Best first-round draft picks in Green Bay Packers history: 4. Clay Matthews III
He was exceptional for The Pack. In recent years, there may not be a better first-round pick by Green Bay on the defensive side of the ball than taking linebacker Clay Matthews III out of USC. Matthews went to Green Bay No. 26 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that he didn’t start during most of his tenure for Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans.
Matthews is entering his 10th NFL season with Green Bay. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, an All-Pro in 2010 and was a huge reason that Green Bay won its fourth Super Bowl in franchise history over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010.
Matthews played in 143 games for Green Bay over nine NFL seasons. The Packers have reached the NFC playoffs in seven of those nine seasons. He recorded 383 tackles, 136 assists, 91.5 quarterback sacks, 44 passes defended, 17 forced fumbles, six interceptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns and five fumble recoveries for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Although he retired in 2019, Matthews could end up as a Hall of Famer, or at least on the ballot. He was a stalwart on the Packers defense for the entire Mike McCarthy era in Green Bay and undoubtedly one of the greatest first round picks in their lengthy history.