The Green Bay Packers were one of the top teams in the NFL last season, finishing with a 13-3 record and a trip to the 2019 NFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, they were not ready for the storm the San Francisco 49ers brought them in that matchup, falling by a final score of 37-20 and entering the offseason with a few needs to take care of. After a quiet offseason, the Packers are now close to opening training camp with plenty of questions to answer.

Looking specifically at the defensive side of the football, the Packers have put a ton of work into improving the unit in recent years. Last offseason alone, the Packers sunk big money into contracts for Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith, and Adrian Amos. All three players made Green Bay happy that they opened up their checkbook and brought them into the fold.

One of the biggest holes last season was the lack of an athletic inside linebacker. Blake Martinez was a tackling machine, but he could not make the plays across the field that the Packers desperately needed. They ended up letting Martinez walk in free agency and replaced him with the oft-injured Christian Kirksey.

While the move for Kirksey was not talked about much by the national media, the Packers could not be more excited about it. When healthy, Kirksey is the exact kind of playmaker that Green Bay needed in the middle of their defense.

All of that being said, let's dive in and take a look at three bold predictions for the Packers' defense for the upcoming season.

3. Green Bay Ends Up Top Three In Forced Turnovers

This defense has been tailor-made to force turnovers. Brian Gutekunst went out and brought in two free-agent pass rushers last offseason in the “Smith Bros” and also drafted Rashan Gary. He also has a force up front in Kenny Clark who can get to the quarterback and disrupt the running game.

In the secondary, the Packers have a ton of talent as well. Both Jaire Alexander and Kevin King are great cover cornerbacks who can make plays on the football. Amos and Darnell Savage are both playmakers as well.

When everything is said and done this season, the Packers will show off their defensive playmaking in full force. They will end the year as a top-three defense when it comes to forced turnovers. That will be huge in their efforts to make another run at the Super Bowl.

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2. Christian Kirksey Breaks Out As A Star

As we mentioned earlier, Christian Kirksey was a key offseason addition. Green Bay feels that he has star potential and if he stays healthy, they will look extremely smart for picking him up.

Kirksey put together a huge season for the Browns back in 2017 when he was able to play a full season. He racked up 138 total tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five defended passes. Since then, however, he has been unable to stay healthy.

Perhaps a change of scenery to Green Bay will be what gets Kirksey back on track. He is certainly excited to join a contender. By the end of the season, he will break out as a star for the Packers' defense.

1. Za'Darius Smith Leads The NFL In Sacks

Finally, this prediction couldn't be completed without talking about Za'Darius Smith. After a massive breakout season in 2019 that saw him record 55 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, and a forced fumble, Smith is ready to do even more this season.

Smith will end up leading the NFL in sacks. He will raise his total from 13.5 last season to at least 17 this year. It will be interesting to see just how dominant he ends up being.

Green Bay spent big money to bring Smith on board and it paid off big time. It will continue paying off in year two of his contract by leading the league in sacks and proving that the national media should pay him more attention.