Green Bay Packers’ Positional Battles: Safety Remains A Mystery


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The Green Bay Packers are making a quarterback change for the first time in 15 years.

They’ll have the youngest wide receiver group in the National Football League and could lean heavily on a pair of rookie tight ends.

After having a veteran roster the last several years, the Packers figure to be one of the league’s youngest teams this fall. And that means several jobs will be wide open when training camp begins on July 26.

Forbes is examining several of the positional battles that await. Today we look at the safety position.


Darnell Savage vs. Jonathan Owens vs. Rudy Ford vs. Tarvarius Moore

Back in 2018, the Packers’ safety combination of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice ranked among the NFL’s worst.

Green Bay’s current collection might be equally dreadful, meaning no job is safe.

Savage, a first round draft pick in 2019, is the Packers’ most talented player at the position. But Savage in coming off the worst of his four NFL seasons, a year that saw him get benched for a stretch late in the season.

Savage is fantastically athletic, but has ranked among the worst tackling safeties in the league his entire career. If Savage is the closest thing you have to a sure thing, you’re in trouble.

“I think Darnell’s best when he pulls the trigger and he lets it all hang out,” Packers safeties coach Ryan Downard said. “And I’ve had that talk with him. You see that if you watch his Maryland tape. I mean, he is going to get it now. He’s got to trust himself.”

Owens, the husband of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, was a 17-game starter for Houston last season and signed with Green Bay last month. Owens played 971 snaps and had 125 tackles in 2022, but Pro Football Focus ranked him as one of the NFL’s poorest safeties.

“My agent kind of explained you can come in, man, it’s an open room, everyone’s coming here to compete and make each other better,” Owens said of Green Bay’s safety group. “This is probably the best opportunity for me to come to in the NFL. It was really waiting for the perfect opportunity.”

The Packers signed Ford one week before the 2022 season began, and according to PFF
, Ford (74.6) graded out much higher than Owens (48.3) and Savage (47.5) did. Ford — who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at his Auburn pro day in 2017 — played 442 snaps, had a career-high three interceptions and could certainly win a starting job with a big summer.

“What I saw from Rudy is, as I think you guys probably all saw, is he’s got real speed, OK?” Downard said. “I saw that on the field, I saw that in practice, he’s got the ability to tackle and track ballcarriers, which … is a premium.”

Moore, a special teams standout during his five seasons in San Francisco, has 13 career starts. He’ll also be given a chance to win a starting job, but chances are he winds up an anchor on Green Bay’s improving special teams units.

“He has some coverage skill and he does have some power on contact, too, which I saw when I viewed him as a free agent,” Downard said of Moore. “I think he understands what the standard needs to be, but he adds a good element to our room, especially since we’re in this phase right now where there is some youth and there is some competition.”


Savage and Owens head to camp as the frontrunners at the position.

Don’t be surprised, though, if Ford passes Owens and is the starter opposite Savage in Week 1.

Ford doesn’t have ideal size (6-0, 200), but has terrific speed and a year in the system.

“Last year was tough on Rudy because he came in so late,” Downard said. “And that’s part of the NFL. So we got him up to speed as fast as we could, but I can’t wait to see his progression now that he has a full offseason.”

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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