Analysis: Packer fans rejoice! Their patience pays off and they get the top rated prospect at their biggest position of need without having to trade up. Clinton-Dix should be a starter from day one alongside Morgan Burnett.
Clinton-Dix has great range and is able to cover a large area of the field despite not having blazing straight line speed. He had 2 interceptions last year to go along with 46 tackles. There are some injury concerns, as he is coming off arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
How does he fit with the Packers?: As I pointed out here, safety was the number one need for the Green Bay Packers. HaHa’s ability to play the “centerfield” role will allow Morgan Burnett to do the things that he does best (tackle, blitz). He’s a very good athlete and comes from a 3-4 system at Alabama. His ability to play the single-high safety roles will allow Dom Capers to be more creative on defense which is always a good thing. I cannot think of a more drastic upgrade that could have come from this draft than going from MD Jennings (no disrespect intended) to HaHa Clinton-Dix. Ted Thompson was able to perfectly marry need with value at 21, where in a league in which the safety position is becoming more and more valuable he stood pat at 21 and selected the best safety in this draft. No one in this draft could “fit” any better.
NFL Comparison: Louis Delmas
Clinton-Dix is a rangy and fluid athlete with the ability to play deep center field or come up in the box. He is not Nick Collins fast but a 4.58 40-yard dash is fine combined with his kind of instincts and size. Also, should be able to line up against tight end and slot receivers in man coverage and hold up well. Dom Capers will love his versatility.
Delmas has the same kind of qualities when he is on the field and similar speed and size. Clinton-Dix should be able to stay on the field a lot more than Delmas.
PackersTalk.com writers Ross Uglem, Ian Hanley and Matt Bove contributed to this article.
Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
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