Best of the Packers: Top 10 linebackers since 1960

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1. Ray Nitschke (1958-72)

There weren’t great expectations when the Green Bay Packers selected Illinois linebacker Ray Nitschke in the third round of the 1958 NFL Draft.

Nitschke went on to become the embodiment of the disciplined defense that won five championships in seven seasons.

He was an All-Pro twice, in 1964 and 1966, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1964. But despite a lack of individual honors, Nitschke was the face of the defense, with four interceptions in 1962 and three in both 1960 and 1967.

Nitschke was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-1960s team and retired with more interceptions, 25, than any linebacker in team history (a mark later matched by John Anderson).

In 1978, Nitschke was inducted into both the Packer and Pro Football halls of fame

The Packers retired his No. 66 in 1983, just the fourth retired number in franchise history. He died of a heart attack in March 1998 at the age of 61.

Next: Packers, Badgers All Over NFL's Top 100 List

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