Overview: I found Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to be a difficult player to evaluate. Watch his 2012 tape, and you see a rangy playmaker with future first round pick written all over him. Turn on his 2013 film, on the other hand, and you see a player who has difficulty getting to the sideline in coverage, takes poor tackling angles and rarely makes game-changing plays. Clinton-Dix had a total of 50 tackles to go with 2 interceptions in 2013, and while those numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping, his lack of production can be mitigated by the facts that he was suspended for two games and played on a high-caliber defense. He was also a second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC selection, but I think those accolades might have been more about name recognition than on-field production.
- Good Tackler. In an age where players constantly seem to be going for the big hit at the expense of actually making the tackle, it was refreshing to see a player who wraps up consistently. When this guy makes contact, the ball carrier goes down.
- Excellent supporting the run. Gets up to the line in a flash and without hesitation when he reads run. Not afraid to stick his nose in there.
- Smart and well-coached. Rarely makes mental or fundamental mistakes.
- Solid length for the position. At 6-1 with arms over 32 inches, this will not be a concern at the next level.
- Range is adequate at best. Can be slow getting off the hash and subsequently will fail to get over the top of wide receivers running up the sideline.
- Lacks ideal build. A little thin for the position and looks a bit like a corner out there.
- Not effective in the box. Has trouble getting off blocks and can get lost in the wash on the inside.
- Does not create turnovers. He can make plays on the ball but the majority of his interceptions come on poorly thrown balls that go right to him, rather than exceptional plays on his part.
NFL Player Comparison: Rahim Moore, Denver Broncos. Similar in height/weight/speed comparisons, I expect Clinton-Dix to have a similar playing career to Moore; a solid starter for the most part, but can get burned on occasion. Clinton-Dix, however, does tackle better and play more aggressively than Moore.
The Way I See It: I don’t like this pick for the Bears. Don’t get me wrong, I think Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a good football player and would definitely be an upgrade at the position. I just don’t see the type of dynamic playmaker Chicago’s defense so desperately needs when I see him play. I think he’s more of a high-end second round talent that could sneak into the first round rather than a top 15 pick. Though he will likely get pushed up due to a combination need at the position in the league and lack of depth in the class, similar to Mark Barron going in the top 10 in the 2012 draft.