Packers, Badgers rule NFL’s Top 100 players list

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51. Clay Matthews

Last year: 77

A return to health catapulted Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews back to the Pro Bowl and up 26 spots on the top 100 list after a strong 2014 campaign.

Matthews split time between outside and inside linebacker and notched a career-high 71 tackles to go with 11 sacks, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and an interception.

He was selected for his fifth Pro Bowl in six seasons and helped Green Bay stabilize its leaky run defense after he was moved to inside linebacker at midseason.

Of course, football is in his blood as the son of four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews, the grandson of former San Francisco 49er Clay Matthews and the nephew of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.

Matthews made his first big splash when he notched 13½ sacks in 2010, earning All-Pro honors while helping the Packers to a Super Bowl title.

He was the 26th overall pick by the Packers out of USC in the 2009 NFL Draft.

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