Terrence Brooks Could Be a Round-3 Option at Safety for the Packers

Bob FoxContributor IMay 5, 2014

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19:  Terrence Brooks #31 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts after a fumble recovery during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The safety position is an obvious need for the Green Bay Packers going into the 2014 NFL draft, which starts on Thursday night.

All one has to do is watch the tape from the 2013 season to see why it is such a big need.

To begin with, not one of the safeties had an interception the entire season. That's a tough thing to accomplish. In fact, that hasn't happened in Green Bay since the early 1950s.

The starting safeties, Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings, also had a number of missed tackles between them, plus both were responsible for multiple blown coverages that led to big plays.

Jennings is no longer in Green Bay, as the Packers did not tender an offer for him as a restricted free agent. Jennings ended up signing with the Chicago Bears as a free agent instead.

In 2014, Burnett definitely needs to play like he did in 2011 and 2012, as opposed to how he played last season. Because of the solid seasons Burnett had prior to last year, No. 42 received a contract extension just before training camp last summer.

There is also talk that the Packers will try Micah Hyde at safety this year, as head coach Mike McCarthy certainly wants Hyde on the field more often than he was last season.

Even with Hyde moving over to safety, the Packers still need to add some quality depth to the position, as the only other backups at safety are Sean Richardson and Chris Banjo.

In terms of the upcoming draft, the Packers might have an issue regarding selecting the top-rated safeties. Why? Because of where the Packers have their selections in Round 1 and Round 2.

I agree with NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock that the top four safeties are Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama, Calvin Pryor of Louisville, Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois and Deone Bucannon of Washington State, although I have Bucannon rated higher than Ward.

The problem is that the Packers don't get to pick until the 21st selection in both the first and second rounds.

Both Clinton-Dix and Pryor could be gone before the Packers pick in Round 1, while the same thing might happen in Round 2 with Ward and Bucannon. I wouldn't expect to see general manger Ted Thompson trade up in the first round, but he might be willing to do that in the second round, as he did that twice in the 2012 NFL draft.

I don't see the Packers taking the fifth-rated safety on Mayock's board, Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State. The reason? His lack of height, as Joyner only goes 5'8". Ted Thompson has never drafted a defensive back under 5'11".

But even though Thompson might not select that particular Seminole, he might be interested in picking another Florida State player, safety Terrence Brooks. That could happen in the third round. The Packers also have two picks in Round 3 (picks No. 85 and No. 98).

Brooks had a couple of nice back-to-back seasons at safety for the current BCS national champions. Brooks had 107 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, one sack, four interceptions, 11 passes defended and three forced fumbles the past two seasons.

Sept 22, 2012;  Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Terrence Brooks (31) celebrates after a defensive stop during the second half of the game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vasto

The 5'11", 198-pound Brooks also had a nice showing at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He ran a very quick 4.42 in the 40 and did very well in the jumping drills.

Brooks has excellent range and he reacts well to the ball. He is also aggressive in run support and would be an excellent addition on special teams.

But he does need to improve on certain aspects of the game, as well. Brooks needs to get stronger and also to become more consistent with his tackling.

Based on his work ethic and his steady improvement in play during his four years at Florida State, Brooks will continue to get better in the NFL.

The Packers certainly need better players at the safety position based on last season's results.