2. Clay Matthews (Freddie’s pick)
Aaron Rodgers is the star on offense, and Clay Matthews is equally as important on defense. Ted Thompson liked what he saw in Matthews, pulling the trigger to jump back into the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft to grab him. Before the first round was over, the Packers had landed B.J. Raji and Matthews.
And the latter has been a sack machine ever since arriving on the scene. He’s played on some great defenses, some poor defenses and some mediocre defenses, but what’s never changed is the fact he’s the star of the show and the man who dominates the attention of offensive coordinators.
In seven seasons Matthews has piled up 67.5 sacks, and some of that time has been spent at inside linebacker. The true team-player was asked to move inside midway through the 2014 season to help shore up a leaky run defense, and it’s a role he’s held down ever since. Matthews was a star at outside linebacker, but he also transitioned into one of the league’s best inside linebackers.
In 2016, he’s expected to move back to his more comfortable position where he can tee off on quarterbacks off the edge. That’s where Matthews’ star shines brightest, and he is the best defensive player ever drafted by Ted Thompson.
Next: No. 1 (Ray's pick)