Ryan Pickett Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card
1) Introduction: Now Ted Thompson’s lone “big name” free agent signing, Pickett perhaps hasn’t had the impact of Charles Woodson but certainly has justified his signing with very consistent play in one of the NFL’s most physically taxing positions. However 2013 was a turning point for Pickett; not only was it a contract year but also with shifting trends in the NFL looking for lighter and more explosive players, was a run-first gap-clogger still worth something in the league?
Ryan “Big Grease” Lamont Pickett
- Age: 34
- Born: 10/8/1979 in Zephyrhills, FL
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 338
- College: Ohio State
- Rookie Year: 2001
- NFL Experience: 13
3) Expectations coming into the season: Moderately high. Pickett was one of the steady defenders for the Packers last year and while his numbers or statistics didn’t pop off the screen, being mostly a nose tackle responsible for eating up double teams and standing your ground doesn’t usually garner much attention. The most indicative number for Pickett was probably the number of snaps he took last year, 658, which is astounding for such a big guy playing such a physically taxing position. Expecting Pickett to suddenly start picking up sacks or tackles for losses was unrealistic for an aging playing in a position of little “splash” plays but a successful and productive defensive line in part is due to Pickett’s unselfish play.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Pickett’s highlight ironically might have been when the Packers were at their worst, namely the 10-40 drubbing the Packers experienced against the Lions Thanksgiving day; Pickett recorded a quarterback hurry (he only had 5 total in 2013), 1 tackle and 2 assists, and 1 run stop. Pickett’s lowlight was again ironically maybe when the Packers were at their best, during their last minute win against Chicago for a trip to the playoffs; Pickett played only 26 snaps, and was unusually poor in run defense.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Moderate. It’s very hard to judge the performance of a nose tackle simply because most of a nose tackle’s responsibilities are hidden behind the play calling and the lack of statistics. However, Pickett was not a liability when on the field and was a solid foundation for the rest of the defensive line to rely on. Again perhaps most indicative of Pickett’s play is how many times coaches asked him to be on the field, and Pickett was surprisingly a player who has seen more snaps every year while getting considerably long in the tooth since the Packers started playing the 3-4 defense in 2009. That all changed this year was Pickett actually saw a reducing in his snaps compared to 2012 and it became apparent that the Packers were trying to different defensive concepts schematically and slowly phasing out the “big clogger” type players (which has been happening throughout the NFL) or because Johnny Jolly started taking some snaps away from him.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Pickett played 47 snaps against the 49ers in the wildcard game, his 3rd highest snap count of the season and played on of his better games against the run while playing poorly against the pass, which again is not his forte. Pickett recorded 4 tackles, 2 assists and 3 run stops.
Season Report Card:
(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: B-——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.