OK kids it is that time of year again, draft talk is everywhere. Who will be taken number one and who are the top ten picks gets way more play then it should. In fact, I think it has got to the point of being sickening. We as Packer fans don’t get included in all that TOP ten blather and that is a good thing.
Over the off season a lot of what I hear at my usual hang out TalkinPackers and just about every place else I partake in everything Packers is about the Packers having to fix the middle of the defense, specifically at Safety. I can’t disagree that safety is a top need. I disagree on the type of safety needed. I have even gone so far as to say that two need to be drafted, both a Free Safety and Strong.
The two highest ranked Safeties are HaHa Clinton-Dix out of Alabama and Calvin Pryor from Louisville. I like Haha, not so much Pryor. I would take Clinton-Dix at #21 but not Pryor. Some of the recent mocks have the Packers taking Jimmy Ward at #21, that would be a reach to me, I just can’t believe that there would not be prospects rated a lot higher at that point in this draft. I like Ward and you can’t discount ninety five tackles and seven int’s his senior year.
With changes in the passing game in the NFL today you need a FS/CB and SS/FS. And in Capers defense the ability to play either spot is even more important. You can hide coverage’s, roll the FS to the slot and blitz the slot CB. To go with that, disguise who is playing SS and who is FS, who drops, who stays in the box. With so many 3, 4 and 5 players running pass routes, coverage ability is a premium.
Clinton-Dix is the safety in this draft that I think can do everything and do it well. He can play in the box, deep third, deep half and slide over to the slot to cover. Pryor to me is more an in the box guy then coverage. I would even take Ward over Pryor, but as I said neither at #21.
The biggest question at this point is what is done with Micah Hyde, is he moved to safety? Or at least sees a lot time there in different situations? Mike McCarthy has stated he wants Hyde on the field more. The move to Safety makes a lot of sense and he is a better athlete then either Ha Ha or Pryor. His experience in the defense is a huge advantage going into the 2014 season. But whether he is moved to Safety or not, the safety group has to be upgraded.
One of my favorite FS/CB types is Terrence Brooks, FS from Florida State, he is 5-11 198#. A classic FS/CB type to me. He can play in all coverage’s and plays well against the run. I would take him in the 2nd round.<
At Strong Safety, I think this player is under rated, Deone Bucannon SS Washington 6’ 212#. Can play in the box, and center field, good balls skills. Lots of question as to where he should go. I like Brooks more at #53.
My next Safety is a SS/FS type out of Baylor Ahmad Dixon 6-0’ 212# Baylor. For me I think he can develop into the best Strong Safety in the draft. Can play both SS and FS in the Packers defense. Good spot would be the Packers extra third round pick.
Another CB/FS I like is Jaylen Watkins Florida. Like Brooks , Watkins played CB and FS, mostly CB for the Gators. Moved to Safety his senior year. 3rd rounder to me, with two third round picks Watkins would be a great pick. This pick would also address CB depth.
All of these players would improve the speed of the team and the middle of the defense.
Editor’ Note: As has become our tradition, every draft season we bring you some looks at the “not the top prospect players:” at various positions. Spearheading that effort is special contributor Don “Yoop” Christensen from the TalkinPackers Forum, who delights in finding the hidden gems in every year’s draft pool.