Green Bay Packers: Top 10 draft picks under Ted Thompson

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Aaron Rodgers
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Aaron Rodgers /
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2. Clay Matthews, OLB

With the second of the Packers’ two first-round picks in 2009, Thompson selected outside linebacker Clay Matthews. The rest was history.

Nine years, an all-time franchise-record 81 sacks, six Pro Bowls and three All-Pro selections later, we arrive at the present day. Matthews has been a major piece in Green Bay’s defense since he joined the league nearly a decade ago. 

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Arguably Matthews’ best season came in 2010. He played a huge role in Green Bay’s Super Bowl win that year. He posted a career-best 13.5 sacks in the regular season, fourth-most in the league, forced two fumbles and made an interception.

He added another 3.5 sacks in the postseason and made one of the biggest plays of Super Bowl XLV, forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter with the Packers up by four points.

While Matthews’ production has dipped in recent years, the 31-year-old is one of the Packers’ all-time great defensive players, and remains an important piece entering the 2018 season under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Whether asked to play outside or inside linebacker, Matthews has been a dominant member of Green Bay’s defense.

Aaron Rodgers has long been the star on offense. For years, the Packers’ MVP on defense was Matthews.