After watching both Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley come off the board a few selections before the Packers were on the clock, I was a nervous wreck. I had all but assured myself that that the Cardinals were going to snatch up Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Ted Thompson would resort to trading back into the second round for better value. Luckily, the Cardinals traded with the Saints, and the Packers matched great value, best player available, and a position of need all in one selection.
Let's take a look at what some of the experts had to say:
#Packers are going best player available. But I was told if a safety was available, well, they wouldn’t be upset. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is it— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2014
I share Ian Rapoport's feelings on this one. Ted Thompson was going to take the best player available that made sense for his team. It would have been interesting to see what his move would have been if Clinton-Dix had gone to Arizona at No. 20, but hey, I'm glad that's just a hypothetical question now.
Clinton-Dix a great pick for the Packers. They needed range in the secondary and they now have it. Love it. GRADE: A http://t.co/KPxAyHqyNs— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) May 9, 2014
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports loves it, and so should you.
Thompson: It fit very well for us. We feel good. When it came time for our pick, we felt like he was the best player on the board.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 9, 2014
That's Ted Thompson's opening statement on Clinton-Dix via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. Again, not a huge surprise that Clinton-Dix was probably the best player available on their draft board and probably by a wide margin.
What did SB Nation's writers think about the selection? Funny you should ask that. Here's what Matthew Fairburn had to say about the risks/rewards of the Packers first-round selection:
The grade: A
The risk: There isn't much risk taking a player like Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix at No. 21 in the first round.
The reward: The Packers addressed their biggest need with the best safety in the draft. Clinton-Dix also happens to grade out as a top 10 player on our big board. He will change the Packers defense immediately.
As you can see, there isn't really any negative feedback coming the Packers way after a potential top 10 pick fell into their laps at No. 21. Other than the Vikings, I'd argue that the Packers had one of the best first rounds of any NFL team if you are grading strictly off of where the team drafted, who they selected, and how that player fits their scheme and needs.
The biggest question moving forward is whether or not the Packers will address the linebacker position in Day 2, or wait until Day 3 to add some competition to the inside linebacker unit. My guess is Ted Thompson will go best player available at either wide receiver, tight end, or defensive line in Day 2.