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Green Bay Packers Need More out of A.J. Hawk

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16:  Linebacker A.J. Hawk #50 of the Green Bay Packers lead his team with in defense with six tackles and one assists against the Chicago Bears during NFL action at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2008 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 37-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
James CampbellContributor IMay 8, 2009

Simply put, the Green Bay Packers need more production out of linebacker A.J. Hawk.

Hawk, drafted No. 5 overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, has not been a bust.  However, he hasn't been the player that the Packers were hoping he would be. 

Not by a long shot.

The Packers drafted him because he was supposed to be a playmaker.  So far in his career, he has not been a big playmaker.  He has been playing like any other linebacker—nothing special about him.

He has had some special moments.  For example, in 2007, he intercepted a pass against Kansas City which helped get the Packers back into the game.  He has also had some nice tackles against Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.  He also has been a decent blitzer and good at rushing the passer.

However, he did not intercept a pass or force or recover a fumble all season.  He struggled mightily once Nick Barnett went down.  In his defense, he hasn't played at middle linebacker before.  Still, he didn't make the big plays.

Leading the team in tackles isn't enough.  A.J. Hawk can't be just a solid player.  He needs to become a playmaker.  That's why the Packers drafted him at No. 5 overall.

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