The 2024 NFL Draft is just a week away. As of now, the Green Bay Packers have the 25th overall pick in the first round and five picks in the top 100 including two second round picks and two more in the third round. This is the next in a series of articles looking at players the Packers may be interested in selecting in the early rounds of this year’s draft. The only players listed here are realistic possibilities for the Packers GM Brian Gutekunst to pick in the first or second round of the draft or who fill specific needs for the team right now. Today we will examine safeties. Here are five safeties the Packers could select in the early rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.

You can find our article on offensive tackles here, cornerbacks here and linebackers here.

The State of the Packers Safeties Entering the 2024 NFL Draft

The Packers top three safeties were not re-signed at the end of last season and of the three, only Rudy Ford remains without a free agent. The Packers signed free agent Xavier McKinney to be one starter. Second-year man, Anthony Johnson, Jr., is presently the highest player on the depth chart at the other spot.

Players fighting for roster spots include Benny Sapp, Zayne Anderson, and Tyler Coyle. There is no question the Packers need to add talent and depth here and that Gutekunst will be drafting some players here and perhaps adding a veteran as well.

The Packers will need another starter and some depth players before the start of training camp.

Safety is not usually considered a premium position. Gutekunst remains open to drafting college corners and converting them to safety in the NFL.

So here is a list of possible safeties the Packers may take early in the 2024 draft. They are not listed in any particular order. These are not the best available players but are players the Packers could take if they use the 25th pick or trade up grab them a bit sooner.

Safeties the Packers Could Select in the Early Rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft, Number One: Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Cooper DeJean played cornerback at Iowa but could play either safety, boundary corner or slot corner in the NFL. His versatility is something Gutekunst looks for in defensive backs and would fit well with Jeff Hafley’s system.

DeJean played well in both zone and man coverage in college. He also excelled in press man in limited reps. He didn’t run drills at the combine due to injury but ran a very fast 40-time at his pro day which makes it even less likely the Packers could take him without trading up.

He is a heady ballplayer who anticipates well by reading plays. He knows where he has to be to make big plays and made a habit of them in college.

DeJean would be an outstanding addition to the Packers secondary IF they can trade up and get him.

Number Two: Jaden Hicks, Washington State

Jaden Hicks has good size at 6’2” and 211 pounds. He is physical and can help his team in run support in addition to in pass coverage. He’s smart in coverage and can cover tight ends well because of his size.

He also has versatility because he can play free safety or strong safety. He’s also tough and not afraid of physical contact. The Washington State alum scored a 9.28 RAS.

He will need to work on his ball skills in coverage. That is a work in progress for a two-year college starter.

If Hicks and McKinney are the team’s starting safeties, they may have their most talented duo at the position in some time.

Safeties the Packers Could Select in the Early Rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft, Number Three: Javon Bullard, Georgia

Javon Bullard possesses the versatility the Packers look for in the secondary. He can play in the slot or at safety. He also has experience on punt and kick coverage in college.

Bullard knows how to hit, something that will make some highlight reels and strike a little fear in opposing receivers. He also thinks the game well, which helps him anticipate plays and makes up for his lack of elite speed. It allows him to play well in zone coverage although he is not as adept at man coverage at this stage of his career.

Bullard doesn’t have long arms but he’s smart and can play the run and be a weapon in the box.

While he is not the deal athlete the Packers look for, his versatility, intelligence and hitting ability would make Bullard an excellent addition to the Packers.

Number Four: Calen Bullock, USC

Calen Bullock can play both safety and corner although most scouts believe he’s better suited for safety. Bullock has good speed which he uses in coverage. He started for three years at USC even though he won’t turn 21 until later this month.

Bullock is a ball hawk who knows how to make big plays. He had five interceptions last season and broke up 12 passes.

His biggest issues come against the run where he struggled to make plays, often by overrunning them. He’s light at 6’2” and 188 pounds, so getting physical with ball carriers isn’t his strength.

Bullock may need some coaching but in the right system and role, he can be a big-play safety in the NFL in a year or two.

Safeties the Packers Could Select in the Early Rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft, Number Five: Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin has a good combination of smarts, size, and speed which would help make him a great fit in Green Bay’s new defense. Nubin can play in the slot in addition to safety.

He does a good job of diagnosing pass patterns and then disrupting them. Nubin also makes big plays and picked off five passes last season. He is also strong near the line of scrimmage and able to help stop the run.

Nubin had surgery on his knee after the 2023 season but should be ready for training camp. He also needs a little work on blitzing. But overall, he is a player who can do a lot of things well and could compliment McKinney at safety.




Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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