This is the next in a series of articles providing an in-depth analysis of each position group on the Green Bay Packers for 2023. Today we will analyze the inside linebackers. The grades will be for each unit as a whole, but we will give an analysis of each player, their strengths, and weaknesses and where they stand heading into the offseason. Here are the grades for the Packers inside linebackers in 2023. The marks are based on a combination of expectations and performance.

You can see our final grade for the quarterbacks here and for the defensive line here, and the running backs here.

Final Grade for the Packers Starting Inside Linebackers

Quay Walker and De’Vondre Campbell were the starting inside linebackers for the Packers this season. Walker led the Packers in total tackles with 118. That was just three fewer than he had a year ago, but he missed three games this season due to injury.

Walker intercepted one pass and returned it for a touchdown in the season opener in Chicago. He also recorded 2.5 sacks and recorded seven tackles for loss.

Joe Barry used Walker more often on blitzes late in the season, but he has not always been used in the best way. This is something Walker can do more of next season because of his speed. He needs to improve his pass rushing technique.

Walker possesses all the tools to become a very good playmaking linebacker. The big play element is all that’s lacking. Hopefully, the team’s new defensive coordinator will utilize Walker better and maximize his abilities.

Campbell missed six games due to assorted injuries. To his credit, he tried to play through them, but it certainly hurt his play at times. He finished the year with 75 total tackles, one fumble recovery and three tackles for loss.

The former Minnesota star was still steady, but again, like most of the players on defense, didn’t make many big plays.

Campbell is a potential buyout candidate for the Packers this offseason. GM Brian Gutekunst may also ask him to restructure his deal as an alternative.

Final Grade for the Packers Primary Backups Inside Linebackers

With both Campbell and Walker missing games due to injuries, Isaiah McDuffie stepped in as the team’s primary backup and started eight games. McDuffie did a solid job in that position and finished the season second on the team with 86 total tackles including five tackles for loss.

McDuffie is smart and always hustles, but his lack of size limits him a bit because he sometimes has trouble disengaging from blockers. The former Boston College star may have a chance for a bigger role next season. He played 48 percent of the team’s snaps on defense and also was a regular on special teams.

Eric Wilson played all 17 games and served as one of the team’s best special teams players. He also played 121 defensive snaps when injuries struck. His most memorable play this season took place in the playoffs against San Francisco when he hustled and recovered Keisean Nixon’s fumble after his 73-yard kick return.

Wilson is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia would almost certainly welcome Wilson back if the price is right.

The Other Packers Inside Linebackers

Wisconsin native, Kristian Welch lived out his childhood dream of playing with the Packers this season. The former Iowa star played 14 games and made six total tackles. All of his snaps came on special teams.

Final Grade for the Packers 2023 Inside Linebackers

Grading the inside linebackers is made more difficult because of Barry’s failure to maximize their talents in his system. This unit has a lot more big-play potential that Barry never realized.

The team may seek to improve this unit via the draft, but it’s unlikely that will happen until day three unless Gutekunst finds a player he absolutely feels is a steal. If Campbell doesn’t return, the position becomes a higher priority.

Overall, the inside linebackers were not bad but not spectacular. They have the potential to be better.





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