Packers Safeties: One of the youngest groups on the current Green Bay Packers roster, this is a position that is expected to take a big step forward in 2013. The team will be without long-time veteran Charles Woodson and will rely on Morgan Burnett to assume that leadership role. Third-year player M.D. Jennings joins second-year player Jerron McMillian opposite Burnett with Sean Richardson likely in the fold as well.
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Where are we now:
Here are the current suspects:
Morgan Burnett (3rd round)
M.D. Jennings (UDFA)
Jerron McMillian (4th round)
Sean Richardson (UDFA)
Burnett was a steady rock for the Packers in 2012, playing in all 16 regular season games and both playoff games. After missing most of his rookie season of 2010 and being hampered by a hand injury in 2011, Burnett showed that he can be counted on and durable enough to play a full season. His play improved both in coverage and run support. The assumption is that he will continue that trend in 2013 and become one of the defensive leaders on this team.
Jennings platooned with the rookie McMillian opposite Burnett after Woodson went down. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he has a knack for sticking his nose into the play and is not afraid to get after the ball. He scored the team’s first interception return for a touchdown and had seemingly sealed a tough road win at Seattle before. . well, we all know that story by now. Jennings will certainly be a part of the team’s plans at safety in 2013 in one capacity or another. He is also a contributor on special teams so I fully expect him on the 2013 roster. For an undrafted free agent, Jennings has, at the very least, matched the expectations he had when he was brought in. He is trending upward and should continue on the path to exceeding them if he can stay healthy.