ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15: B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers sacks Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
GM Ted Thompson's Top 10 draft picks. No. 9: NT B.J. Raji.
The thing about his draft picks for the Green Bay Packers is that many of them are still young. I don't expect anyone who's lingered as a backup, such as WR James Jones, is going to all of a sudden emerge as a Pro Bowl receiver. But some players are getting pushed down the list because they haven't played all that long.
Raji is the first example. He didn't make a big impact as a rookie due to a brief holdout and a lingering hamstring injury, but he got better during 2010. By the end of the season, he was a very disruptive inside pass rusher, and had arguably the play of the season with his INT return for a touchdown against the Bears. He still can improve as a run defender, but he certainly has the size and athleticism to do it.
They're better against the run and the pass when he's on the field, and when you can find a player who's 6-2 and 337 lbs. who can do that, he's worth a Top 10 draft pick. Five years from now, he might be higher up on this list.
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