Pellerin Brings Versatility To Safety Dance

The Packers like Micah Pellerin, a late addition to the offseason roster, because of his coverage ability. While Pellerin will compete for a roster spot and playing time at safety, he ranks fifth in FCS history in passes defensed while a cornerback at Hampton.

Micah Pellerin expected to be drafted, perhaps early in Day 3.

He wasn't.

Pellerin expected to challenge for significant playing time with the rebuilding Colts.

He didn't.

Now Pellerin will battle for a roster spot at safety with the Green Bay Packers, a team that showed an enormous amount of interest in the cornerback who led the FCS ranks in passes defensed as a senior.

"At the end of the day, I've still have an opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do, and that's play football," Pellerin said. "Nobody retires off of a rookie signing bonus, if you want to talk about money and the draft. I've got a chance to compete with Tramon Williams and Sam Shields, both of whom were free-agent guys, and (M.D.) Jennings is starting (at safety) and he was a free-agent guy. I'm definitely in the right place. I'm happy to be here."

Pellerin thought Green Bay might be his landing spot in the draft. The Packers, we were told in several off-the-record conversations, were hot on his trail throughout the draft process. However, they took cornerback Casey Hayward in the second round and safety Jerron McMillian in the fourth round. When Pellerin went undrafted, the Packers expressed their interest but Pellerin, noting the depth in Green Bay's secondary, figured Indianapolis would offer a better chance to make an immediate impact. The Colts, however, waived Pellerin when they signed veteran cornerback Korey Lindsey.

"To be honest, I couldn't tell you (what went wrong with the Colts)," Pellerin said. "I didn't give up a pass in OTAs; that's on the film. I didn't give up a pass. I was dominant on special teams. I think it was a situation where — you can only speculate — they probably wanted to upgrade the position from a veteran standpoint. That's their decision. That's their mistake."

The Packers, on paper, are loaded at cornerback, with Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward and Davon House almost certainly being the six they take into the regular season. So, when Green Bay claimed Pellerin on waivers, the decision was made to move him to safety.

"Any time you get a corner converting to safety, I think you pick up some coverage ability," safeties coach Darren Perry said. "Our safeties are interchangeable. We ask them to cover just as much as tackle and show up in the box just because of the schemes that we run. I like his coverage ability. He's a big guy. We've got to improve his tackling. That was probably one of the things we said in evaluating him that we'd have to be aware of and look to improve. He knows that. So, that being said, you pick up some athleticism, you pick up a speed guy, and you pick up a guy who can cover and give you more flexibility as a coordinator in terms of the calls that you make because you're not worried about putting your safeties in vulnerable positions. You're not putting yourself at risk for giving up a big play because he can run and cover like a corner."

Pellerin, who was claimed on June 1, got to practice during the final week of organized team activities and the abbreviated minicamp. With Charlie Peprah, Morgan Burnett and Anthony Levine out for the minicamp and leaving only four healthy safeties, Pellerin was given ample opportunities to impress.

That he went undrafted and didn't last in Indianapolis no longer is relevant. He knows there's a golden opportunity in Green Bay, not only to make the team but to challenge for a role.

"They don't print halftime scores in the paper," Pellerin said. "There's guys not drafted in the top 100; there's guys that have been drafted that will be out of the league this year. The one thing I do know is my production speaks for itself. That's what I'm going to do and that's what I'm going to continue to do."

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

Packer Report Top Stories