Category Archives: Jarius Wynn



2012 Packers Position Group Analysis: Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line: This is the first in a series of examinations I’m going to do on each Packers position group as it currently exists. Kind of a State of the Union address – where we are, where we want to go and what we need to do to get there.

Where are we now:

Here are the current suspects;

BJ Raji (1st round)
Ryan Pickett (1st round)
Mike Neal (2nd round)
C.J. Wilson (7th round)
Jarius Wynn (6th round)
Howard Green (6th round)
Lawrence Guy (7th round, injured reserve)
Johnny Jones (undrafted, 77th ranked DT by, cut by Miami in preseason)

Notice a pattern here? This is classic Ted Thompson building depth with late round picks, but thanks to Neal missing so much time, the emergency fill-ins ended up playing a lot more that you would want. For the year, both Jarius Wynn and CJ Wilson were both within a hundred snaps of Ryan Pickett. Frankly, that’s way too much. Pickett’s value against the run can not be argued against – one just has to look at the two games Pickett missed – the Packers gave up 344 rushing yards in those two games.

But at age 31, Pickett is just not a full-time player anymore. He’s certainly no BJ Raji, who played 80% of the defensive snaps last season. While Raji and his coaches say it’s not a problem, that he didn’t wear down, one has to wonder. Raji’s production was down in every category this year, and some observers outside of the Packers organization have hinted that he wasn’t playing hard every play.

Certainly fatigue will do that to you. Looking at the game-by-game rankings over at are certainly telling. Raji’s only “Plus” performances were early in the season while the last six games were all on the minus side, especially against the run. In my mind, there is no doubt Raji wore down and did not show much of the explosion he’s capable of. Instead, he was playing way too upright (another sign of fatigue), which makes the offensive lineman’s job that much easier.



Packers Stock Report: 2011 End of Season Full Roster Edition

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers stock fell a bit during the playoff loss to the Giants, but it remains high heading into next season.

The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl and there will be no more meaningful football games for the next six months. That’s six months to reflect on how a team that lost twice to the Redskins during the regular season could go on to knock off the mighty Packers in the playoffs and keep rolling all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.


It’s hard to find a silver lining, but if you’re searching for one, take a few minutes and look over the Packers roster. It’s pretty good. Go ahead and cross off some of the players you think won’t be around next season, and it’s still pretty good. This team is going to contend again next season, and probably for the next couple of seasons after that. At least Packers fans have something to look forward to.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks at evaluating and grading every player on the Packers roster. Those report cards are done now, and it’s time to put this season in the rearview mirror.

To get started, I put together a full roster stock report based on each player’s status heading into next season. To categorize each player, I used my own opinion mixed with how I think the Packers view that player.

For example, Donald Driver played well in the playoff loss. If the Packers beat the Giants and hosted the NFC Championship, I’d probably list Driver as rising in that week’s stock report. But since the Packers season is over, and I don’t think Ted Thompson brings Driver back, I put Driver in the falling category.

You get the idea, so without further delay, here we go:


QB Aaron Rodgers
Finding motivation is never a problem for Rodgers, but the Packers early playoff exit should give the MVP even more incentive to come out fired up in 2012.

LB Desmond Bishop
Watching Bishop motor his way through games was one of the few enjoyable aspects of this season’s defense.

T Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga took a step forward in 2011 and might take a giant step sideways to play left tackle next season.

WR/KR Randall Cobb
Thanks to Cobb, kick and punt returns became fun again.



Could Packers Trade Up in 2012 NFL Draft to Pick a Pass Rusher?

Ted Thompson Packers

Packers GM Ted Thompson traded back into the first round to take Clay Matthews in 2009.

The day was April 25, the Saturday of the 2009 NFL draft, and Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson had a franchise-altering decision staring him in the face.

As he sat in the Packers’ war room, having already acquired nose tackle B.J. Raji from Boston College with the ninth overall pick, there was a name he couldn’t shake and a need he knew he needed to fill.

The name was Clay Matthews, and the need was 3-4 outside linebacker.

Matthews, a wavy-haired overachiever with Hall of Fame bloodlines, remained available as the first round came to a close. A walk-on at USC who didn’t play full-time until his senior year, Matthews was an ideal pass rushing outside linebacker for his new defense. And Thompson knew that if there were two positions most important to making the Packers’ new 3-4 defense under defensive coordinator Dom Capers work, it was nose tackle and outside linebacker. Raji was the answer inside, Matthews could be the same on the edge.

In his hand was a weapon he rarely held, and uncharacteristically, Thompson pulled the trigger.

A man notorious for trading back in the draft to stockpile picks, Thompson sent a second and two third-round picks to the New England Patriots for the No. 26 pick in the first round and a later fifth rounder.

Shortly after, Roger Goodell announced Matthews as the Packers’ pick, and the rest, as they say, was history. Matthews turned into a superstar, registering back-to-back 10-sack seasons while helping lead the Packers to a Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers just less than 22 months later. Along with sticking with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Thompson’s decision to move up and get Matthews remains a defining moment in his building of a championship puzzle.

Fastforward to this April, and you could argue Thompson is in a similar state of need that he found himself in 2009.

Just a year after reaching the NFL’s peak, Thompson’s defense shattered in 2011. Better yet, it collapsed after under the weight of Thompson’s failure to find a starting-quality outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews and his decision not to re-sign highly productive but aging defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who bolted to the Philadelphia Eagles but was entirely open to returning to the Packers. Green Bay won 15 games during the regular season despite giving up more passing yards than any other team in NFL history, then threw away their opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl champions with an undisciplined effort on both sides of the football.



Jarius Wynn: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Jarius Wynn

Jarius Wynn

1) Introduction: For a couple games early in the season, it looked like Jarius Wynn had a shot at becoming the next no-name player to become a name player on the Packers roster. Unfortunately, Wynn fizzled out and got stuck in no-name playerville, a city populated by several Packers defensive linemen.

2) Profile:

Jarius Jessereel Wynn

Position: DE
Height: 6-3
Weight: 285 lbs.
AGE: 22

Career Stats:

3) Expectations coming into the season: Pass rusher. Nobody expected Wynn to morph into Reggie White, but as a smallish DE, the Packers needed him to use his quickness to get after the QB. He got after it for a while, but couldn’t sustain his early-season success.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Wynn had two sacks against the Bears in week three and three sacks through the first three games. Some of us were saying, “Cullen Jenkins who?” Unfortunately, Wynn never recorded another sack and the rest of the season was mostly a low-light.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: He helped out a lot the first month of the season. But once the QB pressures dried up, he was a liability against the run.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Like the rest of the defensive line, Wynn didn’t contribute much in the playoffs.

Season Report Card:

(D) Level of expectations met during the season
(D+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: D


Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.




Around the NFC North: Rating Recent Draft Classes

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson

At this point of the season, it’s safe to say most readers of this site probably know where every team in the NFC North stands and why they’re in the position that they’re in. So instead of updating everyone with information they probably already know, we’ll take a different approach by examining recent NFC North draft classes.

I went back and listed every team’s draft choices from 2008-11 and broke down each team by examining their picks in the following categories:

Current starters: How many players drafted since 2008 are currently starting? I was fairly liberal in labeling players as “starters.” For example, Jordy Nelson does not “start” for the Packers (until Jennings got hurt, anyway), but for all intents and purposes, he’s a starter.

Home runs: These players are absolute studs, already pro bowlers or force other teams to game-plan specifically for them.

Future stars?: These players are already good, but haven’t reached their ceiling. A pro bowl or more could realisticially be in their future.

Late-round discoveries: Players drafted in rounds 4-7 that contribute and play much better than a typical player drafted in rounds 4-7.

Early-round flops: Players drafted in the first two rounds that did next to nothing.

*Note: I realize I left third-round picks out of both the late-round and early-round categories. Third rounders are sort of no-man’s land for me. I don’t feel comfortable labeling third rounders as either a discovery or a flop.

Green Bay Packers


2. Jordy Nelson, WR
2. Brian Brohm, QB
2. Pat Lee, CB
3. Jermichael Finley, TE
4. Jeremy Thompson, TE
4. Josh Sitton, G
5. Breno Giacomini, T
7. Matt Flynn, QB
7. Brett Swain, WR


1. B.J. Raji, NT
2. Clay Matthews, LB
4. T.J. Lang, T
5. Quinn Johnson, RB
5. Jamon Meredit, T
6. Jarius Wynn, DE
6. Brandon Underwood, DB
7. Brad Jones, LB


1. Bryan Bulaga, T
2. Mike Neal, DE
3. Morgan Burnett, SS
5. Andrew Quarless, TE
5. Marshall Newhouse, T
6. James Starks, RB
7. C.J. Wilson, TE


1. Derek Sherrod, T
2. Randall Cobb, WR
3. Alex Green, RB
4. Davon House, CB
5. D.J. Williams, TE
6. Caleb Sclauderaff, G
6. D.J. Smith, LB
6. Ricky Elmore, LB
7. Ryan Taylor, TE
7. Lawrence Guy, DT



Packers DLs Ryan Pickett Out, Mike Neal Questionable Against Bears

Ryan Pickett was ruled out for the Packers on Sunday. (Photo: Jim Biever,

The Green Bay Packers could very well be without two of their most heavily used defensive lineman against the Chicago Bears, as coach Mike McCarthy ruled out Ryan Pickett and made Mike Neal questionable for Sunday’s game.

Pickett suffered a concussion against the Oakland Raiders in Week 14 and hasn’t played since. McCarthy made it sound early in the week like they were holding him out of practice just to be cautious, but Pickett obviously hasn’t shown enough improvement to give it a go on Sunday. His situation is worth monitoring now that this second concussion has caused him to miss two straight games.

Neal, who has dealt with shoulder injuries throughout his brief career in Green Bay, hurt his shoulder against the Kansas City Chiefs and has been limited this week in practice. It’s 50/50 whether he’ll play on Sunday. He’s been ineffective since returning from a knee injury suffered in training camp.

If neither can go, the Packers will be relying on a rotation of B.J. Raji, Jarius Wynn, C.J. Wilson and Howard Green as down lineman on Sunday. Even Green was listed with a foot injury but is probable to play.

A matchup to watch on Sunday will obviously be the Packers’ injury-plauged defensive line against Chicago’s much-maligned offensive line.

McCarthy also ruled out Chad Clifton (hamstring, back) and Greg Jennings (knee) on Friday. Neither were expected to play. McCarthy also said Jennings will be challenged to play against Detroit, but remained confident that Jennings would be back for the postseason.

Everyone else listed on the injury report, including James Starks, Brandon Saine and Desmond Bishop, are probable to play.


Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on




Packers Film Study. Dom Capers Unleashed the Hounds

Unleash the Hounds!

Despite their current undefeated status, much has been made of the Green Bay Packers’ pass rush, or lack of it, this season – all with good reason. Without consistent pressure, opposing quarterbacks have had the time to rack up some gawdy yardage numbers and complete a plethora of big plays on the Packers’ secondary.

We have all been in a quandry – wringing our hands and nervously rocking back and forth while mumbling to ourselves, “where’s the pass rush… where’s the pass rush…”

The main focus of course was on Clay Matthews. We kept reading about how Matthews is grading out so highly per the coaches’ evaluation, but where were the sacks and big plays? After seeing Matthews over and over engage with a blocker and then just pull up, without going any further, it became apparent to me CMIII just did not have the green light to go hog-wild after the QB.

At the other outside OLB, the common refrain was that  “Walden hasn’t done anything” (which I fully disagree with). Walden has also graded out well on the coaches’ charts for handling his primary responsibilities. So were the Packers’ pass-rushers under performing this season as many thought, or just doing what they were told?

Much has been made of how much more Capers is blitzing this season than in years past. However, when Capers has blitzed out of the Okie (2-4-5), it’s been a straight linebacker dog or a defensive back off the edge. The DL rush patterns have been simply straight ahead – very vanilla stuff. Watching other teams generate pressure on Aaron Rodgers with a variety of DL and LB stunts, I continually would wonder why we weren’t seeing similar tactics from the Packers.

After many of these hand-wringing and chair-rocking sessions of my own, I became convinced the Packers players were just doing what the coaches wanted; play more of style where containment is the primary responsibility, the infamous bend, but don’t break mantra.

Well after the Packers did plenty of bending AND breaking against the Chargers, something had to change.

Charles Woodson was the first to sound the alarm, publicly wondering if the Packers should be doing more creative things to put their playmakers in a position to make plays. For his part, Dom Capers pointed to how much the Packers were blitzing this season to show that they were, indeed, trying to create more of a pass rush.