Who are the best players of those who make up our front 7 and actually get consistent playing time. Rank them from top to bottom.
Hawk, B. Jones, Matthews, Perry, Daniels, D. Jones, Neal, Wilson, Jolly, Raji, Pickett
Matthews, Pickett, Jolly, Raji, Daniels (tie), Neal (tie), Hawk, Perry, D. Jones, Wilson, B Jones
The just darn good:
Pickett. Consistently underrated. IMO second most important player on defense period.
Solid with upside:
Jolly. There's just something special there.
Raji. Count me among the unappreciators that porky noted. IMO just as Pickett is consistently underrated, Raji is consistently overrated. I will say that he has looked better than I expected in games 1-2 this year. He can dominate, but return of inconsistency is a worry.
Daniels and Neal (tie). Like Raji, more than I expected in games 1-2. I like Daniels more, but I couldn't say why at this point. Toss-up. The level you want "depth/rotation" players at.
Hawk. I wish he weren't the starter, but, again, he's solid enough for depth/rotation. Shares part of responsibility for team's softness over the middle in passing game.
I think there's a gap between the above and the rest. Not saying below are "bad", but either they haven't developed enough or I wish there were better alternatives.
Perry: Haven't seen enough to know yet. Here for me because of his draft position more than anything. Understand why people might be excited about him, but potential alone doesn't do much for me.
D Jones: See Perry.
Wilson: Better against run than pass. Inactive list/emergency quality to me. 2nd-tier backup guy.
B. Jones: People liking Raji I understand; don't agree, but I understand. I just don't see what others see. But I didn't get the big contract when it was given, and I don't get it now. I think he's a liability in coverage, and part of the reason I have trouble being optimistic about the Packers getting better in pass defense over the middle. Everyone blames safety play, and clearly that's subpar, too, but I think LBs are a key part of the failure. Frankly, I think our best ILB pass defender right now is Francois, and that is telling. Another 2nd-tier backup guy.