NFL Draft 2012: Green Bay Packers Continue Defensive Haul

Michael DulkaContributor IApril 28, 2012

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 02: Tackle Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans sets for play against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have drafted six defensive players with their first six picks of the 2012 NFL draft. After struggling with one of the league's worst defenses last year, the Packers are serious about a talent overhaul on the defensive side of the ball. 

With Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy, it is clear what the Packers are getting. Perry is set to play primarily outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews. Worthy will have a chance to start on the defensive line with B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett. 

When it comes to Casey Hayward, things get a little bit cloudy. Due to his size and the Packers' need at the safety position, the team could transition him to safety.

If not, the Packers could pair Charles Woodson with Morgan Burnett as their two safeties in the nickel. This would allow Hayward to act as the third corner depending on how well he does in training camp.

In Round 4, the Packers added Mike Daniels to an already crowded defensive line. They have now brought in Daniels and Worthy, in addition to the signing of Anthony Hargrove.

In addition to the new guys, Lawrence Guy should be back in camp after spending 2011 on injured reserve. All the new bodies on the defensive line could mean the end of C.J. Wilson or Jarius Wynn in Green Bay.

With the pick of Jerron McMillian, the Packers give themselves another body to compete for the safety job. If the Packers keep both Hayward and Woodson at CB, they are looking at Charlie Peprah as the likely starter, with guys like Anthony Levine, M.D. Jennings and now McMillian competing for backup roles or eventually taking the starting job from Peprah.

It will be interesting to see if the Packers continue to bring in defensive players with their remaining draft picks or switch to the offensive side of the ball.

The Packers defense was a big reason why they failed to get back to the Super Bowl in 2011, something they are trying to make sure doesn't happen in 2012. The defense may not catch the offense in terms of overall talent and playmaking ability, but the Packers should be a much more balanced team in 2012.

Update: The Packers traded back into the fifth round to grab linebacker Terrell Manning from North Carolina State. Defense. Defense. Defense.