GREEN BAY – The Packers have added a new inside linebacker following a trade with the New York Giants for fourth-year veteran B.J. Goodson.
The 6-foot-1, 242-pound linebacker had 115 tackles, six passes defensed, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 37 career games played with the Giants.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst said Green Bay would weigh all options at inside linebacker after presumptive starter Oren Burks suffered a chest injury in the Packers’ preseason opener against the Houston Texans.
While Gutekunst said on Sunday the team hopes to have Burks “back here soon,” the addition of Goodson gives Green Bay a veteran presence to complement a relatively young positional group behind starter Blake Martinez.
Here are five things to know about Goodson:
1. Goodson was Clemson’s leading tackler in 2015.
As a redshirt senior in 2015, Goodson stepped into the Tigers’ starting lineup on a full-time basis during their first run to the NCAA National Championship Game. A third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, he had a team-high 160 tackles (14½ for a loss), 17 pressures and 5½ sacks that year. A team captain, Goodson led Clemson with 14 tackles in a 45-40 loss to Alabama in the title game.
2. He was drafted in the same round as Blake Martinez.
The Giants selected Goodson in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, twenty-two spots ahead of where the Packers took Martinez. In the pre-draft process, Goodson was lauded by scouts for his leadership, aggression and a particularly strong performance against Notre Dame offensive lineman Nick Martin, an eventual second-round pick. He ran a 4.69-second time in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine and was among the top performers at his position in bench reps (30) and the three-cone drill (7.05).
Take a look at snapshots of new Packers linebacker BJ Goodson.
3. Goodson started 20 games for the Giants in 2017-18.
Predominately used as a special-teams player early, Goodson moved into the starting lineup in 2017 and proceeded to start 20 of the next 22 games he played in for New York. He finished fifth on the Giants last season with 60 tackles and had a pair of interceptions in a 27-23 win over San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2018. Goodson started all seven games in 2017 before finishing the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He had 18 tackles in the opener against Dallas that year, helping him finish sixth on the team in tackles despite missing more than half the season.
4. He once had eight sacks in a South Carolina high school playoff game.
You read that right – and seven of those sacks came in the second half of Lamar High’s victory over Ninety Six High. Goodson finished with 20 total tackles in the game. He had 156 tackles as a senior for Lamar, his hometown school. His team also reached the state title game during his junior campaign.
5. Goodson’s lone playoff appearance came in Green Bay.
The first and only postseason game Goodson played in came at Lambeau Field in the 2016 NFC Wild Card playoff. Goodson played 30 snaps on special teams and made a coverage tackle of Micah Hyde on a punt return in the third quarter of an eventual 38-13 victory for the Packers.