2 Ways Quinton Dial Helps the Packers

The Packers continue to reshape their roster after the conclusion of the preseason. Off the heels of adding pass rushers Ahmad Brooks and Chris Odom, Green Bay has signed former 49ers defensive lineman Quinton Dial.

Dial was selected in the fifth-round of the 2013 draft by the 49ers after playing with Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in college at Alabama. In Dial’s two seasons with the Crimson Tide, he won two national championships. Not too bad.

A torn ligament in his big toe kept Dial on the sidelines for much of his rookie season. The next season, he started the 49ers’ final seven games at nose tackle. Though San Francisco selected Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead in the first-round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Dial still started 15 games and notched a career-high 2.5 sacks.

The 49ers selected another defensive lineman, Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, with their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. When San Francisco hired a new general manager and head coach this offseason, they transitioned from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. Dial joins former teammate Ahmad Brooks as casualties of the switch now with the Packers.

Green Bay released third-year defensive lineman Christian Ringo to make room for Dial.

Here’s how the 27-year-old Dial helps the Packers:

Dial plays every position on the defensive line

Know what gets you a job on the Packers’ defense? Being able to do more than one thing.

Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones can both play safety and something resembling a linebacker. Mike Daniels can play just about anywhere on the defensive line, as can Dean Lowry and Ricky Jean Francois. Even Clay Matthews can rotate comfortably between rushing the passer and playing off the ball.

Likewise, Dial has always been known for his versatility. His college scouting report praised his ability to line up as a nose tackle as well as at the three technique and five technique, and he’s done a little of all three of those things in the pros. Bringing Dial aboard gives the Packers options, and more options are always good.

Dial fills the role vacated by Letroy Guion

For all his off the field adventures, Letroy Guion had one great unteachable attribute: he was a real big dude. At 6-4 and a generously listed 302 pounds, Guion towered over his fellow linemen. With his departure and the subsequent release of Brian Price at the end of training camp, the Packers were a bit light in the pants up front.

At 6-5 and 318 pounds, Dial helps address that issue. He’s now the largest defensive lineman on the roster and could be counted upon to serve as the anchor up front. For a 3-4 defense, having big bodies never hurts and at the very least Dial can provide that.