- I think the better question is … why WOULDN’T the Packers be shedding light on the safety position? The safety play was atrocious this year, the real Achilles heel of the defense. The secondary was an area of concern from the week 1 outing against the 49ers (who, coincidentally ended the season for the Packers, as well). Second-year read-option QB Colin Kaepernick had lit up the defense the post-season previous with his legs. We were determined to keep him in the pocket. While that happened, it might have been worse. He looked like an elite passer with 412 yards through the air. We handed him another career day – giving one to Anquan Boldin, as well, who had 208 of those passing yards himself. It didn’t get better from there.
- Everyone from elite to backup played spectacularly well against our defense, largely in part to the safety play. With a roster like Morgan Burnett (who missed the first 4 games due to injury) and undrafted free agents Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings and Davon House – there wasn’t much to be excited about. With cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams playing some of their best football late in the season, the inefficiencies of the safeties were very apparent.
- Jerron McMillian was already sent packing. Morgan Burnett was signed to a lucrative 4-year deal so his subpar play has to be chocked up to early injuries and unstable opposite play; he’s staying. Davon House played well enough in the wild card loss (after losing Shields to injury) to earn a chance to compete in training camp. M.D. Jennings will (hopefully and most likely) be allowed to walk in free agency.
- So, with a cornerstone piece in Morgan Burnett, the Packers will almost certainly turn to the first round of the draft to solve their issues at safety. In fact, I fully expect the Packers to use TWO golden picks on safeties in this draft. Most likely a first-rounder and a follow up late-rounder, hoping to strike gold at the bottom of the boards.
- Alabama’s Clinton-Dix has gotten a lot of attention lately. Packers fans are excited at the prospect of his availability in the first-round. However, he is projected to go quickly. The only thing that may drop him to the 21st pick would be the dire need of several teams for franchise signal callers. If the Manziels, McCarrons and Bridewaters soak up the bulk of the first round – the Packers could get lucky with Clinton-Dix.