The Green Bay Packers go into the 2014 NFL Draft with many needs: offensive line, defensive line, inside linebacker and most glaringly, safety – that’s why in today’s Sunday aftern draft I’ve gone with the flow and selected the player everyone’s pointing toward – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from Alabama.
Some say he may be overrated, but his is simply the top-rated safety in this draft and could be a difference-maker for the Packers at a position that was woefully weak in 2013.
Clinton-Dix is projected as a first or second round selection by all the draft gurus out there.
But how does Packers General Manager Ted Thompson feel about this particular player? We’ll find out in May when the draft clock starts. It will be at that time when we know which direction the Packers will go. But for now, let’s project Thompson taking Clinton-Dix because he doesn’t think the Alabama safety will fall far enough in the second round for him to select without trading up.
In fact, there are many who feel that he won’t drop as far as the Packers at number 21 and if Green Bay truly covets this player they might have to trade up … way up … in order to have a shot at him.
Thompson has done that in the past, so there is a precedence.
At 6-1, 209 pounds, Clinton Dix has the size and the speed (projected to run the 40 at about 4.6) to cover a lot of ground on the back end of the defense and to be able to crowd the line of scrimmage to help stop the run game.
Here’s what they are saying over at walterfootball.com about Clinton-Dix:
Clinton-Dix has 45 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up this year. He played well against Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, LSU and Mississippi State. Clinton-Dix was suspended for two games for taking a loan from an assistant, but Nick Saban reinstated him before the games against Arkansas. Clinton-Dix didn’t have his best game against Auburn as he got caught on a few misdirection runs.
Here’s what they’re saying over at CBSsports.com:
STRENGTHS: Clinton-Dix changes directions fluidly and accelerates smoothly. He reads the quarterback’s eyes well and breaks on the ball, showing a late burst to close downhill. He has plus hands for the interception and shows vision and natural open-field running skills with the ball in his hands. Clinton-Dix anticipates the run well, attacking the line of scrimmage to make some impressive stops up close.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t have the preferred strength, at this time, to break free from blocks and isn’t a consistently physical tackler, electing to grab and pull down ball-carriers rather than striking them forcefully.
Here is the full draft promulgated by the computers over at fanspeak.com – included with my pick of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – and below that is some film on the Alabama safety: