1) Introduction: This was supposed to the season where Raji established himself as a top defensive lineman. He never made that leap, and it killed the Packers down the stretch.
Busari Raji Jr.
Weight: 337 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Stud. After totaling 39 tackles, 6.5 sacks and dancing his way to the Super Bowl in 2010, Raji appeared to be on the verge of greatness. Unfortunately, he only managed to achieve halfway decentness. Raji’s numbers dropped to 22 tackles and three sacks in 2011 and he never was the consistent game-changing force that the Packers so desperately needed up front.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: With four tackles and a sack against Carolina in week two, Raji got off to a hot start. He followed that performance by getting shut out next week at Chicago, which was the story of Raji’s season. Just when you thought he was about to get going and show us a new dance move or two, Raji disappeared.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Raji played almost 80 percent of the defensive snaps, so he’s durable. But you also have to wonder if Raji’s workload from the last two seasons wore him down. Looks can be deceiving, but Raji’s doughy body doesn’t appear to conducive to carrying a heavy workload. It’ll be interesting to see what the Packers do with Raji next season. Will they give him more snaps at DE, where he generates a good rush every now and then? Or will they keep him inside, even though he tends to get pushed around more than a player with his size and skills should?
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Filling in this category for the defensive line evaluations has been redundant. Raji didn’t contribute much in the postseason because the Packers pass rush was dismal.
Season Report Card:
(C-) Level of expectations met during the season
(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C+——————