The Green Bay Packers traded up for a cornerback in the draft, just two days after Nick Collins was released. It doesn't take a football expert to figure out that Charles Woodson is going to do a bit of lining up as a safety for the Pack in 2012. He's done it before, depending on the situation, and he certainly has the skillset to do it more often. However, Woodson played the majority of each game as a cornerback, and even though he was a utility DB all year, he was still a corner.
That might not be the case in 2012. It's looking increasingly likely that Woodson is going to be a full-time, dang near every down safety for the Packers next season. Between the acquisition of Casey Hayward and the assumed improvement of Davon House, the cornerback spot looks solid even without Woodson manning up on receivers.
This opinion seems to be shared by just about everyone who might know something about the Packers. First, here's what Vic Ketchman had to say in an opinion point-counterpoint piece on Packers.com.
With the release of Nick Collins due to his neck injury, the Packers officially have a void at safety. They drafted a safety, Jerron McMillian of Maine, and maybe he'll help fill that void, but consensus opinion is that a move from cornerback could do for Woodson's career what it did for Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson, which is to have lengthened its greatness.
And here's a quote from defensive coordinator Dom Capers, from a FOX Sports Wisconsin article by Paul Imig.
"It's not like it would be a radical move because of the way we've used him in the last three years, basically. We feel he can play any one of those positions. That's one of the things he brings to the table is the flexibility that he gives you. That could potentially change from week to week. It has up to this point in time. You've watched us play him at a number of different positions. Many times who you're playing that week and your game plan dictates that."
Expect to see a lot more of Woodson at safety this year, and don't expect him to need a lot of work to transition to doing it. We're going to expand on this next week, partially because we want some time to think about all angles of the moving personnel in the secondary and partially because there are more of you guys around during the week.