Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Erik Walden

Erik Walden, a third-year player out of Middle Tennessee State, played in 28 career games before being signed by the Green Bay Packers. Drafted in the sixth round by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, he was claimed by Kansas City after being released by Dallas in the final August roster cutdown. Miami would eventually claim him after a short stint with the Chiefs. In what would be an omen of things to come, the Dolphins cut Walden a week prior to their historic Special Teams meltdown against the New England Patriots. He was part of the Packers’ “mass signing” in October that included Diyral Briggs, Matt Wilhelm, and Howard Green.

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Pat Lee

As a second round pick in 2008, Pat Lee has been little more than a disappointment. Active as mostly a special teams player in his rookie season, he ended up only being active for five games and was eventually put on injured reserve (IR) due to a lingering knee injury. The 2009 season was a wash for Lee after a preseason knee injury against the Titans forced him again onto IR. Finally, in 2010, Lee was active for most of the season (15 games), though again mostly as a special teamer. He had just one start this season: Week 5 at Washington.

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Clay Matthews

When Packers general manager Ted Thompson made the unusually aggressive move to trade back into the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the jaws of many fans and draft “experts” hit the floor. The thinking went that if Thompson was doing something this big, he must have his sights on someone he REALLY likes. The pick? Some guy named Clay Matthews, a linebacker from USC.

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Nick Collins

When the Packers lost Darren Sharper after the 2004 season, they were in desperate need of a suitable replacement at safety. Nick Collins was their answer. Drafted in the second round of 2005, he was an instant starter and has missed only three complete games in his career. The 2008 season would be his breakout year with a career-high 7 interceptions, three of them for touchdowns. Since then, he has been a perennial Pro Bowl player and Second Team All-Pro selection. On March 12, 2010, Nick Collins finally signed a long-awaited three-year contract with the Packers, solidifying himself as a staple of the defense.