Green Bay Packers 2017 Draft: Red and black dot players on defense
By Dan Dahlke
Our “Red Dot” Safeties
Kyle — Eddie Jackson, Alabama
My love for Jackson might be misleading. I don’t think he’s someone you should grab early in this draft, but I do believe he might have been taken in the first 2 rounds if he had been able to play in 2016. He’s a former cornerback who can cover tight ends and man up in the slot. He also has additional draw as return man. He won’t be ready to start immediately, but he presents an opportunity to get a future starting safety and returner on Day 3 of the draft. I want to roll the dice on this one.
Dan — Budda Baker, Washington
Baker is an exciting player to evaluate. He can do so many things well on the field. While he does excel up near the line of scrimmage as an in-box safety, he has the coverage ability and athleticism to defend the slot as a nickel cornerback. Many will knock him because of his size (5-10, 195), but Baker packs a punch and is one of the most physical defensive backs in the 2017 class. He’s a dynamic player and could be an interesting chess piece to have on defense.
Our “Black Dot” Safeties
Kyle — Josh Jones, N.C. State
Josh Jones is a prospect that is hot on the scene right now. He tested incredibly well and has a lot of the tools you look for in a safety. Good speed and athleticism. But his aggression, which allows him to make splash pays, also causes him to make mistakes as well. While I believe Jones is a solid developmental prospect, he’s being touted as a 2nd round pick by many. I can’t get on board with that. There are far too many sloppy plays and missed tackles.
Dan — Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville
It’s hard to know what to do with Harvey-Clemons. Some see him as a nickel coverage linebacker in the NFL, as he measures in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. However, Harvey-Clemons really struggled in coverage as a back-end safety, especially when asked to cover a slot receiver or tight end one-on-one. And while he shows some downhill ability against the run, he is a bit too slow to react to plays and a step late in getting in position to make plays. He also had several failed drug tests in college, which is another red flag about his game. Overall, there are just too many questions marks with his game for me to feel confident he’ll fit well in an NFL locker room.
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