
Expect to see Za’Darius Smith put together his best career season in 2021. The Packers need him to rise to another level and they will not be disappointed.