At 6’4 and 325 pounds, Johnny Jolly looked and played like a 3-4 defensive end
Johnny Jolly hasn’t played a game for the Packers since January 2010, but his absence on the D-line is still being felt. That’s because GM Ted Thompson hasn’t drafted or signed a legitimate 3-4 end in the past three offseasons. To be fair, he did draft Lawrence Guy in 2011 and he did sign Phillip Merling as a free agent last spring, but both players were long shots to stick on the 53-man roster, and ultimately neither did.
The average starting 3-4 defensive end in 2011 stood 6’3 1/4 and weighed 319 pounds. I’m familiar with the numbers because I wrote about this very subject back then (for some reason, it took most of the local media another two years to even address the issue). The current ends on the Packers average 6’2 and 304.
An end in a 3-4 defense has two main responsibilities – stuff the run and disrupt passing lanes. That’s what Aaron Smith did for a dozen years in Pittsburgh; it’s what Haloti Ng...