Last season the most glaring weakness for the Packers defense was the play of their safeties. Thus far this offseason Ted Thompson has done nothing to upgrade the position. Is he waiting for the draft? Possibly, but, the reason Thompson has done nothing could be Micah Hyde.
The Packers selected Micah Hyde in the fifth round of last year’s draft. When the Packers took him, it was a bit of a head scratcher. Casey Hayward was coming off a strong rookie season. Sam Shields was continuing to develop. Tramon Williams did not look good, but, there was hope that he’d turn it around. They were high on Davon House, why would they take another corner? My first thought was that Hyde would be a candidate to move to safety. They didn’t take Matt Elam in the first round, and Hyde had played some safety in college.
As we all know that move never happened and we all suffered through watching M.D. Jennings play safety. On the flip side, we got to see Hyde have a solid rookie season as the nickel corner and return man. Hyde recorded 55 tackles, one sack and recovered two fumbles. He also returned a punt for a touchdown against the Vikings.
Let’s take a closer look at why the Packers should move Hyde to safety this season.
Mike Mayock had this to say about Hyde after the Packers selected him:
“Typical Packers Ted Thompson pick...Corner/safety from Iowa. Can play corner or safety, can return kicks…he fits Green Bay because he’s got great ball skills.”
Todd McShay said this about Hyde on draft day:
“Little bit of stiffness. Struggles a bit when he has to turn in run…Put him in a position to read and react.
Link to the video:
The Packers should move Hyde to safety for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is that it would fill a need. When you hear what two of the top draft analysts had to say about Hyde, it confirms why it would be not only a good move for the Packers, but, a good move for Hyde’s performance on the field as well. Hyde’s strongest asset are his instincts and his ability to read and react. Moving Hyde back to safety would allow him to sit back and watch the play develop. Keeping him at corner, a position in which he’d be fourth on the depth chart, would force him to do things that he’s not necessarily good it, such as turning and running. Hyde is not great in man coverage and there are doubts that he has the speed to play on the outside as a corner.
Hyde comes down hill in a hurry and is an aggressive run defender. Lining up Hyde at safety would allow Capers to get creative and line him up all over the field. During the preseason last season, Hyde was getting comparisons to former Packers corner/safety, Charles Woodson. It’s possible that Capers will use Hyde the same way he used Woodson during his final season with the Packers. Hyde could line up at the safety position in the base and nickel defense and move up to corner in the dime defense.
For a team desperate for a playmaker at the safety position, the Packers could already have their answer on the current roster. It should not be overlooked that Hyde played some safety in college and also played the position in high school. Hyde is an intelligent, physical player and moving him back to safety would be a smart move. Keeping Hyde at corner would be a move that could limit Hyde’s ability. Moving him to safety would be putting him in a position to excel. It would be a move that would greatly improve this defense and you can take that to the bank.
Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @Brennen_Rupp
See what I wrote back in December about Hyde moving to safety.