May 22, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers safety Jerron McMillian during organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE
Rookie Spotlight continues through the lull! Previously we looked at B.J. Coleman (link), Andrew Datko (link), Jerel Worthy (link), and Terrell Manning (link). Now the spotlight shines on potentially the most controversial Packer draft pick this year: Jerron McMiilian.
How acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (133 Overall).
Chance of making the team: Probable
Reasonable expectations for 2012. Become Special teams help and rotational secondary help. Safety is hard position to project at the moment, there are lots of factors to consider. In light of that the most reasonable expectation for McMillian is that he gets on the field some, but isn't counted on. He probably was the most controversial pick of this year's draft...meaning that the talking heads didn't bless this pick in the way many of the other picks were. McMillian came from too small a school and not as much was known about him. I'm not saying they are right, but that small school background might cause him to take a bit more time to learn the defense and get use to the skill level of the NFL.
How he can exceed expectations: Become a starter. Remember what I said about the small school and the talking heads? Yeah, forget that. McMillian has the physical tools to play safety at a high level in the NFL. The Packers have also had pretty good success with throwing rookie safeties out there and getting them to perform. That was true of Morgan Burrnett. That was also true of another small school prospect by the name of Nick Collins. The spot is open for him to do something similar to these two guys, and if McMillian can win and hold down that starting job he may be just what the leaky Packers secondary needs for this year.
Why Packer fans should keep an eye on him: He's a young talented safety. What more do we really need? This guy should be pushing for a starting job sooner than later. All he has to do is show that the game isn't too big for him and then the sky is the limit.