Earlier today, we broke down what was going on at safety. In a nutshell, Morgan Burnett is the guy and everyone else is fighting for that coveted final starting role. Currently, there are six safeties on the Packers' 90-man roster and now we cut that number down to four. There are not as many cuts to be made here as other positions, but there are still important ones to be made within this young group.
Projected number on roster: FOUR
Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillian
After signing a four-year, $24 million extension, there is no question that Morgan Burnett has earned the trust of Packer nation as he heads into his fourth year as a pro already. Right out of the gate, Burnett has been a consistent contributor and has solidified his starter status a while ago.
The battle for the other starting safety spot will definitely be one worth watching as training camp draws near. It can go any which way depending on who impresses or who flops. As far as the projections go, I was a little surprised to see Jerron McMillian almost unanimously projected as the other starter. Of course, since I was surprised, I was obviously the odd duck who picked someone else.
However, McMillian would definitely be suited for the role if selected. In terms of size he has 16 pounds on Jennings, so he brings a little more size there which helps out a such a physical position. As our own Dan Turczynski pointed out, McMillian had a slightly better year in 2012. According to Pro Football Focus, McMillian earned a +1.9 overall rating while Jennings posted a -1.3 rating.
M.D. Jennings, Sean Richardson
If all goes well and our overall prediction has the better two safeties starting, the Packers are in pretty good shape with Richardson and Jennings backing them up. Jennings had a solid season last season, compiling 43 tackles and one interception. If the Doctor is merely a backup after the preseason, the Packers' secondary should be in good hands this year.
Sean Richardson will be entering his second season out of Vanderbilt. His size (6'2", 216) and physicality combined with his knowledge and familiarity of the Capers defense should keep him on the roster this season, so long as he is indeed fully recovered from a neck injury suffered midway through his rookie year.
Off the Roster
David Fulton, Chaz Powell
David Fulton comes into training camp a relative unknown. Signed in late May, Fulton isn't expected to do too much and the road may end here for the undrafted rookie. As the oldest man in the group at 25, Chaz Powell enters his second season as a pro and may need some time before he is worked into a significant role on this defense. With needs at other positions, a fifth safety would be a luxury for Green Bay, so we believe he would be moved to the practice squad if he remains with the team.
We will be taking a break over the weekend from our series, but we'll resume on Monday with the cornerbacks. In the meantime, click here to refresh your memory on the rest of our roster projections.