Green Bay Packers: Draft Stock Rising for Safety Deone Bucannon

Bob FoxContributor IMay 7, 2014

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Safety Deone Bucannon #20 of the Washington State Cougars returns an interception against the Oregon Ducks on September 29, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

When it comes to safeties in the 2014 NFL draft, I definitely like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama, as I had the Green Bay Packers taking him in the first round in one of my previous mock drafts.

The same holds true for Calvin Pryor of Louisville, as I also had the Packers taking him in the first round in another mock draft.

Scout Chris Landry likes them both as well, as he talked about them to me in this story.

But if you look at production on the football field and also at the NFL Scouting Combine, Deone Bucannon of Washington State is every bit the equal of Clinton-Dix and Pryor and maybe even better.

I had the Packers taking Bucannon in the second round in two of my mock drafts. First in my very first one and also in another one I did about a month ago.

There is a lot to like about Bucannon. For one thing, his career at Washington State. He had 384 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, 15 interceptions, 23 passes defended, one fumble recovery and seven forced fumbles.

That's called being very productive ladies and gentlemen.

Then there was his performance at the combine. He ran faster than both Clinton-Dix and Pryor, as he ran a 4.49 40. He also topped both safeties in the bench press drill with 19 reps. When it was all said and done, Bucannon looked good in just about every drill at the combine.

Landry has Bucannon just behind Clinton-Dix and Pryor on his draft board in conversation I had with him recently.

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock has Bucannon rated as at No. 3 at safety in his position rankings.

But there are others who feel that Bucannon could be a first round pick. People like NFL Media analyst Curtis Conway.

In a story on about a month ago, Conway said this about Bucannon:

When I watch this guy on film, he's a pro. He's the fastest safety in the draft. He's rated, in my opinion, right there with Clinton-Dix and Pryor because he's just that good.

This guy is easily a first round draft pick.

Then there is the piece written by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora on Tuesday. In his story, in the more news and observations section, La Canfora wrote this:

I have three safeties going in the first round, and one of them might be considered a surprise because of his low profile, but plenty of evaluators are high on him. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Washington State safety Deone Bucannon goes Thursday. I could see him to Green Bay at No. 21, depending on what happens higher up the board at safety, or if linebacker C.J. Mosley, who could slide on the first day, is still sitting there for the Packers to pluck.

Bottom line, Bucannon was a first-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2013. Why? Because of his production and performance on the field. He is a physical tackler who plays the run very well, plus does a nice job in coverage.

Add to that, Bucannon was a four-year starter and three-time captain at Washington State.

What is there not to like?

Especially for a team like the Packers who badly need a playmaker at the safety position.