Ted Thompson is often criticized for not being more aggressive but sometimes it pays off more to be patient and no one played it cooler in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft than Thompson and the Packers, who came away from the draft with top-rated safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with the 21st overall selection.
Ever since former pro bowl safety Nick Collins was lost to a career-ending injury during the 2011 season, Green Bay has been looking for a safety to replace him and Clinton-Dix, the third-year junior from Alabama is the first big-time prospect acquired to do so.
Clinton-Dix, who had 51 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defensed last season for the Crimson Tide, is the ideal free safety. At 6-1, 208-pounds, Clinton-Dix is a very fluid athlete, who also had five interceptions during his sophomore season.
Not only can the former Alabama star excel playing in the deep middle, he is also good enough to drop down into the box for run support and can even line up in the slot for man-to-man coverage.
When the draft got underway, it was assumed that Clinton-Dix would easily be taken with the first 10-15 picks but as he started sliding down the board it became more and more apparent that he could fall all the way to Green Bay.
Prior to Thursday, some had speculated that if the Packers wanted Clinton-Dix they would need to trade up but just as with Aaron Rodgers, Thompson sat tight and took the best player available. In the end, it was a home run and Packer fans, who badly wanted the Alabama start could not be happier.