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Safety first: Packers tap Clinton-Dix, shore up secondary

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Green Bay Packer GM Ted Thompson, ever the Sphinx when it comes to the NFL Draft, couldn't disguise the fact that their most glaring need was at safety.

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Thompson was able to fill that Grand Canyon-esque void Thursday night choosing Ha'Sean (Ha Ha) Clinton-Dix from Alabama with the 21st pick overall in the 2014 NFL Draft (

Clinton-Dix is in the Nick Collins/LeRoy Butler mold of safety.

He has great hands and can switch between covering slot receivers and tight ends.

The Packers had the ignominious distinction of not getting a single interception from the safety slot in all of 2013.

Clinton-Dix (6-1, 208) has led the highly-regarded SEC in interceptions and snared a huge pick against Notre Dame in the BCS Champioship game in 2013.

The Houston Texans did what most pundits expected, taking South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney with the Number One overall pick.

Johnny Manziel, the highly-touted (some say over-hyped) quarterback from Texas A&M, slipped all the way to No. 22 (Cleveland Browns), reminiscent of the 2005 draft when Aaron Rodgers fell to Green Bay at 24.

This is the latest that the NFL has conducted their annual draft of college players.

The league was hoping for a ratings bump during sweeps month in prime time.

Millions of people got a head start on their upcoming fantasy drafts by tuning in to watch all the hugs, the tears and large men holding up small jerseys while posing for photo ops.

The usually volatile New York audience, who has roundly booed the picks by the Giants and the Jets in the past, didn't seem to have a problem with their home teams' choices this year.

The draft continues on Friday night with the second and third rounds and concludes on Saturday with rounds four through seven for the 32 teams.