Packers Position Profiles
packers Cornerbacks and Safeties Cornerback is probably one of the deepest positions on the current Packers team, and a position they don’t need to address until the late rounds of the NFL Draft, if at all. One of the reasons to feel good about his group is Casey Hayward, who will be entering his second season in 2013. He finished third in the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Voting last year behind the strength of his six interceptions. The Packers are in good hands with Hayward taking over the slot cornerback duties from Charles Woodson. The case could be made that Hayward deserves to start across from Sam Shields, who rebounded from a down season in 2011 to play at a high level in 2012. Tramon Williams has his work cut out for him if he’s going to hold off Shields and Hayward in the starting lineup. His poor games against the Vikings and 49ers aside, Williams did a good job as a cover corner in 2012. Lingering issues with his injured shoulder have lasted two seasons. If it weren’t for a shoulder injury of his own, Davon House might be deserving of more playing time as well. He looked good in limited appearances last season. Jarrett Bush is fine as a special teams ace but probably shouldn’t play on defense outside of his goal-line role.
During the offseason the Packers parted ways with longtime veteran
96 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview
ds W oo ha rle s :C GO NE
When Woodson was hurt last season, the Packers basically instituted a time-share with M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. More or less, Jennings was the better coverage safety while McMillian was the more physical run defender. If they could be combined into one player, they’d be the complete package. Also in the mix at safety is Sean Richardson, an undrafted rookie who ended last season on injured reserve with neck injury. If he can put his injury woes behind him, Richardson’s combination of size and speed can be an asset. This year’s NFL Draft class at safety is the deepest in years, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the Packers seek reinforcement through that avenue.
Charles Woodson, partly because of his approximately $10 million salary and partly because his skills had deteriorated. Woodson will be missed for his leadership and everything he’s meant to the organization for the past seven seasons, but it clear he had little left in the tank. Minus Woodson, the Packers will be looking for another safety to play opposite Morgan Burnett who had a solid season in 2012. Burnett had made big-time strides as a physical presence last season, proving he can be an in-the-box defender as well as a back-end rover. If the lightbulb clicks for him, he could be one of the NFC’s better safeties.
A preview of the 2013 NFL Draft, including position profiles on more than 300 players, feature articles and columns.