Once again this April, Press-Gazette Packers beat writer Rob Demovsky will provide a pre-draft breakdown of the Packersí roster at each position heading into the April 26-28 NFL draft.
Hereís the position schedule:
Monday: Defensive line
Today: Defensive backs
Thursday: Offensive line
Friday: Running backs
Sunday: Tight ends
Tuesday: Special teams
What they have: Tramon Williams (CB), Charles Woodson (CB), Sam Shields (CB), Jarrett Bush (CB), Davon House (CB), Brandain Ross (CB), Morgan Burnet (S), Nick Collins (S), Charlie Peprah (S), M.D. Jennings (S), Anthony Levine (S).
Position analysis: Neither Williams nor Shields played as well in 2011 as they did in 2010, but thereís reason to think both will return to form. Williams was bothered by a shoulder injury. Though he missed only one game (Week 2 against Carolina), he wasnít healthy for weeks or even months after that. It showed in his ability to play press coverage and tackle. Shields regressed in his second year as the nickel corner but perhaps was victim of not having an offseason program in 2011. Woodson missed more than his share of tackles, too, but still made plenty of big plays (seven interceptions, two sacks). The Packers like Houseís physical tools, but he missed so much of his rookie practice time because of injuries. Ross spent all of last season on the practice squad. The Packers still like Burnettís potential, but he needs to become more assignment sure. He had too many assignment errors. Peprah didnít play as well last season as he did in place of Burnett the year before. Jennings also has good physical tools that showed up on special teams, but he didnít play on defense as a rookie. Tackling as a whole needs to get better from this group.
The future: So much of this position hinges on the future of Collins, who is still waiting for all the medical opinions to come back on how his neck has healed following single-fusion surgery last September after he herniated a disc. If Collins has to retire or if the Packers decide they donít want to put him at risk by playing him again, then theyíre going to need to find another safety, possibly one who can start right away.