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Position Review: Defensive Line

Luckily I avoided writing this review until after the Packers used the franchise tag on DT Corey Williams. With him scheduled back for 2008, any uncertainty coming into next season is gone, and the strongest unit on the team remains strong.

The defensive line is so strong because they have a lot of talent and a lot of depth. There are no holes. DE Aaron Kampman is one of the best in the NFL, against the run and at rushing the passer. DE KGB is still a top pass rusher although he can't hold up against the run, which is fine since DE Cullen Jenkins starts and plays at end on likely running plays, while moving inside against the pass. 2007 was a down season for Jenkins, but he played through a number of injuries last season so hopefully he'll rebound next season. DTs Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly anchor the middle and are excellent against the run. Jolly was lost late in the season to an injury, but he should be 100% next season. Franchise player Williams usually played only on passing downs at tackle, but he held up well as the starter after Jolly was lost. 2007 1st round DT Justin Harrell is more run stopper than pass rusher who only got better as the season went on and he was rewarded with more playing time, especially after the injuries to Jolly and DT Colin Cole. DE Mike Montgomery missed the early part of the season, but played hard over the last few weeks and can backup at either end position. Promising DT Daniel Muir looms in the background to provide even more depth in the middle.

All of them should return in 2008, although GM Ted Thompson has drafted a defensive lineman in each of the last three seasons, and all of them have remained with the team. He's likely to draft at least one more defensive lineman, probably in a late round, to provide some more depth and challenge someone for a roster spot.