Depth at cornerback could enable the Packers to move Davon House to safety
The release of Charles Woodson leaves a potential hole in the secondary heading into the 2013 season. And while both M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian played a significant number of snaps in 2012 and both showed potential, there’s no guarantee that either youngster is ready to be a full-time starter. General manager Ted Thompson is almost certain to add a safety in the next few months, but there might already be a player on the current roster with the skills to play the position at a fairly high level.
In my opinion, Davon House has the potential to be a very good safety in the National Football League. In fact, after watching him closely at training camp and throughout the regular season, I actually think that would be his best position. The former New Mexico State star is a decent cornerback, but I don’t think he has the physical skills to ever be much more than that. He does not bend easily and he shows some stiffness in his movement. He also tends to rise in his backpedal and he does not transition very efficiently.
On the other hand, House is built to play safety. He has good height (6-1), adequate weight (196, with the frame to carry an additional 10 pounds) and plenty of straight-line speed (4.44). He also supports the run fairly aggressively when healthy and faces up ballcarriers. After playing cornerback throughout his career, he’d obviously need time to make the transition to safety, but that’s what offseasons are for.
With Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Casey Hayward clearly ahead of him on the depth chart, it make sense to give a player as talented as House a chance to get on the field more often. Switching him to safety would do just that. A year ago some people snickered when I suggested moving T.J. Lang from guard to center. It turns out coach Mike McCarthy contemplated doing just that before signing free agent Jeff Saturday. This would be an even more radical idea, but I think it’s one worth considering.