So far I touched on the Packers running back "need" and the offensive tackle "need" so lets move forward to the Safety "need".
At free safety Nick Collins is the starter, the playmaker, a ball hawk and a Pro Bowler. He is also a free agent at the end of the year. He and the Packers will have an interesting decision to make when it comes to his future with the team. I can't see Ted Thompson letting his second round pick in 2004 leave after investing so much time in Collins.
At the other safety spot there is uncertainty. Atari Bigby is the incumbent starter. He has not been able to stay healthy in 2008 and so far in 2009. Bigby is agood "in the box" safety but is a liability in coverage.
The Packers added Derrick Martin as a back-up to Bigby and recently signed former Colt Matt Giordano but that is it as far as depth. Jarrett Bush can also play safety, but as Packers know that is not a good thing.
The Packers need another safety to compliment Collins and this class has three premier safeties in Taylor Mays, Eric Berry and Chad Jones from LSU. There are some very good ones after them. A wild card in this mix is former FSU safety Myron Rolle, who passed up a chance to go pro last year after he received the Oxford Scholarship and is studying over sea's. Rolle is on an intense workout plan and is watching film while he is studying. One thing is certain about Rolle, he will surely interview well and will be in the 2010 draft.
I broke my list up into Top 5 free safeties and Top 5 strong safeties. I also projected the players on their position in the NFL, not what they may be playing for their respective colleges.
Here our my Top 5 Free Safeties:
1. Eric Berry- Tennesse- This kid can do it all. He is smart, fast, athletic, a playmaker, a hitter with outstanding instintcs and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a Sophomore. He will a Top 15 pick in the 2010 draft, maybe even Top 5. He is THAT good.
2. Nate Allen- South Florida
3. Kam Chancellor- Virginia Tech
4. T. J. Ward- Oregon
5. Josh Pinkard- USC
Here are my Top 5 Strong Safeties:
1. Taylor Mays- USC- Some scouts I talked to have him rated as the top overall player in this draft. People at USC say he is the best safety to come out since Ronnie Lott. He has it all, freakish size (6'4, 235lbs), speed (4.23 forty on the electric track), ball hawking skills, smarts, instincts and he is a beast of a hitter. Many think he will be a Top 5 pick, maybe as high as #2 overall.
2. Chad Jones- LSU- Jones is another player with really good size (6'2, 220 lbs) and even better instincts. He is a safety that can play both free or strong and he returns kicks. He is really athletic and also plays baseball for LSU as a Pitcher and outfielder.
3. Myron Rolle- FSU
4. Darrell Stuckey- Kansas
5. Justin Woodall- Alabama