Let's All Do The Safety DancePosted:May 9th, 2014 3:24 am
You know the mantra: you don't draft for need in the first round; you draft the best player on the board. The reality is, need figures into it and for the Packers those two converged when they picked at #21.
The Packers' defense has not been the same since Nick Collins' career-ending injury and after a few years of trying small school guys and undrafted guys, Ted Thompson saw a big time talent from a big time program fall into his lap at #21. You have to believe the Browns called the Packabout trading up to grab Manziell, but when Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was still on the board, Ted no doubt politely hung up.
In Clinton-Dix, the Packers get an opening day starter, a sure tackler and a guy with good enough coverage skills to match up with the big time tight ends the Pack will face this season like Gronk, Graham and the Lions' rookie Ebron.
He has a couple of red flags: he missed two games via a suspension last season, after allegedly accepting a loan from an assistant coach. His numbers were stronger in '12 than they were in '13, which is surprising and a bit concerning. Not to mention that a number of 'Bama defenders have disappointed in recent years.
But Clinton-Dix is stepping into an ideal situation and will no doubt be comfortable hanging with former teammate Eddie Lacy. Hopefully he'll have a similar impact that Kenny Vaccaro had with the Saints last season. Gotta believe most draft graders will give the Pack an 'A' on this pick, as silly as that is before he even takes the field.
Seems like a natural to wear #36, don't you think? Check that, word is out that he'll wear #21. That works too.
As for Friday's gameplan, I'd be surprised if the Pack doesn't end up with a WR and a TE among the three picks Thompson currently has.