Jayrone Elliott is not a big-name pass rusher in the NFL. General fans of the sport don't know who he is, and some Green Bay Packers fans arguabaly don't know who he is either. That could all change in 2017, though, when he should be given the opportunity to break out and soar among the team's other linebackers.

Check the stats

Elliott has been more of a special teams player than a stud defender during his brief career. He has recorded just four sacks over the past two seasons, with just one coming during this previous year. He has done that in just 310 snaps, though, an average of one sack every 77.5 snaps.

That's far better than what Clay Matthews has been able to do and near what Julius Peppers did with the Packers last season. The only issue is that the sample size is strikingly low.

No wonder the Packers signed Elliott to a one-year contract extension in the offseason. It seemed the linebacker could jump to the Buffalo Bills or the Pittsburgh Steelers. They didn't tender the restricted free agent, making a departure seem even more likely. Instead, he re-upped with the team for $1.6 million next year, which includes a $350,000 signing bonus.

Forming a pass rush

Elliott was previously blocked on the linebacker depth chart by Peppers and Datone Jones. That will no longer be an issue this season, though, as Peppers decided to return to the Carolina Panthers and Jones signed with divisional foe Minnesota.

With that, the Green Bay Packers linebacker will have an opportunity to compete for significantly more playing time during training camp and the preseason.

The Packers have already welcomed back Nick Perry with a massive deal after his own breakout season last year, so he'll occupy one of the two outside linebacker positions.

Elliott could compete with Clay Matthews for the other one, or the team could move Matthews inside and create a more open competition for the slot. Either way, Elliott would be wise to soak up some knowledge from Perry this offseason to prime himself for a breakout of his own.

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