If you’ve watched the Packers at all this year you could argue that every pick in the 2014 NFL Draft should be on defense.
Where do you even begin to fix the defense? Safety? Defensive line? Linebacker?
Safety is the biggest problem for the Packers’ 25th ranked total defense this season. The Packers were ranked 26th in the league in interceptions with 11, and not one of those came from the safety position. Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Sean Richardson, Chris Banjo and Jeron McMillan all played in one of the safety spots, and not one of them could muster up an interception. With Richardson missing most of the season with a neck injury, Banjo seeing limited playing time and Jeron McMillan being cut mid-season, the lack of production doesn’t seem much of a surprise for this trio. Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings, on the other hand, have zero excuses for their horrendous play at the position. Missed tackles and getting burned constantly is not what you look for in a safety, and that is why Ted Thompson and the Packers will draft a safety in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Here are a couple of the top prospects at the safety position the Packers may be watching very closely right up until May 8th:
FS, Ha’Sean(Ha Ha) Clinton-Dix, Alabama, 6’1″ 208 lbs.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the top ranked safety in the 2014 draft for B/R’s Matt Miller and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. Clinton-Dix is one of the very few safeties in this draft class to consistently play the run and pass. He will come up in the box to get the ball carrier, but he will also play efficient man-to-man coverage on a slot receiver. He’s not a big hitter but does get the job done. Being able to cover quick slot receivers in the NFL is becoming more and more important. Ha Ha proved he can do it quite well. If he falls to the 21st pick, the Packers would most likely take him. He will be a starter on day one in the NFL regardless of where he goes and would look damn good in green and gold.
FS, Calvin Pryor, Louisville, 6’2″ 208 lbs.
Calvin Pryor is Mel Kiper’s second ranked safety in the draft class. Pryor is a little different player than Clinton-Dix. He is an absolute beast against the run. He rarely misses a tackle, and he loves to hit. . . hard. He flies around the field as you would expect of a free safety. Pryor has not shown much in coverage from his time at Louisville due to the fact that their defense usually has the FS up in the box. When in coverage, he seldom played man. He has shown some flashes when in coverage but not as much as NFL scouts would like. Pryor’s ability to stop the run and cover receivers will make him a sure pick for the Packers if Clinton-Dix is off the board.
The Packers need a safety to come in on day one of the 2014 NFL season and make plays; big plays. The Packers will be happy if either Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor are available with the 21st pick. If one of them are available, expect the Pack to confidently pick them completing the first step to fix a broken defense.