This week, Acme Packing Company will look back at the first half of the Green Bay Packers' 2015 season to identify the most outstanding players in a variety of categories. In our final post, we will break down our choices for the Packers' Most Improved Player in 2015.
Four APC writers contributed to our rankings by listing our top three options for each award. We assigned points as follows: 3 points for first-place vote, 2 points for second-place vote, 1 point for third-place vote. You'll see the number of points next to each player's name.
Nick Perry (9 points)
Perry has been asked to play a bigger role this season with Clay Matthews playing mostly inside linebacker, and he has responded. He has 3.5 sacks on the year, nearly matching his career high of 4 from 2013, and he has been very active in run defense as well, effectively setting the edge on the right side with regularity. Perry's play has been a good sign for him in a contract year as well as for the Packers, who will have a few decisions to make in free agency next offseason.
Datone Jones (4)
Another talented first-round pick shows up on our list, as Jones shows up in a tie for second place. He has just a single sack so far this season, but he has drastically improved his play against the run, a weakness for him earlier in his career. That's the biggest reason he is getting recognition here, as he has become a more well-rounded rotational player rather than exclusively a pass-rusher.
Jayrone Elliott (4)
Elliott has taken a nice step forward in his second year, and his ability to produce impact plays in small amounts of playing time is the best example of that. In week 2 against the Seahawks, he forced a pair of turnovers at the end of the game to seal the Packers' win, while remaining a stalwart on special teams and adding a pair of sacks as well.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (3)
Clinton-Dix's second season has had its share of ups and downs, but his tackling appears to have improved somewhat as he continues his adjustment to the NFL.
B.J. Raji (3)
Raji is back at nose tackle; it's possible that we would have seen an improved Raji a year ago if not for his torn biceps. He has not been the most consistent player, but he looks significantly more effective in collapsing the pocket and providing penetration against the run than he ever did from the defensive end position.
Richard Rodgers (1)
Rodgers' productivity is up this year, in part due to the injury to Andrew Quarless and in part due to more experience and trust between him and his quarterback. Rodgers has also been better as a run blocker this year - still inconsistent and with a way to go to become considered a good one, but better than he was a year ago.
Tell us who you think the Packers' most improved player is so far this season in the poll and the comments below.