Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers’ projected depth chart at outside linebacker for the start of training camp:
Clay Matthews (6-3, 255; fifth season): One of the NFL’s premier defenders, Matthews signed a contract extension that will keep him in Green Bay through 2018. He rang up 13 sacks despite missing four games with an injured hamstring, and has 42.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions in four seasons. Other than Willie Davis, Matthews ranks as the top pass rusher in franchise history.
Nick Perry (6-3, 265; second season): Perry’s rookie season ended in the sixth game with a knee injury, though it was a wrist injury sustained in the opener that required surgery that officially derailed his season. Using brute force more than anything else, Perry had two sacks in his six games. Despite the meager stats, Perry had an impact first year. He’s the unquestioned starter with Erik Walden signing with Indianapolis.
Dezman Moses (6-2, 249; second season): The undrafted rookie took advantage of the injuries to Matthews and Perry and finished with four sacks in his final nine games (including six starts). Moses, who missed most of the offseason practices, looked more natural than Perry in coverage.
Nate Palmer (6-2, 248; rookie/R-6): In two seasons at Illinois State, Palmer notched 17 sacks and 25 tackles for losses. During his one month of on-the-job training, he stood out in coverage and ball drills, making him an intriguing prospect.
Andy Mulumba (6-3, 260; rookie/UDFA): Mulumba was the second pick of the CFL Draft but opted to take his shot in the NFL. A powerful and explosive athlete with untapped potential, he had one sack and seven tackles for losses as a senior at Eastern Michigan.
Jarvis Reed (6-1, 245; rookie/UDFA): During his final two seasons at Prairie View A&M, Reed had one-half sack and eight tackles for losses as a senior and seven sacks and 11 tackles for losses as a senior. Reed (going by Jarvis Wilson at the time) was signed after trying out at the rookie camp.
Donte Savage (6-1, 252; rookie/UDFA): As a senior at New Mexico State, Savage delivered three sacks, seven tackles for losses, a defensive line-high 45 tackles and two blocked kicks. He was signed after trying out at the rookie camp.
Total: 7. On 2012 opening roster: 4 (Matthews, Moses, Perry, Erik Walden).
Final prediction: 4 (Matthews, Moses, Palmer, Perry).