17. Morgan Burnett (Freddie’s pick)
To fully appreciate the importance of Morgan Burnett in the Packers’ secondary, turn on the tape from the games he’s missed in the past two seasons. The most notable was the Packers’ loss to New Orleans in 2014. Without him, the defense struggled to line up correctly and was burned by Drew Brees and the powerful Saints offense for 495 total yards. New Orleans won 44-23.
Burnett has become a key piece on defense for the Packers in recent years, and he finally got a partner at safety capable of matching his level of play in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Between them, the Packers now have one of the brightest young tandems at the position in the NFL.
In 2015, Burnett was ranked No. 4 among 89 graded safeties by Pro Football Focus. Clinton-Dix was at No. 8. Burnett’s grade of 88.5 falls into PFF’s ‘Pro Bowl’ category. He earned an outstanding 91.2 grade in run defense, which is hardly surprising.
Selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Burnett has become a key piece to the Packers’ defense and a leader on the team. Along with Clinton-Dix, the defense is set at safety just a few years after it was the team’s biggest weakness.
Next: No. 16 (Ray's pick)