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Packers' Safeties Group Could Undergo Slight Revamp

The Packers haven't had a true playmaker at the safety position for too long. Is it time to pounce on the opportunity and finally grab one?

 

-- The likelihood of the Green Bay Packers standing pat with their 14th overall selection in April's NFL Draft seems more and more likely by the day.

The likelihood of them drafting a safety is ascending just as fast.

Without true, quality safety play from the back end of their defense in 2017, the Packers enter 2018 with a crucial financial -- and structural -- decision to make, and it all centers around Morgan Burnett.

Burnett, 29, is the oldest player in the Packers' secondary and he just finished out a contract year in which he started just 12 games and didn't record a single interception for the first time since 2015. His presence was more noticeable when he was off the field rather than on it, as without him, the Packers' defensive backs seemed to struggle in terms of communications and pre-snap alignment.

He's dubbed as the "quarterback of the defense," and he's also expected to reel in an annual salary of just under $10 million according to data from Spotrac.com.

That means Burnett's next deal could potentially surpass $40 million if there's a team that will require his services, and for someone as reliable and schematically impactful as he is, there's expected to be a few.

With or without Burnett, the Packers are on the fringes of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's worst season since entering the league in 2014, the undrafted Kentrell Brice ended the season on injured reserve and still lacks cover ability and last year's second-round draft pick, Josh Jones, may not be ready for a starting role as a traditional safety.

That may open the door to the Packers potentially drafting a full-time starter, whether it be to replace Burnett or rotate in with him.

A couple of mock drafts have already sent first-round safeties in Green Bay's direction. USA TODAY's Nate Davis mocked Florida State safety Derwin James to the Packers on Tuesday, and according to Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst, the Packers are very interested in Jessie Bates III out of Wake Forest.

Both James and Bates bring impressive size to the table, being 6-3 and 6-2, respectively. However, James has an extra 20 pounds on Bates, tipping the scale at 215 and providing whoever drafts him with a robust build that can commandeer and completely isolate one side of the field.

The only complication is that James, a free safety, wouldn't necessarily fit into the Packers' current depth chart given Clinton-Dix is currently the starter there. Adjustments could always be made if James is the kind of player he's projected to be.

Drafting an early-round safety would also give Jones the ability to play more in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage where he thrived in his rookie season. Rather that than fill Burnett's shoes at the back end of the defense, he can still remain the same, physical playmaker he showed flashes of being in 2017.

Albeit an unknown approach as it is unlikely under new general manager Brian Gutekunst, the Packers could also shop around for a safety at the expense of having to move around Clinton-Dix, as suggested above. The Los Angeles Rams' Lamarcus Joyner, the New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro and the San Francisco 49ers' Eric Reid are among the list of names headlining the safety market.

With every avenue of roster-building available to Gutekunst's regime, the likely approach is still that they'll tackle the safety position via the draft -- the only question remains if whether or not they'll do so in the early rounds or in the later stages of day two.

The highest safety the Packers have drafted in recent memory was Clinton-Dix at 21st overall in 2014.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Nick Perry's picture

The Packers IMO HAVE to draft a pass rusher with their 1st round pick. We could have Earl Thomas and Ed Reed back there but without a pass rush someone will always get open.

I'd love Joyner but he'll be pricier that Burnett most likely. I'd also say pass on Burnett at $10 million a year. He doesn't make enough game changing plays to justify a salary of $10 million IMO. Not to mention he does seem to get dinged up for a least a few games more seasons than not and he's only getting older.

I read an interesting idea somewhere, maybe here or from a comment here. They suggested moving Randall to FS, HHCD to SS, and sign a gut like Colvin or Butler to pair with King. Randall just might make a bigger impact at FS which is where he played in college. IMO that just might make the best combination at safety for the Packers without dishing out another huge contract for a aging safety.

The TKstinator's picture

IF there is a pass rusher worthy of selecting at 14, GB should take him. BUT GB does NOT want another Jamal Reynolds.

croatpackfan's picture

It looks like Packers will have oportunity to pick the best or the second best pass rusher, giving the table made by many "draftniks"...

I think they will take Clay heir... Second round I see CB and 3rd raound TE...

Also compensatory 3rd picks will be used, by my opinion for S (one of them!),

stockholder's picture

I think a QB will be taken. My hope is Mason Rudolph might be that Packer in the second round. (Because the clay type LB will be gone. Before that 2nd pick. ) {If your looking for a clay replacement they'll have to trade up.} I'm looking at the top all -pro defensive type in 1. (Regardless of position.) Rd. 3 is Lb. Because this is where the underclassman are. So NO trades; gets you a DL, QB, LB, OL. (Comp.) Free Agency is your TE.

croatpackfan's picture

I wrote CB in the 2nd round. The ywill pick Clay hair in the 1st round!

And no way they will pick QB that high!

stockholder's picture

The CB will be taken in the first round, because of BPA. otherwise LATE gamble ! I like Edmunds as the Hair. ( But if you look at his forty time. Small school. NO! ) If you look at any forty time, pre combine. (No OLB will be taken by the Packers in the first round.) And I don't believe they get a shot at OLB, unless they trade up like they did in 2009. The thing to watch is the Bench press. 30 Bps or they shouldn't select any LINEMAN. Thats why I'm saying QB in the 2nd. The tea leaves say QB may be the better option with Philbin ,A-Rods body,age, contract ,etc. But if I was going to go defense they should follow 2009 draft.

dobber's picture

Then I think someone needs to encourage him to grow it out a little more...

OrganLeroy's picture

Really, another Jamal Reynolds, do you realize how long ago that pick was made, that's a ridiculous statement. You might as well say, 'don't pick a CB @ 14 because you don't want another Ahmad Carroll'.

OrganLeroy's picture

Really, another Jamal Reynolds, do you realize how long ago that pick was made, that's a ridiculous statement. You might as well say, 'don't pick a CB @ 14 because you don't want another Ahmad Carroll'.

The TKstinator's picture

It’s not a ridiculous statement. It’s an example of how wrong a pick can be: pass rusher, 1st round, cornerback, second round, left handed long snapper from a pac-10 team, third round, cross dressing cross eyed interior designer interior offensive lineman, fourth round, etc.
You gotta go with your board, let things fall as they may.

Also, when you accuse The TKstinator of Ridiculousness, Rob Dyrdek and you, OL, ain’t got nothin’!
(Neither does King Kong.)
(Nor Denzel.) (Training Day)

RCPackerFan's picture

"The Packers IMO HAVE to draft a pass rusher with their 1st round pick."

IF he is the best player available, then yes.

In the first round they HAVE to find the biggest playmaker. If thats ILB, DL, CB, OLB I don't care. They need someone that can change games.

I do agree that Pass rush is probably their biggest need. They just can't reach to take a rusher when another player maybe better.

It should really help the Packers that this is a great year for QB's and a lot of teams drafting ahead of the Packers are needing QB's.
As many as 6 teams drafting in the top 13 spots could draft a QB. Also the Cardinals at 15, and maybe a team lower like Buffalo would be trying to trade up to get the QB they want.

This honestly could be a perfect year for the Packers to be drafting higher. They could get a player fall to them that normally wouldn't. They can't limit themselves by taking a specific position. They just need the biggest playmaker available.

mrtundra's picture

I agree that the Packers need to draft the biggest playmaker on the board at 14, no matter what position he plays. If he falls that far, I'm hoping it's Bradley Chubb. He'd be a playmaker that definitely fills a need. I'm just hoping the Packers don't trade away 14 unless they are able to go up in the first round.

RCPackerFan's picture

You never know when a player may fall.

Just last year most people predicted Jonathan Allan to be in the top 5-10 picks and he was still on the board at 17.

I would be ok if they traded down a few spots if they got something good in return. Honestly would would be ideal is if they got on board and there was 1 more QB left that Arizona or someone else may want. A surprise team maybe the Chargers. They could move down to 17 and pick up some good picks.
Just depends on how the board falls.

Tundraboy's picture

Yup. It's that simple. Everything will flow from there. Get the best player. The one most likely to make an immediate impact. Other than QB and LT, we can find a spot for him.

RCPackerFan's picture

completely agree!

Personally I really don't want to draft an OL with that spot. I want to take a player that can make plays. They have been really good at finding OL in the middle of the draft. I'd wait until rounds 3-5 for OL. But that's just me.

stockholder's picture

RC= Ok ILB, R . Smith is the top one. Really OUTSTANDING!! But he's 6 foot , 225, 4.54 speed. The packers do not draft LBs under 6'3" anymore. The idea weight is 235-245. He's more 4-3-4. DL - I'm going to use Davenport here. 6'6 259. 4.77 Very Light bull rusher.? CB - @14- only 2 guys Davis ,Jackson. 6'1"200 both 4.5 guys. The burner is Ward smaller 5'10 4.37. The packers do not take a CB under 6'. I consider 4.52 slow. A CB will not play long with Wrs. at 4.3. OLB The great ones have the speed. 4.5 and below. No true OLB runs under 4.63 this draft.( of 50 guys I saw listed. ) So that leaves us at SS Here is your pick for playmaker. Derwin James should be your pick. 6'2" 211. 4.52 and below has been listed.(But he's coming back from an injury.) Is the BPA R.Smith?? The BPA may be WR. Thats if you want that game changer, and switch from defense.

dobber's picture

Unless they come up with at least two playable CBs in a combination of FA and draft, I suspect that they'll have little choice but to have Randall as one of their top 3 CBs in 2018. Maybe 2019, though, if HHCD continues to underwhelm. I think we'd all be unhappy to see the starting safety tandem in 2019 be Rollins and Randall...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Signing a CB and moving Randall to FS makes a lot more sense than paying Burnett 10mil in my opinion. He can jump over into the slot just as easily if Brice or Jones comes in.

dobber's picture

With the amount of nickel teams play, that third CB is essentially a starter. In my mind, Randall would have to either be your 4th CB or far-and-away better than your S talent for a move like that to pay off in 2018. I think they can build up CB depth to that point, though, and with HHCD playing out his 5th year option, it could happen a little further down the road...

OrganLeroy's picture

Randall's not moving to FS, his best position is slot CB and that's where he'll play, King on one boundary and a FA on the other boundary, expecting a rookie CB to man the other boundary without a dominant pass rush is a recipe for disaster!

Tundraboy's picture

Like last year. Need a pass rush!

carlos's picture

I actually suggested awhile back to put Randall at safety because of his play making ability. Someone else may have posted it also, but I don’t know. I could see him being s ball hawk back there.

HankScorpio's picture

I think it is a mistake to look at the defensive roster through the prism of what we've seen in the past under Capers. It's a new defense and everyone is starting from scratch. It's sort of a back to scouting reports situation with no real understanding of how the pieces fit.

Heading into the 2017 season, most thought the Safety group had pretty good depth and talent. Then we saw on the field a typical Capers disorganized mess. That was disappointing but not very surprising.

Like most other positions, it will be interesting to see what they do at Safety in the offseason. They may do nothing. If they do bring Burnett back, I don't think it will be at $10 mil/yr. That number seems inflated to me.

flackcatcher's picture

FA market will tell the tale on Burnett. I would not be surprised at 10 million plus. Who knows what going in the minds of owners and GM's these days.

dobber's picture

"I think it is a mistake to look at the defensive roster through the prism of what we've seen in the past under Capers."

This is the hard part because the Packers have tried to draft and develop their own talent, there are few players on the roster who have seen other coaching or have other film besides what we've seen. It's hard to imagine them being anything different from what they have been. We've all been asking for a change in coaching and intimating that the change should pay off immediately. For whom and at what positions remains to be seen.

HankScorpio's picture

If you truly believe that Capers was a big part of the problem, then you should *expect* the immediate pay off--to at least some degree. I did believe that and therefore I do expect that.

Sure, I'd love to add a whole bunch of talent to the defense. I'd love to add talent to offense and STs, too. But there is only so much of the roster that can and will be turned over. So they are going to need better performance from existing players. On the defensive side, I think that has the best chance of happening with the existing Safety group. So I wouldn't be shocked or disappointed if they largely stand pat with what they have.

OrganLeroy's picture

A voice of reason. Injuries and Capers were a big part of the failure on defense. I'm one of those guys that think we still have significant talent on the roster with obvious needs at boundary CB & pass rush.

Dzehren's picture

See Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde and Lawrence Guy

packrulz's picture

I agree. Burnett just had a bad year, zero interceptions, and is 29. How many teams will be lining up to pay him $10/mil a year? The Packers will probably let him test the FA market, but I think they can sign him to a cheaper deal. They need to draft an OLB or CB first.

The TKstinator's picture

If a TRUE playmaker at safety isn’t available, I’d settle for a false one.

dobber's picture

FAKE PLAYS!!

The TKstinator's picture

If GB drafts a GREAT player at 14, I don’t care where he lines up.

Nick Perry's picture

Hmmmm...Interesting thought. I said above the Packers have to draft a pass rusher BUT if the player they draft is GREAT, then take him without looking back. The Packers just don't have many GREAT players.

The TKstinator's picture

Same page, brochacho!
(And check out my ‘Jamal Reynolds’ reference above!)

croatpackfan's picture

Now, you sound more reasonable...

fthisJack's picture

i believe in taking the BPA no matter what the position at 14. if that is James, i would snap him up in a heartbeat. maybe it would send a message to HaHa that he is expendable if he keeps playing like a puss. a tandem of those 2 could be formidable and help the secondary immensely.

stockholder's picture

I don't see a Great player at #14. I see Upside. Development, and NEED. Any WR is going to take Time. No TE Here period. OL very unlikely. Rb- Just NO. QB? ( TRADE Back COMING? ) 4 defensive players possible. Davenport, Vita, Edmunds, James. If they want better it's trade up.

Razer's picture

Good assessment. I would add a stud CB is also an option at 14. Too bad we didn't have two picks in the first. John Dorsey will be raking in talent this year.

dobber's picture

We don't talk about LT as a possible draftee at #14, but it's a premium position and bringing in a top-flite LT early (if he's clearly the best player on the board) and plugging him in on the right side until he can go to the left side and replace Bakhtiari might not be a bad move. Who says that Bulaga can't eventually be the Packers starting RG?

stockholder's picture

We don't talk about it because of Spriggs. Someone had to think he was the berries. It's Spriggs or bust. I almost think Q. Nelson would have a shot, but the demand for defense is to great. Especially with a new DC coming in.

OrganLeroy's picture

You do realize how young Bahk is don't you, but you want to waste a 1st round pick on a future LT just to play RT for 5-6 years? I think that's a very very bad idea.

dobber's picture

I also think that the way the Packers have structured his contract, his cap hit is not insignificant (this year he moves into the $11M range and the next two he's near $14M, with an out after 2019 at a $3M cap hit) and it's likely his next deal will be just as big--since he is pretty young--if he continues to play well and stay healthy. My point is that there's room for a really good OT on this team at #14.

carlos's picture

You always have some good interesting ideas dobber.

carlos's picture

Especially with number 12 back there. We saw what can happen when he gets hurt. Maybe in the near future they’ll be better prepared if 12 gets nicked up.

Tundraboy's picture

Yup.

Lphill's picture

Drafting at 14 we need the best pass rusher available or if there is a true shut down corner , I would not go safety first round. Either way our first two picks have to be defensive players that can make an impact right away no experiments or learning a new position and waiting 3 years for them to develop.

The TKstinator's picture

What if “the best pass rusher” is the next Andre Wadsworth? He was “can’t miss”, and for a variety of reasons, he did!

OrganLeroy's picture

Do you actually understand what your posting? Do you have any idea how many 1st round draft picks have washed out in the NFL? It's a crap shoot, everyone knows that, these statements you're making are just stupid!

The TKstinator's picture

First of all, learn to spell “you’re” before you go throwing the “stupid” my way...
Second of all, if you are suggesting that you can determine GB’s positions of need, that is hardly brilliant analysis.
Third of all, if you think GB (or any team) should go into the draft with a round by round, position by position plan, I can think of someone not named “The TKstinator” whose thought process is a few bricks shy of a load.

Fountaintown's picture

How about taking the best player available regardless of position (excluding QB) instead of reaching for a position of need? I'm sick of hearing "take THIS position in THIS round". You're setting yourself up to pass over potential game changers so you can fill your short term needs

dobber's picture

"I'm sick of hearing "take THIS position in THIS round"."

I can't like this statement enough!

Let the flow of the draft dictate your strategy...

worztik's picture

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.... ahh yes... peeing in the good ol’ days!!!!

The TKstinator's picture

I’m glad someone else “gets it” too...

worztik's picture

I don’t see how a shutdown corner or a super hitter safety would be a short term fix??? Palamolo anyone???

worztik's picture

I’m still amazed, and in awe, when I see Greg Jennings hold onto that SB TD pass from AROD after Troy knocked his jock into next week... WOW!!!!

The TKstinator's picture

Maybe 85 had a time machine.

worztik's picture

I wish I had one!!! We could go back and buy a bunch of ‘63 split window vettes and another dozen or so of Hemi Cuba’s and Challengers and... but I digress!!!!

carlos's picture

If the best player is a wide receiver- take him. Simple as that.

CAG123's picture

Being from NC I catch my fair share of WF games and Bates is a baller he’s a little on the lean and may have to add a few pounds but the kid is a real centerfielder at the FS position he’s got great range and ball skills the plus side is he’s more projected as a mid rounder at least until the combine. I also feel like the Packers need a LB to pair with Blake I’m just not sold on the current crop after him and this draft is loaded with some good ones after seeing TT whiff on so many during his tenure I hope BG can hit on one.

The TKstinator's picture

I think “a little lean” is a much easier fix than “a little too slow” or “a little too crappy”.

flackcatcher's picture

Good overview Zach. The Packers lost of Nick Collins really cost this team. What a secondary the Packers would have had with Collins, Woodson, Burnett and Hyde manning the SS and slot positions. Completely changed the direction of this team with Collins forced retirement. What might have been......

Razer's picture

Flackcatcher's comment about Nick Collins puts the whole discussion about safety in perspective. The Packers have floundered at this position for many years. Like too many weaknesses, we have persistent problems on this team, particularly on defense. It is why I was not sorry to see Ted and Darren Perry go. Time to start checking off some of these boxes.

Donster's picture

Agree that the first round should be a pass rusher. And maybe the Pack can make a trade of one of their late round picks and or compensation picks to move up to grab a safety in the first or second round. I'd like to see them draft Josey Jewell third or fourth round if possible. Adds depth, and the guy is a tackling machine. Imagine Jewell and Martinez in the middle together? Along with
a real rushing outside LB would be challenging to an offense. That would help the secondary. I agree that Burnett isn't worth $10 million. But a team with deep pockets may very well pay him that. And I believe it will be advantageous to current players, and Burnett if he does return, to play under Pettine.

Razer's picture

At one point, i thought that we had answered our questions at safety BUT as we head into next season, there are more questions than answers. Without Burnett, who is solid, we are left with Clinton Dix. After what he showed down the stretch, I don't even want him on the team. Not only did he play poorly, his attitude and lack of effort was cut-worthy.

Burnett is not a top 10 safety but he does solidify an otherwise soft secondary. Without him we have more holes in a 'holey' pass defense. If he leaves we are 2 studs short otherwise I think one good CB gets us respectability. This may be Gutekunst biggest first challenge.

fthisJack's picture

i know there is a need for a pass rusher but it seems to me all the top guys that may be there at 14 have warts and i don't think would be considered BPA. Gute has to go BPA regardless of position. we need someone that can come in and have an impact immediately. i like this idea of James at S. i think he would be the BPA at 14 and he might light a fire under that underperforming HHCD azz! if that happened it would be a formidable tandem at S.

Madfan's picture

First, I think the OLB position is much more important than S. At 14 the Packers have a chance to draft a difference make at a premier position. Even if they need to package a third with the first to move up, they should do it.

Second, I think the Packers need veteran leadership in the secondary. With King, Randall, Jones, Brice, Pipkins, Hawkins, Whiteside, etc, and a draftee, where is the veteran leadership in the secondary? Clinton-Dix surely did not fit that role last season and did not show that he could wear the head set. Burnett somewhat fits the bill, but age, contract cost and limited ability to learn a new defense work against him (two years to learn the current defense). Sign a FA veteran S.

worztik's picture

I’m amazed at all these comments today. CB, CB, CB, CB and another CB!!!! I just watched III’s highlights video at WF... he plays like a corner... can you say Demarious Randall??? No punch at the tackle... looks like a push you after the play’s over guy. Good ball skills but,...??? If we’re taking a S at #14, we need the big guy mentioned, not a 195#er. Pass rusher is ambiguous, DE or OLB? Another Fackrell... NO! It’s all a crap shoot at pass rusher. We are all so fixated on certain positions, myself included (CB), that we tend to forget just why we’re in this untenable position, drafting for so much perceived need, and it all falls back on the illustrious one... Ted Thompson!!! If we had had an aggressive GM the past few years, we would be adding to already established positions and not trying to fix all of the problems he created in one draft... in 3 rounds! Look at ALL the positions of need... TE, WR, RT, RG, OLB x 2, S, CB and maybe a BACKUP QB... can you say sarcasm? And, I didn’t even mention DE. We need a LOT!!! I do not envy the position that TT has left for the front office personnel!!!! Just wonderin’???

worztik's picture

Derwin James will probably be gone but, he’d be as welcome as anyone...in my not so humble opinion......

The TKstinator's picture

Better than in one’s “professional” opinion.

Handsback's picture

Question...how many rookies make an impact as pass rushers?
Answer.....not many. If Green Bay wants to assert pressure on the QB, it will havee to come from who they have now or can get from FA. That said, they need to draft a pass rusher, but I certainly wouldn't reach for one and doubt Gutsey would either.

worztik's picture

CBs are frequently the defensive rookie of the year!!!

rstain99's picture

Contrary to what you are hearing Butler from NE is a really good CB he would be your #1 guy right away, then you would still be able to get another rushing LB in the draft. Butler did not have a great year but past 2 2/2 years he has been really good. Some teams will be reaching out to him come free agency hopefully GB will win him over, as far as Burnett and Dix not there for the money they are paying them. Hopefully Pettine can bring some stability to the back end.

NitschkeFan's picture

I'd like to keep Burnett but not at $10 mill

As for getting an IMPACT player in the first round, I am all for trading UP from #14 using some of the 12 picks to move up to #8 or 9 IF they feel there is a real great prospect there who will not fall to 14.

Either that or move the 2nd round pick up into the late first round to grab a second high potential pick.

So round 1 EDGE
Late first round via trade, DB (either CB or Safety).

With the leftover round 5-7 picks look for depth and special teamers.

For the remaining holes try free agency for OL and TE.

On to the Super Bowl (barring significant injury)

Ryan Graham's picture

There's no real way of me knowing, but I have a bunch that Pettine is gonna want to jeep him around for a year or two to see what he's got with him left, and also with HHCD. I can definitely see a safety being taken toward the middle of the draft to compete if that's the route they take.

If BG decides to move on from Burnett I would think he's gonna sign someone for a year, and i think that would be a mistake. He may not flash all the time on tape but he's one of their better tacklers, and this defense has minimal veteran leadership. Matthews hasn't been and won't be that guy. Why not bring him back for two more years? Darren Perry is gone so he could help develop a guy like Josh Jones.

cheesehead1's picture

If we can get Burnett for less, then I would sign him, otherwise no way. Seems like a good team player but is hurt far to often. Same with Bulaga.

Tundraboy's picture

No all we need to do is light a fire under Dix's ass and hope Jones and some of the other guys improve this year. We have more pressing concerns and other priorities. OLB, TE, WR OL etc.

worztik's picture

That may be easier said than done... maybe he was pissed that we drafted another safety as high as we did... egos are prevalent amongst millionaires!!!!! I would suppose...

Colin_C's picture

Good article Zach! Though I'm pretty sure James played SS in college, not FS. Even if he didn't, it would be an easy transition, since he one of the best tacklers in this draft class, regardless of position. I'd like to see Burnett back with us, but if that doesn't happen, I'm all for drafting James if he falls to 14. He has a good chance to be a blue chip player in a few years.

Unless it's Ward, I hope we don't take a CB first. I think this years CB class is deep in the mid-rounds, with some day-one starters hidden in there. My sleeper pick is Quenton Meeks from Stanford. He's got great technique, is athletic enough, and physical against the run. He'd be a good 2-3 round pick. Also, watch out for Levi Wallace in the later rounds. Undersized, but the guy went from intramural football to starting for Bama' in 3 years. He's gonna surprise some people at the next level.

John Kirk's picture

Timing is so important. We're a victim of it on a couple of fronts.

First, we now supposedly have a GM who'll use the full arsenal of player acquisition but he's going to be hamstrung by the contract needed by our QB. So, all those years we needed the approach we're hearing about now is going to feel a lot like all the years wasted on not having this new approach. Nothing new under the sun due to timing.

Second, this draft is about as weak on top end talent as any draft I can recall. Ironically, the AJ Hawk draft was a draft such as this one. Outside of Saquon Barkley what sizzle is there at the top of this draft? The Top 10 looks to be as bland as you can get. As a draft fanatic, this one up high, bores me to death. Our 14th pick this year feels the same as mid to late 20's does in past years due to the lack of sizzle.

If ever there was a year to trade down this is the year. I know few want to hear that as we've seen that movie so many times but I don't see why we wouldn't? Our D is a mess and needs A LOT of help. What guy are we going to trade up for who is just going to flip the field for us on defense if we go up and get him? I don't think there's a single guy in this draft who would do that on paper. If we're staying put, I'll be awfully curious to see what offensive players are there for us to pick from. Rather have a Calvin Ridley than some sizzle free defender.

As for Burnett, I'm encouraged hearing talk of our love for another S. If true, the writing is on the wall that Morgan is gone. We can't afford to pay a guy like him when we could do so much better.

dobber's picture

"If ever there was a year to trade down this is the year."

I agree, and the hype surrounding the QB prospects should generate buyers...

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Don't spend a dime for Burnett, and don't sign anyone. We have far greater areas of need. Our safeties are talented; just young.

If we draft a bigtime safety in Round 1, move Jones to LB (inside or outside--wherever he looks best). This gives us desperately needed LB speed and explosion.

In fact, even if we draft a defensive front 7 talent in Round 1, I'd still consider moving Jones to LB. Then our front 7 would be scary explosive. And grabbing another safety in Round 2 isn't a bad option, either.

packerbackerjim's picture

I agree, but the fact remains CB is an area of need, maybe Best addressed in FA. I was impressed with Joshua Jackson being a converted WR, ala Sam Shields. Great hands.

jimtalkbox's picture

I think Pettine does some "1 High" looks and I'm not sure I'd trust anyone currently on our roster with that responsibility over Burnett.

Obviously, money is a factor, but if you're letting a solid starter go, you better have a dang good plan in replacing him. (ie. Not the McMillian/Jennings B.S.)

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I understand, but you're not taking into account the fact that Ted has devastated our salary cap. Ted has left us a paltry $21 million in cap space along with Rodgers's looming extension, bloated contracts with declining players, and a roster full of gaping holes and low athleticism.

It's an absolute mess.

We need to be cutting every overpaid player--not just pay cuts but outright releases--and signing virtually no one for 2018, while we fix this mess and set up 2019 and beyond. If we play this right, we could have over $50 million in space for extending Rodgers along with ascending talents on a younger, more athletic roster.

I really don't think many Packers fans have thought through this team's current predicament. WE CAN'T EVEN CONSIDER RE-SIGNING BURNETT OR SPENDING REAL MONEY ON A QUALITY FREE AGENT.

Ted has demolished our cap, and It's time for adults to take over and fix it.

dobber's picture

For general consumption, here's the current cap situation...

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

The problem isn't just our cap space.

As I pointed out above, the problem is our cap combined with Rodgers's extension and our hole-filled, low athleticism roster with declining players on expensive contracts.

Combine these factors, and Ted has left an absolute mess. We need actual adults making adult decisions with hard cuts, and a completely overhauled cap for 2019 and beyond.

Anything less is childish, impatient, and completely oblivious to the condition of this team and its cap.

dobber's picture

I wasn't contradicting you, I was just posting it for the general audience.

We've spent so many years watching a Packers team that was usually in the top half of the league in available cap space and looking forward with regard to resignings...it's just not the case, right now.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I know, I was just commenting with context.

Honestly, I'm pretty afraid our new GM is going to blow this by trying to go all-in for 2018...

...in other words, roster suicide.

carlos's picture

A Loyde, reality sure can suck.

lou's picture

"Slight Revamp", are you joking ? Acmepackingcompany just gave the Safety position a D- final grade. Look at the issues;

HaHa is a total mystery, either he was injured and kept it a secret or he flat out quit on the team.

Burnett at $10M ? They would not pay "impact play" Pro Bowlers Hayward ($5M) or Hyde ($6M - besides playing him out of position) why would they pay Burnett who never makes game changing plays and is close to 30 more than $3M-$4M a year.

Brice is is my understanding had an ACL, when can he play again and how well.

Jones is more suited as a LB.

To top it off, the team wanted to retain Darren Perry to coach that failing group again ?

This position might be the biggest hole on the team.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Oh, I don't think any position on this team can compete with Tight End for biggest hole.

lou's picture

I have to go with Tight End Andrew as bad as the Safety group is you nailed it.

dobber's picture

I thought Brice had some kind of Achilles injury, but here APC says ankle.

acmepackingcompany.com/2…

lou's picture

Rollins was the one Dobber that tore his Achilles, the slowest of the group to begin with, that does not bode well.

HankScorpio's picture

It's funny you should mention Hayward and Hyde...two guys that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is possible for talented players to look pedestrian in GB under Capers. They are Exhibits A & B on the case that the existing players can perform much better under Pettine than they looked under Capers last year.

Further, I don't think there is much in way of support that the Packers wanted to retain Darren Perry as the Safeties coach. Since they didn't do that. And he's currently jobless. Far more likely is they were allowing him to shill for a promotion to a vacant DC job without the black mark of a firing on his resume. So if Perry was part of the larger Capers issue, he's gone too.

What is on the roster now is a former Pro Bowler, a talented 2nd round pick and a trio of promising young players. They did indeed play very poorly last year. Maybe they can show the same performance improvement that Hayward and Hyde did once they started getting different coaching.

Duneslick's picture

Packer Greg is surprised no mentions a WR
in the first 2 picks. This could be Jordy's last year and he has already lost a step or 2. Cobb is on the downside of his career. D Adams is a good number 2 receiver. There are really no one left to replace Jordy or cobb. Add to that we need more speed at WR. Ridley would not be a bad pick. Or take a fast wr in the 2nd round. Add to this no starting TE on the roster.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

GET A COUPLE GOOD PASS RUSHER AND OUR SECONDARY WILL LOOK GREAT !!

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