Quantcast

NFL draft 2014: Packers select Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - abc27 WHTM

NFL draft 2014: Packers select Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with 21st pick in first round

Posted: Updated:
Alabama free safety Haha Clinton-Dix poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Green Bay Packers as the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) Alabama free safety Haha Clinton-Dix poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Green Bay Packers as the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Packers are banking on another former Alabama star to give their team a boost.

Green Bay picked Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with the 21st overall pick of the NFL draft Thursday night, adding a hard-hitting safety to a defense that needed playmakers. He had 51 tackles and two interceptions as a junior in 2013, his first season as a full-time starter for Alabama.

He'll join fellow former Crimson Tide star running back Eddie Lacy in Green Bay.

[RELATED:  Ravens draft Alabama LB C.J. Mosley with 17th overall pick]

"Welcome to the pack ... good to have ya out here," Lacy posted on Twitter.

The 6-foot-1 Clinton-Dix is considered to be disciplined player with good ball skills, though not especially fast or athletic. Still, he figures to strengthen the secondary. The Packers didn't get an interception from their safeties last year.

"I think he's a real all-purpose kind of safety. He's shown the ability to cover guys in the slot, good in support, physical player," said general manager Ted Thompson.

The Packers wanted to find impact players on defense in the offseason. They added veteran Julius Peppers to complement Clay Matthews on the pass rush.

On paper at least, Green Bay appears to have added playmakers that coach Mike McCarthy sought after the 23-20 loss in an NFC wild-card game to the San Francisco 49ers. Once again, dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick burned the defense for big plays.

He should help out in a secondary that must contend with receivers Calvin Johnson in Detroit and Brandon Marshall in Chicago. Clinton-Dix said he spent much of his sophomore season covering the deep middle and slot, before Alabama coach Nick Saban moved him around the field more as a junior.

"He's got the versatility that you look for in the safety," Packers safety coach Darren Perry said. "He's tough. He's plenty smart. His football IQ is where you like it to be."

Inside linebacker was one of the Packers' biggest needs. But two of the top prospects at that position were gone by the time Green Bay was up after the Steelers took Ohio State's Ryan Shazier with the 15th pick and the Ravens selected Alabama's C.J. Mosley two picks later.

Clinton-Dix was still there at No. 21, though Thompson said he spoke to a "lot of teams" when asked if he took trade calls. Quarterback Johnny Manziel was still on the board at the time — someone the Packers didn't need with Aaron Rodgers running the offense.

Instead, Thompson said he took someone that fit the Packers' philosophy of selecting the best available player who also filled a position of need.

"We think he's got very, very good ball skills," Thompson said. "It fit very well for us."

Green Bay still has a chance to add at linebacker and another positional need at tight end on Day 2 of the draft Friday. The Packers entered the draft with four selections in the top 100 for the first time since 2009.

Injuries did play a role in sapping the Packers last year. Rodgers also missed nearly two months because of a collarbone injury, while receiver Randall Cobb and tight end Jermichael Finley also missed significant time with injuries.

Still, Green Bay won a third straight NFC North title and finished 8-7-1.

Matthews is recovering from a thumb injury that sidelined him for much of 2013. A hamstring injury sidelined promising cornerback Casey Hayward. Green Bay hopes those two key players will be ready to go for the fall.

Peppers should fortify the pass rush. B.J. Raji was re-signed on the defensive line, and Sam Shields was re-signed at cornerback.

Until the draft, safety remained a concern. Morgan Burnett missed the first few games of 2013 with a hamstring injury. M.D. Jennings left for Chicago via free agency after a disappointing year. Neither of them came up with a pick.

Clinton-Dix did miss couple of games last season because of suspension for breaking an NCAA rule. Otherwise, he had an excellent 2013 season and finished with 100 tackles and seven interceptions in 38 career games.

___

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • 2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:40:23 GMT
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
  • Auburn football announces two-game series with Clemson

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:38:41 GMT
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:43 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:43:44 GMT
    Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud.More >>
    Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the...More >>
  • Neighbors who rescued plane crash victims: "It's a miracle they survived"

    Neighbors who rescued plane crash victims: "It's a miracle they survived"

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:50:59 GMT
    A family of four traveling to Tennessee from Florida crash landed their plane in central Alabama. More >>
    A family of four traveling to Tennessee from Florida crash landed their plane in central Alabama. More >>
  • Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:50:02 GMT
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.More >>
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.
    More >>
  • Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:29:14 GMT
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
  • Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:26 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:26:42 GMT
    The Boston Red Sox have traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline, a person with knowledge of the deal said.More >>
    The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline.More >>
  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
  • Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

    Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:50:46 GMT
    Tiger Woods took another step on one of his favorite courses toward showing his game might be turning around.More >>
    Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational.More >>
  • Alabama gets commitment from 4-star cornerback Rico McGraw

    Alabama gets commitment from 4-star cornerback Rico McGraw

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:47:50 GMT
    Alabama picked off another school's cornerback recruit. Four-star cornerback Rico McGraw flipped, verbally committing to Alabama after he had been committed to Georgia since January.The 6-foot, 190-pound McGraw is the No. 142 rated recruit according to 247Sports composite. He attends Ensworth High School in Nashville.McGraw is Alabama's 21st commitment for the 2015 class, and the Tide's second verbal of the week. Safety Ronnie Harrison committed to sign with Alabama on Monday.More >>
    Alabama picked off another school's cornerback recruit. Four-star cornerback Rico McGraw flipped, verbally committing to Alabama after he had been committed to Georgia since January.The 6-foot, 190-pound McGraw is the No. 142 rated recruit according to 247Sports composite. He attends Ensworth High School in Nashville.McGraw is Alabama's 21st commitment for the 2015 class, and the Tide's second verbal of the week. Safety Ronnie Harrison committed to sign with Alabama on Monday.More >>
Powered by WorldNow