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Packers 90-man roster preview: Mike Daniels headlines rebuilding defensive line

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As APC reviews Green Bay's offseason roster, we examine the defensive linemen that return from 2015.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Over the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster to analyze each player and his chances of making the roster. That breakdown includes an expansive discussion those returning on existing contracts as well as the team's additions from the offseason.

Monday brings the defensive linemen to the forefront. The unit has a certified star and leader in fifth-year man Mike Daniels and a lot of question marks beyond him. The Packers could use a veteran to step up beside him.

Mike Daniels, No. 76

H/W: 6-foot, 310 pounds

2015 stats: 49 tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble, one interception

When the Packers took Mike Daniels at the end of the fourth round in 2012, they hoped to develop him into a rotational interior pass rusher who might contribute in certain goal-line packages. Instead, they landed arguably the best interior rusher in the draft class after Dontari Poe and Fletcher Cox. Daniels became the latest of an increasing number of undersized three-technique linemen to dominate the league, and Green Bay rewarded him accordingly back in December with a four-year, $41 million extension. After an offseason that saw teams back up the Brink's truck for good-but-lesser interior linemen like Malik Jackson, Daniels' deal looks like a bargain in retrospect.

As long as Daniels stays healthy -- he hasn't missed a game in any of the last three seasons -- the Packers can expect to receive quality play from at least one spot on the defensive line. That alone doesn't guarantee much for the unit as a whole, but it provides a favorable starting point.

Letroy Guion, No. 98

H/W: 6-foot-4, 322 pounds

2015 stats: 21 tackles

Two years ago, Letroy Guion helped salvage the Packers' season by anchoring a defensive line that lost nose tackle B.J. Raji to a season-ending biceps injury. After a relatively quiet 2015, he tries to accomplish the same feat again. Raji announced a "hiatus" from football this offseason, leaving Green Bay to scramble for a backup plan. The team signed Guion to a cheap, three-year deal that allows him to either take over the middle of the defense or play the five-technique while rookie Kenny Clark handles Raji's old spot.

Ultimately, the Packers shouldn't expect Guion to tilt the field for them. At his best, the seven-year veteran provides steady albeit unspectacular play. Still, for a unit that has Daniels and little else in terms of proven commodities, Guion's return does mean a lot.

Mike Pennel, No. 64

H/W: 6-foot-4, 332 pounds

2015 stats: 25 tackles, one sack

For a former undrafted free agent, Mike Pennel has risen to the point where the Packers expect to either start him or give him a significant snap load when possible. Pennel possesses rare size for an athlete of any caliber, let alone one that moves as well as the former Colorado State-Pueblo product can. Ideally for Green Bay, he would hold down the five-technique spot in Dom Capers' base defense with Clark at nose and Daniels over the guard.

However, Pennel stands to miss the first quarter of the 2016 season while serving a suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Eventually, he could reclaim his spot atop the depth chart. However, the prolonged absence could hinder his development and open the door for someone else to step up in his stead.

Christian Ringo, No. 99

H/W: 6-foot-1, 298 pounds

2015 stats: n/a

Green Bay doesn't have a ton of tape with which to judge Christian Ringo. He played with the team during the preseason before missing the final cut and landing on the practice squad. If he picks up his game, Ringo could backup Daniels at the three-technique. Otherwise, the Packers could waive goodbye to the 2015 sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Lafayette.

B.J. McBryde, No. 77

H/W: 6-foot-5, 304 pounds

2015 stats: n/a

Like Ringo, B.J. McBryde most recently spent his time on the Packers' practice squad. His length makes him a fit for the five-technique spot, though he has plenty of competition there from Guion, Pennel and the team's fourth-round pick Dean Lowry.