The Green Bay Packers Friday signed unrestricted free agent Ryan Pickett to a multi-year contract. Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson announced the addition.
Pickett, a 6-foot-2, 322-pound defensive tackle out of Ohio State, is a relentless run-stopper who led all NFL defensive linemen with 115 tackles in 2005. In fact, Green Bay within the past week has signed the league's top two defensive linemen with respect to tackles. Defensive end Aaron Kampman, re-signed Saturday, finished second in the NFL with 105 stops last year.
St. Louis' third of three selections in the first round (29th overall) of the 2001 draft, Pickett turned in his best career season last year, adding two sacks and three passes defensed in 16 contests, all starts.
In just five NFL seasons, the 26-year-old Pickett has 401 career tackles (192 solo), with 51/2 sacks and 17 passes defensed. A durable anchor in the Rams' defense, he has played in 71 consecutive contests (79 including playoffs). He last missed a game Nov. 18, 2001, when Mike Martz listed the rookie as inactive. In addition to his 75 regular-season games (59 starts), he has played six postseason contests, including Super Bowl XXXVI.
A three-year starter in college, Pickett entered the NFL Draft after his junior season. Ohio State had managed to extract him from the football-rich state of Florida, where he earned consensus All-America honors as a high school standout.