May 22, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers safety Jerron McMillian (22) during a drill at organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE
If this were a perfect world Nick Collins would be healthy the Packers would have one of the best safety combinations in the league, but it's not a perfect world and Collins is not going to be there this year. The good news that there looks to be some potential to the younger guys stepping up. The bad news is that none of them are going to be able to fill the shoes of Collins, at least right away. The other big story for this unit this past offseason is the potential move of Charles Woodson. We'll probably see more of him but even this doesn't necessarily address the roving ball hawking skills Collins brought to the table. It's not that Woodson wouldn't be a good safety, it's just that he might lack the top speed necessary in order to close in on the ball the way Collins was able to time after time. Some of the younger guys are going to have to step up their game in order to for the Packers to be secure on the back end.
Confidence in starters - Above Average: Last year this combination was disappointing. They weren't able to stop big plays and struggled in communicating defensive schemes. Burnett looks like he can grow into a very good safety, if he can stay healthy then this may turn into a Pro Bowl year for him. Peprah is what he is at this point in his career. He's not great, but he's solid enough. If Jennings or McMillian have a great camp and push Peprah out the starting spot, then confidence could go up.
Confidence in backups - Above Average: There is lots of promise but little proof with these two players. Jennings is a little short, but is fast and strong. He has also showed some ability on special teams. If he can make some plays in camp and continue building on the reputation he has made in OTA's then he could make a bid to the be starter. McMillian is a guy the team has high hopes for, but may not be ready this year.
Confidence in depth - Average: How much confidence should I have about guys who probably will not make the team? The only guy that has an outside chance of making the team this next season is Levine. The coaches like him enough, but he's also never played well enough to make the roster. As a result it's hard to see him beat out Peprah for a roster spot, but it's not impossible.
Final Grade - C+: Burnett is the only guy I'm excited about in this position group. A good camp and preseason for Jennings or McMillian might change my tune, but at the moment it's a pretty lukewarm unit overall.