1) Introduction: With BJ Raji spending more time at defensive end and Jerel Worthy and Mike Neal being higher on the DL pecking order in the nickel formation, Ryan Pickett mostly played as the nose tackle while occasionally appearing as a defensive end, usually on running downs. While this might be considered a downgrade by some, really it catered towards Pickett’s strengths, namely being his strength and his ability to eat up blockers.
Ryan Lamont Pickett
- Age: 33
- Born: 10/08/1979, in Zephyrhills, FL
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 338
- College: Ohio State
- Rookie Year: 2001
- NFL Experience: 12 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Moderate. As one of the Packers better run defenders and “block eaters” Pickett’s role is understated but no less important. Pickett was expected to do much of the dirty work of taking on interior blockers and letting his fellow linemen and outsider linebackers go out and make plays. While Pickett rarely collapsed the pocket, he rarely broke containment.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Pickett’s best performance was in week 3 against the Seahawks where Pickett was responsible for 6 tackles, 3 assists and 3 negative offensive plays. Pickett’s lowlight was probably week 1 against the 49ers where he played the majority of snaps but only managed one assisted tackle.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: While very hard to quantify, Pickett provided stability and leadership in a very young defensive line rotation as well as taking on double teams. Nose tackles aren’t as important to 3-4 defenses as they used to be but Pickett was certainly not a liability.