M.D. Jennings: 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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M.D. Jennings
M.D. Jennings

1) Introduction:  Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings entered the 2013 season primed to compete with Jerron McMillian for the starting safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett.  In fact, the Packers largely brought Jennings back to push McMillian, who they had really hoped would win the job.  After splitting reps nearly evenly in 2012, Jennings won the starting role.  That McMillian was released in early December for his poor play and attitude says something about the quality of that competition to begin with.  Many expected Packers general manager Ted Thompson to address the safety position in last year’s draft, which had quite a few high-value options to choose from.  That wasn’t the case and the Packers banked on either Jennings or McMillian taking a step forward.  That also wasn’t the case.  While Jennings was durable and started every game, he was rarely a factor and if brought back in 2014, it would be solely for competition or special teams purposes.

2) Profile:

Melvin Delanie “M.D.” Jennings

  • Age: 25
  • Born: 7/25/1988 in Grenada, MS
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 195
  • College: Arkansas State
  • Rookie Year: 2011
  • NFL Experience: 3 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Jennings was given the opportunity to win a starting spot but was largely expected to merely be depth at the safety position in 2013.  After Packers general manager Ted Thompson chose not to address the safety position in the draft or in free agency, the door was open for Jennings to take a step forward and secure his role on the team.  After making a few big plays in 2012, the hope was that Jennings would make a jump from year two to year three and become a diamond in the rough to add to Thompson’s list.  The Packers needed that complimentary player next to Burnett who could cover and flash their ball skills.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Jennings best game came in week three against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Jennings had a sack in that game and graded out positively in run support, according to Pro Football Focus.  That’s where the positives ended with Jennings and if not for that one play, Jennings would get an F across the board from me.  He did nothing the rest of this season, barely grading out positively on a few occasions.  One of the knocks on Jennings coming into this season was his constantly being out of position and getting beat deep.  That trend unfortunately continued in 2013.  Jennings had no interceptions and never really sniffed a ball all season long, which isn’t surprising considering PFF’s overall grade of -5.2 for Jennings on the year.  He was a perpetual lawn ornament and on the field mostly because the Packers had to field 11 guys.  This all sounds harsh but the reality is on the tape.  Jennings gave up a passer rating of 148.8 this season where a perfect rating is 158.3.  That constitutes failure, to me.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Jennings’ one quarterback sack was his lone contribution to the Packers this season.  As a safety in a pass-heavy NFL and who started all but one game, that is a putrid output.  As Packers followers, we have become spoiled with some great safety play over the years.  This wasn’t one of them and Jennings was as ordinary as they come.  He showed no play-making ability and did nothing to elevate the secondary or defense.  He was a non-contributor.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Jennings graded out positively in run support during the wild card game against the San Francisco 49ers but did nothing in pass coverage.

Season Report Card:

(D-) Level of expectations met during the season

(F) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(D-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D-


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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24 thoughts on “M.D. Jennings: 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

  1. I love these evaluations. These, and the subsequent conversation, are what originally drew me into this site.

      1. …and if you have any extra cool Packer swag hanging around, let me know and I’ll get you mailing address… 😉

  2. So you’re saying that you like him, eh. Think about this. Next year, we start with an under performing Morgan Burnett and Jennings. To get better, we will need to draft talent that picks up our complex scheme very quickly or retrain Micah Hyde. It would be nice to use this past year as the building block and move forward in 2014. Instead, we basically start over – looking for talent to play this crazy defense. This defense should have sprouted by now with all the drafting and attention sent its way. Arrrrrgh!

    1. ME liking Jennings, or Jason? I was calling for the Packers to find a Bob Sanders (without the injuries) or Troy Polamalu type safety at this point last year (a little pie-in-the-sky, I know), so, no. Not a fan of Jennings. ST contributor at best…

      I really like the report cards, though. I like to see these kinds of analyses of individuals as we lead into FA and the draft…and I like the debate that follows.

      1. Sorry, I should have been clearer about the comment directed at Jason. It was tongue-in-cheek.

        I just know that I am going to keep wincing as Jersey Al ranks many of these players.

  3. I believe it’s not that TT didn’t address the S situation, he had drafted someone the year before and his “draft and develop” model suggested that McMillan was supposed to make a leap from year one to year two. For whatever reason, that didn’t take place and the Packers were left with really bad safety play. — the key with draft and develop is that the players need to develop. If they don’t, as was the case with McMillan, then the system fails. — why Burnett also sucked all year is beyond me. Hopefully he clears his head and comes back to his normal level of play in 2014. GoPack!

  4. Burnett needs to be the eugene robinson of the defense…..just solid and dependable. ….we need another guy that can fly around and make.plays. burnett is a bigger concern to me than Jennings. ….cause we just gave him money

  5. Burnett needs to be the eugene robinson of the defense…..just solid and dependable. ….we need another guy that can fly around and make.plays. burnett is a bigger concern to me than Jennings. ….cause we just gave him money

  6. Burnett needs to be the eugene robinson of the defense…..just solid and dependable. ….we need another guy that can fly around and make.plays. burnett is a bigger concern to me than Jennings. ….cause we just gave him money

  7. I like the report card but I think the whole D- grade might be a little strong for him. It could just be my strong desire for the packers to add a safety instead of a cheerleader to the defense.

  8. Actually, a hot cheerleader might distract the offense. That’s more than our defense did some games….

  9. Since the days of Willie Wood the Packers have historically had good, solid, if not great play at safeties including, Johnnie Gray, Darren Sharper, George Teague, Eugene Robinson, Leroy Butler, Nick Collins and of course Wood’s HOF career. MD Jennings is just about the worst I can remember in over 50+ years as a Packers fan. His grade is well deserved unfortunately. The combination of him and Burnett during the 2013 season was absolutely deadly for the Packers. It cannot be allowed to repeat in 2014. Cut Jennings now and move on. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Jennings also didn’t have one pass defensed all year, not one. I don’t see how it’s possible to be on the field that much and not have at least one. Then I watched the 4th quarter of the Packers / Cowboys game when Dallas scored to go back up by 12 and understood. There’s M.D. Jennings with his back to Romo in front of Bryant in the back of the endzone, Touchdown! It’s really like playing with 10 guys on the field. Burnett’s not much better. The passer rating while both were on the field was 148.1. They allowed 46 catches, 9 TD’s, 612 yards, and not a pick between them.

  10. the risk of the draft and develop is that some player don’t develop. When 2 players at 1 position don’t develop, you end up with a season of poor play and it really hurts the team. When you miss that bad, it hard to make it up on the fly.

  11. Jason Perone drew the short straw with getting MD Jennings. Anything more than “He sucked” must have been a chore. 😀

    Nice job in making it a worthwhile read, Jason.

  12. Its almost as painful to read about him as to watch him play. Safety is a position just screaming for players to make plays. How ours can be so absent, or worse than absent, is beyond me. Its a bad reflection on m.d., I doubt hes taking a roster spot anymore. , I struggle to figure out how things got so bad. Its a worse reflection on management. How could they not find someone better at safety? I remember other in-season safety pickups who were marginal to ok. These guys were terrible.

  13. I like your ratings, Al. Except you’re being generous, F- for absolute failure across the board.

    This is my first season at this site and I enjoy reading the evaluation. Thanks. Nice job!

  14. Durable? Of course he was durable. He never hit anyone, fell down, broke a nail breaking up a pass (zero) or tweaked a hammy returning a pick. Excellent player evaluation and coaching….he was going to push McMillian for the starting role? Hilarious….nice job Ted & to that crackerjack coaching staff

  15. The grade was fair and Burnett’s grade can’t be more than a D+, this is the first time since the “two-way system” (circa 1950) that a safety did not have an interception. The run support was just as bad as the pass defense, Burnett withe the big contract not only did not have a pick but also led the team in tackles missed. The reason Jennings doesn’t tackle well besides poor technique is because when you see him in person in practice there is no way he weights 175 pounds soaking wet. the Packers assistant coaches have too much job security, Darren Perry needs to be put on “notice/probation” for the complete failure of his position – another year like 2013 and he has to go.

  16. I was concerned (as were probably most Packer fans)about the safety spot from the get go.There’s a reason they’re called safeties.It’s the last line of the defense.I have to say though,for all the deserved criticism the defense got and deserved again this year, I thought they played their hearts out in the playoff game.I put that loss squarely on the shoulders of Rogers (way under threw a wide open Jones for 6) and the offense for not putting up more than 20 points at home.The defense was playing without Matthews,and lost Shields right off the bat. Followed shortly by Neil, then Bulumba. As Rogers said himself,our D holds the other team to 23 points we should win.

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