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Clay Matthews thinks T.J. Watt could be a good fit for Packers

Some projections have the Packers taking outside linebacker T.J. Watt in the draft. Michael Conroy/AP Photo

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews doesn’t know T.J. Watt, but he knows what it’s like to be a draft prospect with a famous last name.

And he knows that some mock drafts have the Green Bay Packers picking Watt, the former University of Wisconsin outside linebacker and the younger brother of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.

Matthews said he thinks Watt will do just fine, even in the shadow of his older brother, and he wouldn’t mind teaming up with the younger Watt on the Packers’ defense.

“I know some of the mock draft boards have him potentially coming here, which would be great, if he’s even half the player that his brother is,” Matthews said Tuesday as the Packers began their offseason workouts. “I’m sure there’s pressure on him. But I’m sure if he’s anything like his brother, he’ll have a drive and work ethic that can’t be matched.”

Matthews said he didn’t feel any extra pressure growing up in a famous football family, which included his father, Clay, and uncle, Bruce, who both were long-time standouts in the NFL.

“Growing up, I feel like people put more pressure than I put on myself just for having that last name,” Matthews said. “I think that’s really driven by the fact that I always wanted to be more successful than just having the last name Matthews. But, yeah, obviously everyone’s going to expect big things out of him with how well J.J. has been playing in this league. I think he just wants his shot.”

The Packers could be in the market for another pass-rusher from the outside linebacker spot even though they re-signed Nick Perry to a five-year, $60 million contract in March. Matthews’ exact role hasn’t been articulated. He could return, at least in a part-time capacity, to playing inside linebacker, a spot he played with success in 2014 and 2015, before he returned to his natural outside spot last season.

“It’s Day 1,” Matthews said. “You know what, I’m not sure. From my exit interviews last year and then obviously having a few interviews already with my position coach this year, I think the flexibility of myself being able to play multiple positions is really going to help this defense out. What I’m going to do is just stay ready for whatever it is they ask me to do. I’ve said that in the past, and I’ve had success both on the outside and inside.

"Ultimately, I think it’s just about being ready, and [defensive coordinator] Dom [Capers] always puts me in a position to succeed. We’ll see. It’s really early right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up playing all over the defense.”