Don't Forget about the CB Position this Offseason

The Green Bay Packers certainly have some big holes to fill this offseason at tackle, wide receiver, and inside linebacker but the cornerback position, which has flown under the radar, can't be forgotten about either.

Ask any Packers fan, or take a look at any of the thousands of mock drafts that have been released and it's quite clear that Green Bay has two big holes to fill at wide receiver and inside linebacker. You know it, I know it, the draft analysts know it.

But with the recent news that Bryan Bulaga could be signing elsewhere this offseason, it's easy to argue that addressing the right tackle could easily become priority No. 1. And on top of that, it wouldn't hurt to provide Kenny Clark some help along the interior defensive line and to add some depth to the tight end position as well.

While taking care of those needs is certainly important, and hopefully we see them addressed in either free agency or in the draft, one position that has flown a bit under the radar but could use some attention is at cornerback. 

Initially you might think, what for? And that's valid. With Jaire Alexander who looks like he could be a future All-Pro and Kevin King who finally put together a breakout season as he led the team in interceptions, the Packers have a very good core at the position. Not to mention that over the second half of the season we saw the emergence of Chandon Sullivan who looked like he would do just fine playing significant snaps in 2020.

However, after those three we run into a lot of unknowns. 

The soon to be 37-year-old Tramon Williams was the team's primary slot corner and even though he isn't in his athletic prime anymore, he put together a very good season.

In total, he allowed a completion percentage of 63.5 percent, gave up only two touchdowns, while coming away with two interceptions, five pass breakups and quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 86.5 when targeting him according to Pro Football Focus. And take it for what it's worth, but Williams' coverage grade from PFF of 82.2 was the seventh-best in football. 

Now, Williams, is a pending free agent and his future in Green Bay is up in the air. If the Packers choose not to re-sign him, then perhaps Sullivan can take over the slot corner role where he had some success in 2019, but even so, this position group overall is still lacking some serious depth. 

Moving on we have Josh Jackson who took his lumps during his rookie season, but many were hoping for that Year 2 leap that we see so many successful NFL players make. Unfortunately, an injury early on in camp would send Jackson in a free fall down the depth chart and he was never able to recover.

In 2019 Jackson would play just 9.9 percent of Green Bay's defensive snaps and even in that small sample size, he still struggled. Jackson was targeted eight times, allowed seven receptions and gave up a touchdown. At this point, he just isn't someone that the Packers can rely on to play significant snaps. 

On a positive note, we saw rookie Ka'dar Hollman flash during the preseason, however, he was only on the field for four defensive snaps last year. While we hope that he continues to develop, he is still an unknown and once again, not a player you want to bank on in 2020. Meanwhile, Will Redmond took some snaps out wide and in the slot but he really struggled in coverage and if you're wondering where Tony Brown is, well, he was cut in the latter part of the season.  

It's also worth pointing out that Kevin King is in the final year of his rookie contract and by no means do I think that it is a certainty that he will be back on a new deal. Meaning, the Packers should also be planning ahead at the cornerback position, you know, just in case. 

As we look ahead to 2020, the Green Bay Packers have three cornerbacks that can be counted on but as we've seen over the years, injuries happen in that Green Bay secondary for whatever reason and Mike Pettine loves to play with extra defensive backs on the field. So investing in the cornerback position this offseason, should absolutely be on GM Brian Gutekunst's to-do list. 

Now having said all of that, with their limited cap space compared to 2019 and the needs that they have elsewhere, I'm not expecting them to go out and sign Chris Harris by any means. Heck, I wouldn't even predict that they will sign a mid-level free agent. But spending one of their first four or five picks in the draft on the position? That I could definitely see. 

For one, the Packers have a recent history of selecting cornerbacks early and often in the draft. From the 2015 draft through the 2019 draft, Green Bay has selected five cornerbacks, with four of them being either a first or second-round pick.

Now of course, when they were making those selections they didn't have a player of Jaire Alexander's caliber on the roster, so it was more of a need than it is now. However, as I've mentioned, beyond Alexander, King, and Sullivan, they just don't have a proven, reliable option to play meaningful snaps. 

And with the NFL Combine having just taken place, it was reported by Ross Uglem of Packer Report, that Green Bay had met with a number of cornerbacks from this year's class. This list includes top prospects Kristian Fulton of LSU and Clemson's A.J. Terrell, among others. 

While wide receiver, inside linebacker, and tackle get most of the attention when it comes to offseason needs - and rightfully so - the Packers' cornerback room is in need of some help as well heading into 2020. Not to mention that with King's future in Green Bay being an unknown at this point, investing in the cornerback position this offseason certainly isn't a bad idea at all. 

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

NFL Categories: 
4 points

Comments (29)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
CJ Bauckham's picture

March 06, 2020 at 01:42 pm

I'd expect we draft at least one. It will be disappointing on some level if we take one early, just due to the number of high picks we've spent at the position in recent years, but if someone like CJ Henderson is there at 30 I don't imagine Gute would overlook him

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Lare's picture

March 06, 2020 at 02:02 pm

Any moves at the CB position probably depend on what they do with Tramon Williams, and to some extent on what his salary demands are.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
flackcatcher's picture

March 06, 2020 at 02:41 pm

Most of the answers will come when the Packers see the free agent market. While they may overpay for Bulaga, that won't come until other teams put in their bids. Same for T. Williams. We can guess all we want, but only the Packers GM knows what his Cap number is. Also, the Packers and Bulaga agent have had in the past difficult negotiations, so the waiting game is to be expected. As for DB and the rest, it's on Gute's (way too long) todo list.....

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Turophile's picture

March 06, 2020 at 02:55 pm

By the end of 2020 the Packers should have a good idea what they have at CB with Alexander, King, Sullivan, Hollman. Even if T.Williams is not re-signed, I'd be good with no more than a later pick here.

If, after 2020, it looks like the Packers need better than Sullivan/Hollman as their number 3 and 4 CBs, then they can spend a higher pick for a potentially better player.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Lphill's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:09 pm

If they would have had Breland last season he would have been the best corner. King had more missed interceptions than ones he caught.

+ REPLY
-5 points
1
6
Jonathan Spader's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:33 pm

Alexander had even more dropped would be interceptions.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
jannes bjornson's picture

March 08, 2020 at 07:36 pm

O K bring back LaDarious Gunther.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

March 07, 2020 at 02:46 pm

Gute gave Breland a chance when no one else in the league would touch him. Bad knee, bad attitude. Playing for Washington will do that to a player. (No 1 worst owner in the league with the Dallas a strong No 2.) Packers couldn't pay him top starter money, Kansas City did. End of story. (Got a ring too... :-)

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
stockholder's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:24 pm

It just seems so sad that we have to keep drafting CBs. Somehow the ones we let go, still manage to hang on with other clubs. Williams wasn't that great last year. The packers are like a dog chasing his tale at CB. Forget the Dog House. I want Jackson out there no matter what. Tell him this position is yours. Were with you win or lose. It's time to get are other Needs straighten out. CB isn't one of them.

+ REPLY
-1 points
2
3
Stroh's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:52 pm

Putting Jackson on the field is a sure and immediate death! He f'in sucks! They should have traded him to a zone coverage team while he still had value. Right now he has no value, no position and he's one foot out of the NFL. He's beyond salvageable!

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
stockholder's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:57 pm

I disagree. I remember how bad Jarret Bush was. They made every excuse to keep signing him. Kept putting him out there. Even got suspended and the excuses just kept coming.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
Stroh's picture

March 06, 2020 at 06:34 pm

Bush was a better CB AND he was a GREAT ST player. Jackson can't hold his jockstrap.

Jackson made a living against poor WR talent in the Big10 and against terrible QB,like Hornibrook and TJ Barrett. 5 INTs and both TDs against 2 QBs that haven't sniffed a chance in the NFL. HE SUCKS and he's almost out of the league. He won't make the Packers out of training camp!

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
jannes bjornson's picture

March 07, 2020 at 02:17 am

They will have to bag a CB in the 3rd or4th round, depending on the ILB situation in free agency.Tramon has seen his time. We witnessed the late season misses in cover. It is a passing league and they also need better tackling from their corners.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
holmesmd's picture

March 12, 2020 at 10:26 am

Bring Linsey Pipkins back!:)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Jonathan Spader's picture

March 06, 2020 at 03:37 pm

Running Back is the bigger position of need not being talked about than cornerback. Jamal Williams and Aaron Jones are in the last year of their rookie contract. There isn't a guarentee either of them gets a 2nd contract although there have been talks with Aaron Jones.

Behind them we have Dexter Williams who hasn't had an opportunity to show what he can do. RBs take a lot of punishment in the NFL and it's good to have depth. Remember when Lacy and Starks went down in the same year? Doesn't need to be a high round draft pick but another body wpuld help.

+ REPLY
5 points
6
1
stockholder's picture

March 06, 2020 at 04:00 pm

It is!

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Stroh's picture

March 06, 2020 at 04:01 pm

It doesn't have to be, but it could be a higher pick. Williams is a JAG,who blocks well but has no other RB skills. Jones is good or very good, but he small and injury prone. Jones would be great in a James White role while a legit RB handles the bulk of the hard work, a la Sony Michel.

Add to that, is LaFleur want to run more, probably closer to 50%, instead of 60% pass and adding a top flight RB makes a ton of sense.

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
greengold's picture

March 08, 2020 at 01:54 pm

I'd love to see them add a top RB to the group this draft. This is waaaaay out of the box, but, imagine if they popped for FA Derrick Henry.... wow.

I mean, if they added Henry and Littleton, then went to pick 30 to secure a starting RT... I could see that working. Thinking Henry would cost too much on the cap though at current market value. Never know though.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Michael Hughes's picture

March 06, 2020 at 04:40 pm

We better not be drafting one early. We may take one from round 4 onwards but you are talking hit and hope when you get to the 4th.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
CoachDino's picture

March 06, 2020 at 06:16 pm

Cornerback is one of the most important positions in football
Cornerback has one of the highest salaries in Football
Cornerback is one of the biggest draft bust positions in football

Draft Best Player Available -

If its a Cornerback - run to the podium and put in the pick.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
Packer_Fan's picture

March 06, 2020 at 06:36 pm

Jackson is on the way out unless they make him a safety. My suggestion is to resign Williams for 2 years and draft a CB in rounds 4 thru 7. Preferably in 6 or 7. Somewhere BG will need to hit a goid player in the later rounds. Easier to win a Super bowl with a few late round starters

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
Leatherhead's picture

March 08, 2020 at 07:51 pm

We have Jackson under his rookie contract for two more seasons and we do not have 10 guys who are better DBs, and that’s before the first injury.

He isn’t going to start, but he plays special teams and backs up several spots.

We have four good starters. We play a lot of 5 DB , and that means the elderly Tramon is on the field a lot. If we could get a younger, more aggressive tackler it would probably help a lot, this year and next.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Thegravedigger's picture

March 07, 2020 at 12:11 am

Tramon looked good and the stats back it up. Until the nfc championship when he was getting run over repeatedly. His age really showed in that game. But hes out there to cover. And if he wants to come back for a few mil id try and get it done if i was gute. We have bigger needs than cb. Wr. Dt. Lb. Ot. Te. All before corner.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
greengold's picture

March 07, 2020 at 09:30 am

I get what you're saying, Paul, but I do think we could roll through this entire draft without adding another CB and be OK. I'm not advocating the Packers doing so, but Sullivan was one of the best CBs statistically through much of his 2019 season in the NFL. What a gem Gutekunst and his staff found there! Hollman and Ento looked insanely impressive prior to their injuries. The CB position is not bereft of talent past Jaire, Kevin and Chandon. As some have mentioned, Tramon is still rock solid. I understand his age is extraordinary given his level of play, and there comes a tipping point for every aging veteran. He has lost speed, but makes up for it often with his experience.

Saying that, I have no doubts that Gutekunst will add another CB in this draft, as the position is deep and there is nearly as much talent there as WR. We have a ton of picks. I'm sure he will add another. As Ron Wolf always used to say, "Always take a CB."

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Christian Roussel's picture

March 07, 2020 at 10:24 am

I don't often question the coaches, but in this situation, the investments on CB have been massive. I'm sure the GM looks at this and think that he provided the coaching staff with more than enough talent at the position. And in a GM eyes, when the result dont match the talent, coaches get on the hotseat (Pettine) or fired (Simmons)

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
greengold's picture

March 08, 2020 at 01:50 pm

You're right to question the DBs coaching. Glad Simmons is gone and they hired a true Ace in Jerry Gray. My thinking is it could help turn around Josh Jackson's career, and improve the play of all of King, Alexander, Savage, Sulivan, and Amos, as well as Ento and Hollman.

Seeing problems back there with this group under Simmons really called out for a better coach, and look what he did with Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith...!

I highly suspect we will see far superior play from all of these players, and if Gray can get Jackson turned around into a solid pro, all the better.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

March 08, 2020 at 07:39 pm

Jerry can train him as a safety.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
billy96's picture

March 08, 2020 at 04:21 am

so it was more of a need than it is now. However, as I've mentioned, beyond Alexander, King, and Sullivan, they just don't have a proven, reliable option to play meaningful snaps.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GatorJason's picture

March 08, 2020 at 05:06 pm

Unless CB is our #1 pick, don’t expect a rookie to get much field time in 2020. Hollman or Ento need to step up if we want to see new speed and youth at the CB position.

Josh Jackson was an excellent zone CB in college but lacks athleticism to play in Pettine’s man D. Maybe he makes move to safety in 2020 and opens up a spot for a CB who matches the defensive style our DC prefers.

OTQ: Is Curtis Bolton Tango Uniform or a viable option at ILB? I know an ACL cut his season short last year but I don’t recall reading it was a career ending injury.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.