Best/worst case scenario for Packer defensive ends

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Best/worst case scenario for Packer defensive ends

Today we take a look at the Green Bay Packer defensive ends in our best and worst case scenarios for the 2008 season:

  • Aaron Kampman -- There's no reason to think the two time Pro Bowler is going to have any letdown in his play. He's still young enough that there's plenty of energy left in his body and he'll be hungry for a Super Bowl ring. He plays the run and the pass equally well. Best case, he leads the entire NFL in sacks and becomes first team All-Pro. Worst case, Kampman has his first non-Pro Bowl season in three years.

  • Cullen Jenkins -- Due to some nagging injuries, Jenkins had a down year in 2007. Can he return to his 2006 form or will he rebound in a big way? If the Packer defense is going to improve on last year's numbers, they'll need an improved effort from Jenkins especially considering the injuries along the defensive front. Best case, Jenkins has the type of season he had in 2006 when he played solid at defensive end, and on passing downs he becomes one of the NFL's most feared interior pass rushers. Worst case, his play stagnates and has a career low in sacks and tackles.

  • Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila -- KGB was utilized effectively last season in a pass rushing role. But is age finally creeping up on him? Best case, KGB has 10 plus sacks while playing in certain down and distance situations. Worst case, his current injury problems linger which limits his playing time. That combined with age start pushing him out the door.

  • Michael Montgomery -- Montgomery's own injury history and lack of effectiveness three previous NFL seasons are two stikes against him. Luckily, he's healthy right now while the rest of the unit is having their own injury problems. Montgomery is definitely in a make-or-break year. Best case, Montgomery has his best NFL season in which he sees major playing time due to others' injury concerns. Worst case, he's hitting the streets when other players get healthy and the Packers decide that Jeremy Thompson is more valuable to develop than Montgomery.

  • Jason Hunter -- Hunter has been beating the odds for two seasons. He came in as an undrafted rookie and makes the team due to his special teams play. He shows just enough pass rush ability to keep around. Can he finally start to see the field on defense rather than only on special teams? Best case, Hunter starts to become the pass rush specialist that KGB formerly was. He also leads the team in special teams tackles. Worst case, Hunter is cut when his special teams prowess isn't good enough to keep him around when he can't contribute to the defense.

  • Jeremy Thompson -- General manager Ted Thompson is known for trading down in drafts. Jeremy Thompson showed enough value for Thompson to trade up for his first time ever. There must be something there that the regular fan has yet to see. Best case, Thompson sees the field in a reserve role and shows some promise that he can be a future starter in the NFL. Worst case, he makes the 53 man roster but is inactive every week when he shows he's not ready for primetime yet.

Photo credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

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