Packers bolster interior, draft Wooden in 4th Round of 2023 NFL Draft
Following the losses of Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry, the Packers turned to the draft to bolster the interior of their defensive line. So in the 4th round, Green Bay used pick 116 to select DL Colby Wooden from Auburn.
With Kenny Clark already manning the middle. Brian Gutekunst added another elite athlete to the interior. Although they have gotten better in recent years, the Packers have struggled mightily against the run as a whole during the entire Aaron Rodgers era. Hopefully, a new era will bring a new identity.
On Thursday, Green Bay selected Lukas Van Ness from Iowa, someone who said at their NFL Combine interviews that "I absolutely love to stop the run."
Although he is a little light to "traditionally" play on the interior, Wooden posted a higher pressure rate and higher sack rate on the interior than he did from the edge. With history of using elite athletes to rush inside, like Za'Darius Smith, Joe Barry has plenty of uses for an elite athlete like Wooden.
In case you weren't clear how good Wooden can be on the inside, here's a few notable plays.
Additionally, with the documented issues the Packers have had on special teams, Wooden can help there too. Wooden blocked a field goal in college, and regularly played special teams snaps in college. With an RAS score of 9.26, Wooden can do whatever he wants on the football field.
Green Bay still has PLENTY of picks in the later rounds, look for more selections in the trenches, both on offense and defense.