What Scouts Said About S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in College
There were very few who disagreed when the Packers selected Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Green Bay was in desperate need to find a game-changing safety after the sudden injury and retirement of Super Bowl XLV hero Nick Collins. While Morgan Burnett proved to be a good safety, it was going to take two to tango deep in the playoffs.
Clinton-Dix came into his own in 2016, earning a Pro Bowl bid and landing on the second team All-Pro list. He’s become a playmaker, and notched back-to-back interceptions in a late season game against the Chicago Bears as proof.
Let’s explore what scouts and reporters were saying about Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in college.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s strengths
- Possessed a good mix of speed and fluidity to cover slot receivers or tight ends.
- Good hands, intercepted five passes at Alabama.
- Took great angles when chasing offensive players for a tackle.
- Not afraid of giving or taking contact, good tackler in space.
The Packers have seen many of Clinton-Dix’s strengths throughout in his time with the team. In his rookie season he led Green Bay’s defense with 16 missed tackles, but has improved. He missed only three tackles in 2016, per Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s weaknesses
- Needed to add bulk to his frame and strength. Not seen as an elite athlete.
- Struggled with consistently pedaling his feet to the side and backwards.
- Played conservatively with Alabama and was sometimes a step or two late.
- Did not fit naturally playing as a safety down in the box.
Clinton-Dix was labeled by the NFL.com scouts as too conservative, but CBS Sports labled him too aggressive. They’re both right. While the weaknesses about his game indicate injuries could be a concern, he played every single defensive snap in 2016.
What the internet said about and thought of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
- "That pick made a ton of sense for the Packers. Of all the safeties in draft, this guy had the best range. He plays faster than his NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash time (4.58 seconds). He misses surprisingly few tackles, and as a center fielder he's a natural. For a big guy, his movement skills are very natural." - Mike Mayock, NFL Network
- “Clinton-Dix offers starter-caliber instincts, range, coverage skills and tackling ability as a free safety.” - Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com
- “Highly aggressive and therefore will occasionally be fooled by misdirection and play-action. Barrels towards the line of scrimmage and leaving cut-back lanes for nifty athletes to exploit. Lowers his shoulder to lay the intimidating hit on ball-carriers and fails to wrap up, at times, relying [on] the collision to knock the opponent to the ground.” - Rob Rang, CBS Sports
- “There are very few qualities that you'd look for in an NFL starting safety which Clinton-Dix doesn't possess. With so much going for him—including the recent uptick in the value of the safety position—it would be a surprise for Clinton-Dix to fall outside the top 20 picks in the first round.” - Erik Frenz, Bleacher Report