Packers projected to make bold move for top safety in free agency

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Green Bay Packers / Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY

Safety is the Green Bay Packers' number one need entering the offseason, but the upcoming draft class isn't deep at the position.

There's a strong possibility no safeties will go in the first round, and NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has none in his top 50 prospect rankings. It's not ideal for the Packers, who need upgrades at the position with Darnell Savage, Jonathan Owens, and Rudy Ford hitting free agency.

General manager Brian Gutekunst could turn to free agency, something he has done in the past. Needing upgrades at the position in 2019, Gutekunst signed veteran Adrian Amos in the opening week of free agency before trading up for Savage in the first round.

Without much depth at the position in the draft, there may be an even greater need to use free agency.

Packers named best fit for Giants free-agent safety Xavier McKinney

Several free-agent safeties could interest the Packers, who are shifting defensive philosophies and will play a lot of single-high coverages next season. One name to watch is New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney.

ESPN's Matt Bowen recently named the best team fits for the top 2024 free agents. Bowen chose the Packers as an ideal landing spot for McKinney.

"This might be a stretch given the Packers' history in free agency, but McKinney can play both safety spots, with the ability to cover down and create range in the post. He had three interceptions last season with the Giants, and I see him as a good fit for a Packers defense that will change its coverage and pressure tendencies under defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley."

ESPN's Matt Bowen

Whether Green Bay would be willing to pay McKinney what he wants remains to be seen, but he would undoubtedly upgrade the defense. The former second-round pick is coming off a career year with the Giants.

According to Pro Football Reference, McKinney allowed only one touchdown in his coverage all season and gave up a passer rating of just 69.8. Along with three interceptions, McKinney set a new career-best in pass defenses with 11.

The exciting part is he can still improve. McKinney is only 24 years old and was a high draft choice.

The Giants won't want to lose him, and if McKinney does hit free agency, the Packers would likely face plenty of competition. Spotrac projects he will earn an average salary of $10.4 million. Is that too high for Green Bay?

The Packers need reinforcements in the secondary. Signing McKinney would be a great way to start.

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