Safety Measurables

We use the Packers' draft history to get a gauge on who they might be considering in next month's draft. That history shows that one, and perhaps two, of the top safety prospects might not be a consideration.

History does not determine the future, though it can serve as a handy guide.

Packer Report is examining the Green Bay Packers' draft history to get a better handle at the prospects who they might be considering in next month's draft.

We skimmed the surface with the cornerbacks, focusing on general manager Ted Thompson's mere 1-inch deviation among his draft picks. Now, we are going into greater depth with key measurables at each position. The measurables we're using are based in large part on FootballEducator.com's "Attribute Success Correlation". The Web site was created by former Denver Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist. Research done by Sundquist's colleague, Joe Landers, has uncovered what Scouting Combine-style measurables are most and least important.

Whether it's the first round or the fourth round, the Packers will be in the market for a safety during next month's draft. Thompson has drafted only six of them during his tenure: Nick Collins (second round) and Marviel Underwood (fourth round) in 2005, Tyrone Culver (sixth round) in 2006, Aaron Rouse (fourth round) in 2007, Morgan Burnett (third round) in 2010 and Jerron McMillian (fourth round) in 2012.

SAFETIESHTWTARMHAND10403-CNBJVJ
2005: Nick Collins5111211NANA1.664.496.9409-1040.0
2005: Marviel Underwood5102205NANA1.654.557.1209-1038.0
2006: Tyrone Culver6006200NANANA4.627.2510-0939.5
2007: Aaron Rouse6040223NANA1.594.556.8110-0135.0
2010: Morgan Burnett601320931 3/491.574.516.8711-0839.5
2012: Jerron McMillian511120330 5/89 3/81.594.566.6909-1136.5

At cornerback, Thompson never has drafted a short cornerback. At 5-foot-11 3/8, Casey Hayward is the shortest of Thompson's seven cornerback selections. Thompson has followed a similar blueprint at safety. Collins and McMillian stood 5-foot-11 1/8, followed by Culver (6-0 3/4), Burnett (6-1 3/8) and the towering Rouse (6-4). The one outlier was Underwood (5-10 1/4). Mike Sherman was the coach in 2005, so perhaps the size parameters were a bit different than they are under coach Mike McCarthy.

Other than size, speed — as you'd expect — is important. Only Culver, who ran in 4.62 at Fresno State's pro day, ran slower than 4.56. Scouts say 4.60 is the magic number for a starting safety.

The three-cone drill, which measures a player's ability to change directions at top speed, and the standing broad jump, which measures explosion and balance, are the most-important measurements, according to Landers' research.

A full 65 percent of starting (or starting-caliber) safeties ran the three-cone in 7.00 seconds or faster. The Packers, however, haven't shown any great tendencies in that test. McMillian was a star at the Scouting Combine in 2012 by running it in 6.69 seconds. Underwood and Culver, however, were significantly slower than 7.00.

Again, 65 percent of starting (or starting-caliber) safeties had a broad jump of at least 10 feet. Collins and Underwood had the shortest broad jumps at 9 feet, 10 inches, with McMillian at 9 feet, 11 inches.

While we included vertical jump in our graphic, Sundquist said history has shown that that's actually the least-important of the Combine-style measurements in terms of determining who starts and who doesn't at safety. McMillian's 35-inch vertical is the lowest of Thompson's safety picks.

All told, the Packers' cutoff at safety appears to be 5-foot-11, with Combine testing somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.60 in the 40, 9 feet, 10 inches in the broad jump and 35 inches in the vertical.

Potentially, those measurements could take two of the top safeties off the Packers' board. Alabama's HaHa Clinton-Dix's vertical jump was just 33 inches, though his height (6-foot-1 3/8) and length (32 3/8-inch arms) could offset that number. And Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward measures just 5-foot-10 3/8. Other than Underwood in 2005, that's a half-inch shorter any other defensive back selected under Thompson's tenure. That seems like a real trend. Among the third tier of safeties, Florida State's Terrence Brooks is 5-foot-10 7/8. While it's just one-eighth inch short of 5-foot-11, there's a chance he won't be a consideration, either.

Who does that leave? If 5-foot-11 is a hard-and-fast rule at safety ...

Day 1: Clinton-Dix, if the vertical isn't an issue, and Calvin Pryor, if his 9-foot-8 broad jump isn't an issue.

Day 2: Washington State's Deone Bucannon.

Day 3: Stanford's Ed Reynolds (he had a 38-inch vertical at pro day after mustering just a 32.5 at the Combine), Vanderbilt's Kenny Ladler (he's been slowed by an injured hamstring so scouts aren't as worried about his 40 time), Minnesota's Brock Vereen, North Carolina State's Dontae Johnson, Wyoming's Marqueston Huff, Wisconsin's Dezmen Southward and North Carolina's Tre Boston.

Potentially out: Ward, Brooks, Michigan State's Isaiah Lewis, Georgia Tech's Jemea Thomas and San Diego State's Nate Berhe (height), and LSU's Craig Loston, USC's Dion Bailey, Baylor's Ahmad Dixon and BYU's Daniel Sorensen (speed and vertical).


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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