Packers Top Rookie: 2009


2009 was perhaps Ted Thompson’s best draft class. The Packers had the ninth overall pick and then traded a second rounder and two thirds to New England for the 26th overall pick and a fifth rounder. Thompson took immense Boston College defensive lineman B.J. Raji with his first pick and then grabbed USC linebacker Clay Matthews with his second first round selection. Thompson added to this great start by taking Eastern Michigan guard T.J. Lang in round four, LSU fullback Quinn Johnson in round five, Georgia defensive end Jarius Wynn and Cincinnati cornerback Brandon Underwood in round six and Colorado linebacker Brad Jones in round seven.

Undrafted free agents and waiver wire acquisitions included guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, receivers Brett Swain and Jake Allen, defensive tackle Anthony Toribio, linebacker Cyril Obiozor and defensive back Trevor Ford. Swain stuck around long enough to snag a Super Bowl ring a year later, and Dietrich-Smith eventually became a starter before leaving as a free agent.

The impact players came from the draft, though. Brad Jones did well for a seventh round pick, spending six years with the Packers as a sometime starter. T.J. Lang developed into a Pro Bowl guard and part of the top guard tandem in the league with Josh Sitton for a few years. B.J. Raji’s development was delayed by a training camp holdout, but he did become a starter in 2010 when he had his best year, although he didn’t make the Pro Bowl till the following season. He never had another year as good as the Super Bowl season, but was a solid starter for five years.

The best Packer in the draft, though, was Clay Matthews who has been a playmaking starter right from the jump. Matthews led the team with ten sacks, recovered three fumbles and scored a touchdown that season; Clay Matthews was the Packers’ top rookie in 2009.

2010bjraji  2010tjlang

2010jwynn  2010qjohnson

2010bunderwood  2010bjones

2010bswain  2010cmatthews

Custom cards in 1961 Fleer style.


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