Recapping Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s 2017 season and looking ahead to 2018 for the former Pro Bowler and first-round draft selection.
When the Green Bay Packers selected Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round in 2014, I could not have been happier. He was a key starter for the best college football program at Alabama and led one of the best defenses to two national championships.
After the 2013 offseason, the Packers needed safety help badly. The promising career of Nick Collins was over, and players like M.D. Jennings and Charlie Peprah clearly were not talented enough to start games.
An uncharacteristic 8-7-1 season led to the Packers selecting 21st overall in the first round. That allowed them to take one of my favorite players coming out of college.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for Clinton-Dix, however. He has yet to put up consistent. His 2016 season, which saw him go to a pro bowl, has been his best thus far.
Season in review
Clinton-Dix was one of two defensive starters to start all 16 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2017. He was one of the most consistent pieces during the season which saw many other inconsistencies.
Clinton-Dix may not have performed as well as many hoped, but you could always expect him to be out on the field competing.
However, his effort in the season finale versus Detroit has been well documented. Former Packers star safety, LeRoy Butler, called Clinton-Dix out for a lack of effort on a Lions deep touchdown pass.
Here is the play that many criticized him for:
His effort on this play really magnified the problem that was evident all season. Many times, he missed easy tackles and failed to make big plays.
It is a shame, really. He is capable of so much, yet when the game doesn’t matter, his effort goes down considerably.
Looking ahead to 2018
When the 2018 season starts, Packers safety Morgan Burnett may be playing for a different football team. If that is the case, the pressure will mount for Clinton-Dix. He would be the leader of the secondary unless the Packers bring in veteran free agents.
If Burnett is back with the green and gold, Clinton-Dix will still face pressure to perform at a high level.
He is entering a contract year. Lately, when a notable starter hits a contract year, they have a huge season then leave in free agency (Casey Hayward, Tramon Williams, Greg Jennings).
When he is on the top of his game, Clinton-Dix is a top 10 safety in the league. It really all depends on how competitive the Packers are throughout the year.
Maybe with it being a contract year will put some pep in his step and he has a career year for the Packers. He is someone the organization needs so the team can return to the playoffs and beyond.