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Packers DL Colby Wooden gets stronger, adds 15 pounds during offseason

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Colby Wooden knew he needed to get bigger and stronger to survive up front in the NFL, so the 2023 fourth-round pick went to work this offseason and eventually added 15 pounds.

Listed at 273 at the combine and 278 pounds as a rookie, Wooden is now up over 290 — and as heavy as 293. He hopes the extra weight and strength will produce a second-year leap.

“Being light down there, they’ll definitely circle you out and highlight you,” Wooden told Bill Huber of SI.com. “I definitely needed to get stronger. It’s a grown-man world down there. I just needed to get stronger.”

Wooden played both on the edge and inside at Auburn. The Packers moved him almost exclusively to the interior as a rookie, and the results were mixed. He produced 11 pressures and 12 stops across over 250 defensive snaps, per PFF, but he struggled to hold up against the run and faded as a pass-rusher late. By the end of the season, Wooden was being out-snapped and out-played by Karl Brooks, a sixth-round pick.

Although the Packers think Wooden can play some on the edge in the new 4-3 defensive front under Jeff Hafley, most of his work is expected to be inside again.

Attacking the weight room allowed Wooden to get bigger and stronger in advance of Year 2.

“He has put on a few lbs,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “I think that’ll do him well, especially with some of the things we’re going to ask him to do. But he’s looked great up to this point.”

Wooden will rotate in and out with Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt and Karl Brooks at defensive tackle for Hafley and the Packers in 2024. It’s a potentially loaded position on the roster. And now, after Wooden’s weight gain, a little bit heavier.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire