1st round (#21 overall): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama
Through all the sweat, tears, and Manziel mania on Day 1, the Packers were able to sit back and get their guy in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix out of the University of Alabama.
The Packers addressed arguably their biggest need in the first round, as they were the only team in the NFL that did not have an interception by a safety last year. Many scouts had the two-year starter from Alabama ranked higher than Calvin Pryor, but the New York Jets decided to pull the trigger on the hard-hitting safety out of Louisville at pick number 18.
Coupled with C.J. Mosley going off the board to Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens at 17, the Packers front office was crossing their fingers that Clinton-Dix would fall just three more picks. It just so happened that Clinton-Dix, projected by many as a top-10 talent, fell into the Packers lap at 21 and GM Ted Thompson was able to get both the best player available and a player that fills a need.
How he fits with the Green Bay Packers
As I mentioned previously, the Packers had minimal contributions from their safeties last year. M.D. Jennings is the Chicago Bears’ problem now and Morgan Burnett should be very worried about his starting role with Micah Hyde expected to get a lot of opportunities to prove himself this year. Clinton-Dix should start immediately in a secondary that is desperate for play makers. Many Packers’ fans will remember that the secondary of the 2010 Super Bowl team wasn’t the most stout, but it knew how to create turnovers.
What to expect tonight
Possible picks: Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Troy Niklas, CJ Fiedorowicz
With no true starter on the Packers roster, it would be wise to assume the Packers will select a tight end on Day 2. Amaro and Seferian-Jenkins will probably be gone by the 53rd pick, so the Packers will probably take a long look at Troy Niklas out of Notre Dame or C.J. Fiedorowicz out of Iowa in the 3rd round.
Possible picks: Chris Borland, Shayne Skov, Preston Brown
Chris Borland is the only projected 2nd round pick of this bunch, and he is drawing comparisons to a former pro-bowler in Zach Thomas. Borland is a high-energy kind of guy out of Wisconsin, but is a bit small for an inside linebacker. Again, it’s all about value for Thompson, so don’t expect him to reach for any of these guys.
Possible picks: Weston Richburg, Travis Swanson
Mike McCarthy doesn’t seem as worried as I am about the center position for 2014. J.C. Tretter is slated to be the starter even though he has never played a snap of professional football. Thompson wanted to bring back Evan Dietrich-Smith, but not at the price that the Tampba Bay Buccaneers payed for him. If the Packers can find value at the center position in the second round, they would be wise to draft someone whose main goal is to protect their most valuable asset, Aaron Rodgers.
The Best Available Player
General Manager Ted Thompson continues to indicate that he will select the best player available, so don’t be shocked if the Packers choose a player that doesn’t fill a position of need. There have been a number of rumors that the Packers will select a wide receiver in this draft (maybe Jarvis Landry out of LSU), to replace the hole left by the departure of James Jones.