The Green Bay Packers love to build through the draft and generally in a cheap way instead of expensive free agents. That trend will likely continue in 2014, with a safety being a top priority for the team in the first round, which means Ha Ha Clinton-Dix coming out of Alabama and Calvin Pryor from Louisville are their top targets.
Both Clinton-Dix and Pryor are projected to go in the first round, and the Packers have the 21st overall pick. Both of them are likely to still be available at this stage, although some think that Clinton-Dix might be taken a bit earlier, closer to the top 10.
The difference? Pryor is a lot more adventurous and aggressive when it comes to going for the big play and interceptions than Clinton-Dix. That might have fit well with the Packers defense from 2010 and 2011, but things have changed since then. Clinton-Dix is also going to be effective mostly against the pass (not a great tackler) through his play-reading abilities, but in general he’s much more useful in a defense that takes less risks.
The Packers were very disappointed with Morgan Burnett, especially after the extension he got last year. They’ll be looking to cut their ties with him and his salary as soon as possible. M.D. Jennings is hitting free agency (restricted), but he’s probably not going to be given an offer from Green Bay considering how badly he did in 2013.
So who do the Packers go with? Too early to tell, and obviously there are other needs to fill like in their offensive and defensive lines. But there’s plenty of talent in this draft to tap into in later rounds as well. The Packers need a safety probably more than anything else right now, so going for either Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor makes the most sense.