Packers, Badgers rule NFL’s Top 100 players list

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71. Julius Peppers

Last year: Not ranked

When the Green Bay Packers signed three-time All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers to a three-year contract in March 2014, with the idea of converting the former North Carolina basketball player to outside linebacker, many thought it was crazy.

Peppers, after all, had just turned 34 and had too many miles on his odometer to make a move to a position that would require more athleticism and speed, not less.

But it was Peppers and the Pack who enjoyed the last laugh.

The 13-year veteran responded with 54 tackles and seven sacks, while also defensing a career-high 11 passes and forcing six fumbles, also a career nest.

Peppers also picked off two passes, returning both for touchdowns, ranking second in the NFL in non-offensive scores.

He didn’t earn a ninth Pro Bowl bid, but his peers were impressed based on his selection to the top 100.

Peppers was the second overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft and played seven seasons in Charlotte before going to the Chicago Bears as a free agent in March 2010. He was released by the Bears after four seasons and moved up the shore of Lake Michigan to Green Bay last spring.

Next: Former Badger LB Shines In Motown