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Packers Pick B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji

After a few surprises shook things up in the first round, the Packers used the 9th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to select B.J. Raji out of Boston College.  A 6’2” 340 pound, very athletic run stuffer, Raji was part of Boston College’s 7th ranked run defense in 2008 and lead the team in sacks.  He is the son of a Nigerian immigrant and has the size and potential to be a dominant force in the middle for the Packers.

He will probably rotate at nose tackle with Ryan Pickett.  In the 3-4 defense, he will be responsible for filling multiple gaps and causing problems for offensive lines, allowing linebackers to make plays.  Hopefully, he will provide a much-needed lift for the Packers defense, which struggled mightily last season.

Raji’s weaknesses are mostly of an intangible nature.  Rumors tend to fly and grow out of control leading up to the NFL draft, but there is no doubt that Raji’s maturity and self-control is questionable.  Earlier this month, Raji faced some criticism for allegedly failing a drug test.  The NFL and Raji quickly squashed the rumor, calling it “unfair” and absolutely untrue.  He was suspended for half a game in 2006 for throwing a punch at a Central Michigan player, he missed the entire 2007 college season with academic problems, and he has had some problems keeping his weight down.

Raji, however, calls himself “a leader by example” and “a good guy on and off the field.”  His senior season proved that he can be an incredible and dominant player when he is focused and motivated.  Investing millions of dollars and a high first round draft pick in him should provide him with that motivation in Green Bay.

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One Response to “Packers Pick B.J. Raji”

  1. Grandpa Latzko says:

    Nice writing Justin.

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