Grading the Packers: Defensive line's Todd Korth continues with individual assessments of the Green Bay Packers' defensive linemen.

Aaron Kampman: Aaron Kampman went from "hard worker" to "Pro Bowler" in 2006 with his best season as a pro. Kampman signed off on a four-year, $21 million contract in March, then went out and piled up a career-high 15.5 sacks (second in the NFL) and 113 tackles (tops among Packers linemen). He also had numerous quarterback pressures, forced three fumbles, recovered one fumble, and broke up a pass. As a result, he was named to his first Pro Bowl.

The key to Kampman's success can be attributed to his off-season preparation. He lost about six pounds from his 2005 playing weight of 284, and that helped his quickness. Aside from a three-game period when he had no sacks in three straight Packers losses against New England, Seattle and the New York Jets, Kampman was outstanding.
Grade: A

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila: He proved again that he is not an every-down player in the NFL. Gbaja-Biamila would have been replaced as a starter sooner by Cullen Jenkins if not for Jenkins' bum ankle during the middle of the season, according to defensive coordinator Bob Sanders. Gbaja-Biamila finished with six sacks, his lowest total since his rookie season in 2000. In 2005, KGB had eight sacks in 16 games, down from his double-digit sack totals from 2001-04.

Gbaja-Biamila was tied for eighth on the team with 63 tackles, third among defensive linemen. Opposing offenses often ran at him, and he often lost out to bigger linemen in trying to stop the runner.
Grade: C-

Ryan Pickett: Like Kampman, the veteran defensive tackle lived up to the big contract that he received from the Packers last March. Pickett received a four-year, $15 million contract last March, including a $5 million bonus. He finished with 92 tackles, no sacks and seven passes defensed for the Packers, a year after he led all NFL defensive linemen with 115 tackles in 2005 for St. Louis.

While Pickett's numbers were down from his 2005 totals, he was effective at stopping the run and collapsing the pocket to create sack opportunities for other linemen, top priorities for interior tackles. Pickett proved to be durable as well. He played in every game, increasing his consecutive starts streak to 60 games.
Grade: B

Cullen Jenkins: He made the most of his opportunity to start and now is suddenly up for a big pay day as a restricted free agent. Jenkins got 3 ½ of his 6 ½ sacks after he took over for Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila on base downs and played inside on passing downs in Green Bay's final four games of the season.

Jenkins finished with 48 tackles, but missed two games after spraining his ankle Oct. 8 against the St. Louis Rams. He also started at defensive tackle against New Orleans in Week 2 and at Detroit in Week 3.
Grade: B-

Corey Williams: The third-year pro continued to show steady improvement at defensive tackle, starting 11 of 16 games. He was especially effective at creating a push in the middle, which led him to career highs in tackles (47) and sacks (7). He also had three passes defensed, recovered a fumble, and played some at defensive end.
Grade: B-

Colin Cole: A solid defensive tackle, Cole was hoping to have a big season, but fell out of favor with the coaching staff after starting at defensive tackle in the season opener. He didn't make the 45-man game day roster in Week 3 at Detroit, but played in every game thereafter, starting in two. Cole finished with 53 tackles and a sack, which was down from 2005 when he had 62 tackles, two sacks and two passes defensed.
Grade: C-

Jason Hunter: The defensive end made the team as a rookie free agent and played in 14 of 16 games, mainly on special teams where he had eight tackles. He showed good quickness and an ability to rush the passer during training camp, but will need to use this off-season to get stronger.
Grade: C-

Johnny Jolly: Green Bay's sixth-round draft pick was inactive for 10 of 16 games, including the first five. He gradually worked his way into the defensive line's rotation toward the end of the season. He had four tackles and one pass defensed.
Grade: C-

Michael Montgomery: Sustained a knee injury in practice prior to Green Bay's Dec. 10 game at San Francisco and did not play the rest of the season. Played in 11 games as a reserve defensive end on pass-rushing downs. Finished with 1 ½ sacks and one pass defensed.
Grade: C-

Kenderick Allen: The fourth-year pro was claimed on waivers from the New York Giants last April by the Packers. He played in the season opener, was inactive for the second game of the season, then sprained his foot in a Week 3 game at Detroit. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Oct. 4.
Grade: Incomplete

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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