Post-Draft Packers Position Analysis: Corner

A post-draft look at the Packers' corners heading into next season. 

A position that used to be a weakness finally became a strength in 2019. Before last season, the backend of the Green Bay Packers’ defense was considered their Achilles heel. However, last year they turned over a new leaf hopefully as the defensive backs emerged as one of the strongest position groups on the team. Figuring out their cornerbacks was a large reason why.

After losing Tramon Williams following the 2014 season, the Packers immediately began their quest to find a replacement to pair with Sam Shields. With their first two picks of the 2015 NFL draft, they selected Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. Unfortunately, neither panned out, and the entire draft class ended up being a giant whiff. Maybe if Shields didn't suffer a concussion in 2016 this story is entirely different. 

Regardless, the Packers instantly recognized their faults from the 2015 draft and selected Kevin King and Jaire Alexander with their first selections in consecutive years. Obviously, the two aren’t perfect, but at least the corner position is trending in the right direction.

So, here is a breakdown of who Green Bay has entering training camp to lock down opposing receivers as of right now:

1.     Jaire Alexander

By far the best corner on the team and one of the more talented players on the entire roster. Alexander has size limitations, but he doesn’t let that discourage him. He’s a true alpha on the field. One day, Alexander hopes to be up for All-Pro consideration, however, he will have to emerge as a true game-changer and increase his production. In 2019, he came down with only two interceptions- a number he will definitely want to improve upon next season. The Packers won’t have to worry about Alexander moving forward, which is significant when they couldn’t count on their no.1 corner just a few short years ago. Still, the team hopes he will continue to develop into the dominating presence he strives to be.

2.     Kevin King

For King, it will always come down to his health because he’s got plenty of ability. Having him on the field for 15 games last season was a huge boost for the defense. Anyone who says otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. Yes, King battles some consistency issues, but he also plays a position where it is impossible to be perfect. Green Bay will be happy to have a similar campaign out of King in a contract year, even if he is not in their long-term plans.

3.     Chandon Sullivan

If the Packers decline to bring Williams back for another run, Sullivan is his most likely replacement as the nickel corner. Sullivan drew a lot of well-deserved attention during 2019 training camp and preseason. Sullivan played in all 16 games last year. Not bad for a guy who was once considered a long shot to make the final roster. If Sullivan proves to be the answer in the slot, there’s a good chance the defense won’t miss Williams.  

4.     Josh Jackson

Jackson is one of the bigger disappointments the Packers are dealing with. The former second-round pick fell so low on the team’s depth chart he was a healthy scratch for multiple games last season. Sometimes, it takes a couple of years for a player to adjust to the next level. This could very well be the case for Jackson, but first he will have to earn the trust of his coaches to even get on the field. Now might be his best and final chance to stick in Green Bay.

5.     Ka’Dar Hollman

The Packers used a sixth-round flier on Hollman in 2019. After putting together a solid preseason, though, Hollman only appeared in four games. It’s hard to tell if the Packers expect him to be more than a core special teamer moving forward. His role early on should point us in the right direction.

6.     DaShaun Amos

Sorry, no relation to current Green Bay safety Adrian Amos. Amos was signed to a reserve/future contract after spending two years in the CFL. In 2017, Amos spent the entire preseason as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants. He played in all four games in New York but did not make the final cut. Amos has a background of playing both a corner and safety, and the Packers like players with that kind of versatility. While Amos will be a good story during the offseason, he may not have what it takes to stick around.

7.     Marc-Antoine Dequoy

Dequoy might be best suited to play safety, but he’s listed at corner on the team’s official roster. He’s got great size at 6-3 200 lbs., striking a similar resemblance to King. The Canadian prospect is said to be a good athlete, however, he faces a strong learning curve. Dequoy may have to make a strong impression on special teams to catch anyone’s attention. 

8.     Kabion Ento

Ento was signed to Green Bay’s practice squad early last season. So, if his name sounds familiar, that is why. In college, Ento was a wide receiver who then transitioned to corner in the NFL. He appeared in one preseason game in 2019, totaling six tackles and a pass deflection. If Ento can take the next step and continue to produce throughout his next preseason, he could be this year’s Sullivan.

9.     Stanford Samuels

A UDFA out of Florida State, Samuels may have to spend time on a team’s practice squad before he gets his chance. He’s got good size but logged an unimpressive 4.65 40 time at the NFL Combine. Samuels is a pure, physical man to man corner with plenty of improvement to show through his college career. His potential is why many thought he would get drafted, and Green Bay is lucky to have picked him up following the draft. Samuels will be a guy to keep an eye on when the team is back together.

10.  Will Sunderland

Sunderland will be hard to miss standing at 6-4. Originally recruited as a safety out of high school, Sunderland committed to Oklahoma. However, he later transferred to Troy after his sophomore year, although he didn’t switch to corner until his senior season. Sunderland came away with four interceptions in 2019 but went undrafted. If he can continue to improve his ball skills while bringing the aggressiveness of a safety to his new position, Sunderland will be fun to watch. On the other side of things, he could very well be easily forgotten.

Summary:

The Packers have their starters in Alexander and King. After that, things become less uncertain and health also becomes a huge factor. If Green Bay decides to resign Williams to another short-term deal, that adds some insurance to their cornerback group. However, that may also take snaps away from Sullivan who could be coming into his own. Meanwhile, they need Jackson to show improvement and prove he wasn’t a wasted pick. Outside of their top four, if Hollman and the rest of the bunch are formidable, this group has some potential.

 

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (59)

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Barnacle's picture

May 04, 2020 at 06:12 am

If another team tries to hire Gute, should the Packers release him?

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Adorabelle's picture

May 04, 2020 at 04:28 pm

Teams that go 13 - 3 often fire everyone?

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flackcatcher's picture

May 04, 2020 at 05:23 pm

heh heh heh heh heh..... :-)

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HankScorpio's picture

May 05, 2020 at 05:47 am

Gute is one Packer personnel guy I would not mind seeing working for the Bears.

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Spock's picture

May 04, 2020 at 06:43 am

Happy Star Wars Day everyone (May the 4th be with you)! I like most of our corners but, man, Jackson needs to have the light go on. I love T. Williams but I think his diminishing speed/increasing age for a CB makes it unlikely that he is back. Interesting speculation on another site that this year's supplemental draft could have some good players. Anyone know when that is supposed to happen? Stay safe everyone and Go, Pack, Go!

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dobber's picture

May 04, 2020 at 08:45 am

May the fourth be with you, too, Spock (I sense some irony in that statement!)

I fully intend to burn my day reciting the scripts of the classic movies and farting around on CHTV.

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Bearmeat's picture

May 04, 2020 at 12:23 pm

(poot)

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Spock's picture

May 05, 2020 at 10:11 am

Lol, no irony there. I've been a die hard science fiction reader ever since I picked up a book ( I think I was in 3rd grade?) called, "Rusty's spaceship" . Read all the Danny Dunn books ( I still have some I collected) and then got into the classics: Robert Heinlein (The Master), Isaac Asimov (his rules of Robotics changed writing about robots for ever), Frederic Pohl (his later year Gateway novels surpass even his earlier stuff), etc. My wife and I got married in 1977 and while I had been in college a local theater had been running the old Buster Crabbe "Buck Rodgers" serials every week so when I saw a preview of Star Wars I just HAD to go to the midnight premier. For it's time it was absolutely the best special effects, character driven story line and antithesis of all the bad, bad, 1950's schlock films (some exceptions like the classic "Day the Earth stood still") that gave sci-fi movies a bad name.

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Bearmeat's picture

May 04, 2020 at 07:16 am

1. CWood was released after 2012. TWill finished his contract in 2014.

2. It's clear that Josh Jackson is a safety or a 2 deep zone CB. He does not have the speed to be a man CB. Either he's been miscast from the beginning in GB, or he'll go on to have a Heyward-like impact after leaving here this next offseason. Neither is appetizing.

3. CB is a sneaky need on the team. King is almost surely gone unless he franchise-tag level balls out this year. At least 1 of Holman and Sullivan needs to become a starting level CB, and for 2021, probably both, for this not to become a weakness (again).

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Leatherhead's picture

May 04, 2020 at 07:52 am

Jackson’s 40 time ar the combine was the same as Richard Sherman.

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:06 am

Jackson is one of those players that is deemed slow but doesn’t look it in college highlights. I’m at a loss to know what the issue is with him. He was injured the majority of last season and I think he is suited to playing inside. If I’m right, there are a number of pickups that appear to be geared to multiple back set usage. A sort of half safety half cb type, slightly larger, almost a Canadian type. Could the fact that Dequoy is listed as a CB (former defensive half back) support this assumption? Our top rated UDFA looks like another.

Holman is a perimeter guy, less comfortable inside. That limited his opportunities with Willians going in on the perimeter last year if the need arose. Ento is also projected outside. Sullivan likely won’t move outside so obviously. One of those two may be the next man up therefore.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:17 am

There is no issue with him. The players ahead of him....Alexander, King, and Williams.....stayed healthy and played well. That’s a good thing. Sullivan was a real pleasant surprise and that’s a good thing.

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dobber's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:21 am

The regression from 2018 to 2019 on Jackson is a head-scratcher. He played a large number of snaps as a rookie, and even though he got had at times, he looked like he belonged. Even if he was playing hurt in 2019, it didn't stop him from playing STs. His emergence into a regular would be a boon for this defense.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 04, 2020 at 02:09 pm

Yeah, he played a lot as a rookie. Didn’t King miss a lot of time? Wasn’t Alexander out for a while?

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greengold's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:27 am

Coldworld, I really dig Josh Jackson, thought he was a great pick in R2, and he sadly suffered the foot injury which limited his ability to train and develop, and he was a player who needed development. The DB coaching was highly questionable last year, and I'm glad they upgraded by bringing in Jerry Gray. I think he will help Josh realize his potential, and maybe in a big way. Those instincts to ball hawk don't just go away, nor does the athleticism. Josh Jackson just needed the proper coaching, and we'll see what Gray does with him.

Marc Antoine-Duquoy is one the the additions I'm most excited for, as he has all the goods, without getting any kind of coverage/notoriety here in the US being from U Montreal. TOP talent for sure with blazing 4.35 speed at 6-3 198... with all the goods you can ask for at CB. He's going to be a UDFA lock on this team. Probably at S though, even though he's listed at CB and has experience there. He's more natural working FS. They'll dial him in proper though. Phenomenal scouting and signing by Gutekunst and his staff.

Really, really like Hollman and Ento as well. While the profile of the players added may seem sup par to many fans, these dudes are LOADED with talent. I have ZERO concerns with this group.

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:38 am

Dequoy is really interesting, but not a CB in the perimeter sense (they tried him there and moved in to a role inside that focused on the slot receivers and is sort of half way between safety and box safety. Phenomenal athlete. Need to see how good a footballer and if he can be a special teams demon.

Looking at all the DBs we acquired, I see trend of bigger and more physical internal types. I think Pettine wants bigger more robust types at DB for his DB heavy packages and for run support options. Notably a number of Greene type hybrid/ILB candidates.

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greengold's picture

May 05, 2020 at 10:30 am

Totally agree, his play as a S was far better and more natural for him. I just wonder what Jerry Gray is going to do with a player of his qualities...? This will be fun to see moving forward. Have to say, he's the one DB I'm most excited for from 2020. There are a lot of great talents added to compete, but, I do find Marc to be pretty special and a fortuitous addition to the Packers as a UDFA. Maybe another steal in the making there.

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Bearmeat's picture

May 04, 2020 at 12:23 pm

And Richard Sherman plays in a 3 deep zone team. He's had safety help over the top his whole career. He's a great CB, but his DCs have mitigated his weaknesses very well.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 04, 2020 at 01:04 pm

Good coaches change scheme to their Players. Carroll is a superior motivator and finds guys to play in his system. Sherman was exposed in the 1:1s as Seattle does not have Earl Thomas patrolling the numbers anymore.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 05, 2020 at 09:40 am

My point is that Jackson is certainly fast enough to play in the NFL.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 04, 2020 at 01:16 pm

So play Jackson in trips or quarters and see if he can perform. He cannot process fast enough, which seems to be be his issue put him in the box and see if he can tackle. Pettine claimed they trained him as the slot CB behind Tramon. Just a reach pick and Gutedkunst lost a lot of shots at talented players in rd two and three 2018, choosing this guy.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 04, 2020 at 06:30 pm

So he’s slow footed and slow minded. Kind of makes you wonder how he got all those interceptions and was able to fool all those scouts and coaches.

Apparently, he can’t mirror either. Can he walk and chew gum?

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Coldworld's picture

May 05, 2020 at 08:39 am

I do not recall him being that bad in year one except when played on an island in the perimeter.

Jackson was a one year wonder, raw, with tremendous ball skills but lacking long speed and agility. I thought that they would make him a safety, but his tackling was highly underdeveloped. In general it was felt that despite his clear ball skills, he would need to be developed before he could play.

He needs to be facing the QB. I think it’s possible last year was spent working on technique and there was reference to having him concentrate on a specific role. I don’t know if he is a slow learner, he definitely had a lot that he needed to learn versus many if his peers. Injury at the beginning of last season surely did not help.

I think this is the year we see him tried in a role and he either breaks into the team or out of Green Bay. Sullivan proved more complete as an inside corner and Redmond pushed him out as back up deep safety.

Redmond also had considerable success in college with high level ball skills and perhaps better athleticism before a series of bad injuries dropped him in the draft and kept him off the field. He moved to safety last year and was decent when playing deep. Redmond likely has upside too. Jackson has to show he has more and since Redmond plays special teams well, can offset that factor. That assumes another does not surpass both or one doesn’t grab the spot created when Sullivan moves up with Williams’ departure.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 04, 2020 at 10:57 am

Josh Jackson can't mirror so he plays man poorly. IDK why they don't try him at safety, maybe he doesn't want to play safety? I don't have another reasonable explanation.

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:40 am

They did say that they wanted him to focus on one role last year and that he was having to learn it. Perhaps that was what that was ( if it was not just a smokescreen).

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flackcatcher's picture

May 04, 2020 at 05:46 pm

After he came off the IR (mid season?) played both SS positions. First action at Chargers, was at game. Surprise to see him, did not know he was off the IR list with Burks. Other teams like him, Packers rejected trade feelers. Still thought by front office to be rare talent. Looking at both slot corner and hybrid/SS. After draft, who knows?

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CoachDino's picture

May 05, 2020 at 12:23 am

can you rlaborate on the trade offers/inquireies? Where it came out that other teams think highly of him. It would be encouraging.

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Coldworld's picture

May 05, 2020 at 08:57 am

Jackson was not active against the Chargers. After the early November game, Pettine was asked why directly and said:

“ Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Jackson still hasn’t found a legitimate role after missing most of training camp with a foot injury, giving other young defensive backs opportunities to carve out specific jobs for Pettine, and special teams participation also factored into the decision to make him inactive Sunday.

“I just think the setback going way back to the beginning of the year, just not being out there, got him behind,” Pettine said Thursday. “Will Redmond and Chandon (Sullivan) both have played a lot of reps and gotten their own little niche in what they’re doing. And they’re doing a nice job on special teams as well. So that got him behind. He hasn’t really been able to overcome those guys.”

Redmond has talent enough to be drafted as a medical redshirt and Sullivan has shown his skill set despite falling through the cracks. Both have upside. Even in his first year to Safety for Redmond and Sullivan as an active player they beat him out to the center field roles. Injury didn’t help, but ultimately if Gute finds better players by other means, I’m OK with that if Jackson can’t surpass them.

Sadly I’d be surprised if there is much if any trade value there. Can’t knock Gute: it’s not where you find them as long as you do. It’s clear on retreading he has to beat out central DBs and thus far hasn’t. Make or break year if we have a training camp. He either wins a spot on the roster affirmatively or a ride out of town I conclude.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 05, 2020 at 11:43 am

You're correct. My apologizes. This is the second time I thought Jackson played in the Chargers game. And the second time I wrote about it on this blog. (Slams head on desk) My statement on Jackson trade value stands. It was in a box conversation about Jackson's value to Packers in a trade. Neither myself nor my friend thought it possible giving lack of field time. But the need for secondary players in the league is so great some might want to swing a futures deal. (I keep mixing up Redmond and Jackson) Back to work...

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arthurl's picture

May 04, 2020 at 07:27 am

I am hoping they bring Williams back. His game is still pretty solid and behind Alexander and King there is steep drop-off in experience. Jackson has been a big disappointment and seems coaches have lost some confidence what he’s capable. He’s looking more and more like another highly drafted wasted pick. They have some younger guys with potential, so at this point there seems little proven depth behind the starters. Chances of both Alexander and King playing every game based on their history is very low. All the more reason to bring Williams back

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 04, 2020 at 07:33 am

Alexander has been a stud. However for him to take the next step he has to start making game changing plays. There was one game last year (i can't remember which), where he had a game ending interception go through his hands. He needs to make those plays.
But he is a stud!

King when healthy is a very good CB. He and Alexander for a really good duo.

Sullivan came out of nowhere last year. He was really good! Hopefully he can continue to get better.

Jackson is the biggest ?. He was a 2nd round pick where many felt he was a first round pick. The question is why hasn't he made it onto the field. Is it that the coaches don't trust him. Is it that he doesn't fit into what Pettine wants to do.
I thought last year when he did play, he played well. So maybe he just needs that opportunity on the field to show what he can do.

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Lare's picture

May 04, 2020 at 05:17 pm

"King when healthy is a very good CB."

From an article on King at Packerstalk- The 6’3” corner, in fact, ranked sixth overall among defensive backs in passes defensed (15). But he also gave up a ton of chunk plays. In total, King surrendered 864 passing yards to opposing receivers, third-most in the NFL, along with allowing a gaudy 17.3 yards per completion.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 05, 2020 at 03:22 am

We're both overall positive about the CB group other than having different emphasis.

Jaire has been quite good but isn't a stud. He could well become a stud.

King is acceptable when healthy, nothing more. Still really has only two years under his belt. The talent is there.

Sullivan looks very promising.

Jackson has a lot of talent. GB plays enough zone for him to get on the field. I have high hopes for him and am disappointed that his development might be stunted if there is no TC etc.: some diminution in practice and coaching time.

Hollman should be able to provide some limited but important snaps. A couple of hundred, more or less have Sullivan play Twill's snaps and Hollman provide 200 to 350 snaps like Sullivan did.

I like Ento and Dequoy is at least intriguing.

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nostradanus's picture

May 04, 2020 at 07:59 am

The Packers are pretty solid here with Alexander, King, Sullivan.
If they can get Tramon back at a reasonable rate I’d be all for it, he’s a great locker room guy, mentor and a perfect depth player.
Jackson although disappointing is only going into year 3 on a very affordable rookie contract and could have a year 3 emergence. We are all hoping that happens, I for one haven’t given up hope on him.
Holman and Ento showed promise during last years training camp so maybe these guys are hidden gems.
Samuels if you watch his tape plays with a swagger showing gritty coverage, tackling and an “in your face” attitude reminiscent of Al Harris. He didn’t run fast at the combine but it’s going to be hard to cut him.
Optimistic post yes, but hey it’s May. Go Pack!

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HankScorpio's picture

May 05, 2020 at 06:27 am

"If they can get Tramon back at a reasonable rate I’d be all for it, he’s a great locker room guy, mentor and a perfect depth player."

Evolve or die. Tramon should be in the Packers Hall of Fame in short order. He's a Professional Football Player, which is something I consider to be a very high compliment. I would not mind bringing him back because I think so highly of him.

But if it was anyone else, I'd be screaming to move on. I remember Driver's final season in GB. He stayed one year too long. They basically carried him on the roster as a tribute to an incredible player and better person. It was a nice thing to do. But business is business.

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Handsback's picture

May 04, 2020 at 08:12 am

This year the Packers should be OK. I really expect Sullivan to be a strong contributor and for Hollman to make a difference.
I have to say, I was disappointed in Alexander last year. Yeah he was good, but his play to me wasn't as good as the previous year. Is he a star or a really good CB? Can't answer that right now.
I hope they sign Williams for 1 more year. He did a good job and his experience will be needed before the year is out.
Jackson, he's an enigma...can he play safety? Can he bounce back and actually be a good CB? He's always mentioned in trade talks, but I have to wonder who would want him?
Anyway...good article in a spot where the Packers have some strength and bench.

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PeteK's picture

May 04, 2020 at 08:43 am

As Bear said,"sneaky need". If Alexander looked vulnerable at times it's because he drew the top receiver every time. King is a concern for me because of the dropped ints and some lame tackle attempts. Jackson is done, Williams too old. On the bright side , we do have some interesting safety backups that could play nickel and dime.

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:19 am

Both are young and it takes a while to click. Both nearly made interceptions and plays. They have the tools, but neither quite delivered on their upside last year. It could be that one or both do so this year.

Overall, we have to have growth within the roster. I think CB is one where we have potential to improve from starters (I’m including Sullivan) and what lies behind. I sense a change in the remaining depth to more physical types. Hollman or Ento progressing would give good outside depth.

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Bearmeat's picture

May 04, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Agreed. The CB position is only a sneaky need because you need 4 of them that can play every year, and probably 5, because of injuries.

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stockholder's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:04 am

I think we've seen the best of what this defense has. If King isn't signed. It will be a big mistake. Then it's next year, and next year, and next year. You get the point. I'm tired of drafting Cbs. We just can't keep losing starters. The waiver wire isn't the answer at Cb. Well King is the best answer! Sign Him. Over pay him, whatever. He's just as good as Williams, Hayward, and better then Hyde. Don't let him get away!

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:23 am

I actually agree with you on King. If he has another healthy season and continues to progress you do not let those types go if at all possible. Perimeter corner is a critical position.

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greengold's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:40 am

Me too, Coldworld.. Agree 100% stockholder. He's a tough nosed shut down corner with dynamic size/speed and exceptional ball skills. I really felt badly for him 2018 suffering through both hamstring and groin injuries, but he came back strong after taking a LOT of heat from fans and press to show his wares in 2019. He's fearless in run stop, which is highly valued at CB.

Kevin King is a bright guy who is well studied, and offers unique traits that are difficult to find at the position today. He would be a very smart re-sign for the Packers, and I would not be at all surprised to see that happen.

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dobber's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:09 am

I would've listed CB as a significant need coming into this off-season with TWill on the verge of retirement and a hard decision coming on King. That's two of the top 3 from 2019. You can never have enough cover guys. Regardless of what people think of his performance over the years, King's length makes him a valuable defender against big WRs...that will be hard to replace.

Still, Chandon Sullivan has been good, they drafted Hollman who is a little older, and they seemed to like Ento a year ago. Jackson needs to step up: people forget that he had limited experience at the CB position leading up to his being drafted. Many scouting reports indicated that he would need some time to grow into the pro game. Last season, Pettine opted to go with his nickel (TWill, Alexander, King, Savage, Amos) or inject a hybrid (Greene, Redmon, or Campbell) rather than playing a 4th CB. Sullivan was the only other CB to crack that group very much. It could be the health of the DB unit worked against the development of younger CBs.

The signing of a bunch of UDFAs and Canadian players to support the CB group smells vaguely of the Ted approach. Draft capital is always limited (unless the Bills deal you a haul), but a day 2 or early day 3 CB would've been a nice addition.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 04, 2020 at 05:49 pm

Yup. Throw it at the board, see what sticks and hope it doesn't smell.... :-)

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Lphill's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:30 am

So your saying it took about 5 years to find 2 starting corners? King is not worth keeping so that leaves Alexander who misses as many big plays as he makes. So I guess next draft back to corner again.

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Coldworld's picture

May 04, 2020 at 09:56 am

5 years for whom?

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dobber's picture

May 04, 2020 at 10:51 am

Sam Shields, while undersized, was a #1 CB. He was in his prime and signed for the long term when concussions drove him out of GB. The Packers had just let Hayward walk and weren't prepared to replace him immediately.

You play a lot of DBs on game day. It's a high-attrition position and those guys are usually key players on ST. Teams should be drafting DBs virtually every year, anyway.

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greengold's picture

May 04, 2020 at 04:30 pm

All very sound points, not to mention, Sam Shields was a UDFA.... wOW! That was a phenomenal signing by Thompson back in the day, and Shields really delivered in a very big way. Helped us win a Super Bowl. His play as a ROOKIE UDFA was lights out all the way through the playoffs.

Again, it doesn't matter how you get great players, but that you do get them on your team. Gutekunst seems to have a good knack for that.

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greengold's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:15 am

I like our group of CBs top to bottom. There is a lot of talent and great competition at the position pretty much loaded with ball hawks. Jerry Gray is going to have an enormous influence coaching this level of dynamic talent across the board. Gray could well turn out to be one of the most important additions to this coaching staff, and we'll see first hand his impact on players we know and have watched for the last 2-3 years. I'm confident the group as a whole will improve this season under his guidance.

I did not see CB as the really big need position entering the draft with the way Sullivan, Hollman and Ento performed last year. They all showed some serious ball skills, and Sullivan just blew the competition away to become one of the most effective DBs per snap in the NFL last season. I went to watch some of those practices last year, and Ento showed himself a playmaker there, surprisingly so as a converted WR. Impressed the hell out of me. Hollman was rock solid in camp too.

Found Jaire to have regressed a bit last season with some of his decision making and play, but, again, I think Jerry Gray will have him dialed in proper when the season starts. I have total confidence in Jaire, and sophomore slumps happen. Think he's really going to light it up this year.

Kevin King's contract is coming up after this year, but feel he will quite possibly be rewarded with an extension along the way here. I loved seeing him hit the jets last season to lead the NFL in INTs at the position. Been a big fan of him for a long time, and I was happy to see his solid play after coming back from injury to show his true toughness. The guy is a top talent that many fans should take more seriously. Phenomenal ball skills, range, extension and a tough, willing run defender. King is a playmaker. Gutekunst has his hands full deciding who he can afford after the season..

Josh Jackson has instincts and great athleticism. Sadly, he had just 1 year of experience in a zone system at Iowa, but those intangibles that set great players apart don't just go away. I firmly believe Jerry Gray is going to work wonders for his growth into the player many expected this season.

Super stoked for Marc Antoine-Duquoy, though I do believe he will be working more at S where his skills really shine. At 6-3 198, he ran a 4.35... has exceptional range, tracking, ball skills, and does NOT shy away from tackling. From the U Montreal, he was considered the top CB in all of Canada last year, and was a lock as a 1st Round pick in the CFL draft. Had 37.7 tackles, 3 INT and 1 returned for a TD. He brings more toughness to the DB room too, which is great. Has the versatility to play CB.

Stanford Samuels from FSU is another player I think stands a great chance as a tough, physical man CB with all the goods. I wouldn't sleep on this player either.

Who really cares where the players come from? I mean, they can't all be top picks, and those don't always deliver the goods. Tramon was and still is a warrior, the #7 ranked DB in the NFL covering the slot... I have really liked watching Gutekunst load this position up with talent from a number of sources, and he keeps bringin' it.

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Spock's picture

May 05, 2020 at 09:56 am

greengold, I like your take on most of this ... BUT... with training camp likely to be (at best) shortened or nearly non-existent how much can a new coach really help the players this year? It's looking more and more likely there will be a limited number of NFL games, if any, in 2020. Sigh. :(

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greengold's picture

May 05, 2020 at 10:54 am

Hey Spock! Yeah, it is always something I'm considering, but the coaching doesn't end in TC... I do think Gray will be a huge plus for the entire group this next season, if we are to have one. Weird times, for sure, and there is no certainty with regards to training and scheduling, nor with regards to player and fan safety.

This is slightly off topic, but I want to share with all of my friends here at CHTV:

I'm going to follow the money in regards to markers acknowledging best safety practices, myself, moving forward. The NFL, MLB and the NBA amongst others are multi-billion $ industries. They're heavily invested in risk management and protection from litigation. Follow the leagues to get a better handle on what might be THE safest practices in this COVID-19 pandemic, as they are the one's who've been amongst the most discerning about when and how to move forward, safely.

I was a Respiratory Therapist for 13 years when I was younger, and a really good one. That was 23 years ago. What I am hearing about the sudden onset and complete annihilation of human life from this virus is real, and I wish more people would be more careful in going about their business, their recreation and of others, by remembering SAFETY FIRST.

Sorry, but had to share, because what those heroes on the front lines are experiencing is unlike anything I ever saw in my career, and it is terrifying for me to think about. Help them by insisting that they get more support, and by being mindful & considerate of others. I consider all of you who share in the CHTV community of fans to be friends, and wish you all the best as we get through this. Big thank you to the people here at CHTV who are going out of their way to provide this great green & gold escape! CHEERS! Great work, as always, and much appreciated!

THE SOONER WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS, TOGETHER, AS SMARTLY, PRUDENTLY AS POSSIBLE, THE SOONER SPORTS

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 04, 2020 at 10:38 am

Jaire Alexander is happy because he knows he'll he won't have to try and tackle AJ Dillon again anytime soon.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 04, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Yes, I saw that film clip. He got run over. Sadly, Pettine’s defense has CBs trying to tackle running backs after they have already burst past the LOS. A solid run defense would make our current crop of DBs look even better.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 04, 2020 at 03:46 pm

I recommend to watch the whole game. It's on youtube 1 hour version. Dillon didn't even start. He just went Superman, it was nuts.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 04, 2020 at 06:13 pm

If half of your defense is defensive backs, then they’re going to have to tackle too or you’re gonna have a bad defense.

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Lphill's picture

May 04, 2020 at 11:41 am

5 years to get 2 starting corners? Let King go, we will be back to drafting corners again.

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HankScorpio's picture

May 05, 2020 at 06:09 am

King is a bigger priority in my eyes than he seems to be in the eyes of others around these parts. I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth. But I will be surprised if he moves on.

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HankScorpio's picture

May 05, 2020 at 06:07 am

The Packers were incredibly healthy last year. Corner was no exception. Their top 4 settled in for the duration in September. So we, as fans, have no clue about whether the deep depth can play. Guys like Jackson and Hollman did not pass up Sullivan in practice to force their way on the field. But Sullivan played darn good so I don't hold that against them. And he was stuck behind Alexander, King and Williams, who also stayed healthy and played well.

The last good look we got at Jackson was in 2018 when he was a rook with very little college experience. Maybe he's the bust he appears to be. And maybe he's a project that he appears to be. Year 3 will be big for him. Maybe the light goes on, maybe he moves to Safety and maybe he just moves on. We've seen nothing but relatively meaningless preseason from Hollman. Their UDFA haul from this year was pretty good.

If you can't develop talent as a coaching staff, you cannot maintain success. You can get lucky but it won't last. I'm fine with the group they have assembled. There is plenty to work with for the new secondary coach. And their is plenty of the kind of versatility that Pettine loves to use in disguising what he does. If they can't make it work, that's good to know. Maybe it means they need to find someone that can make it work.

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greengold's picture

May 05, 2020 at 11:15 am

I agree with you 100% on this. AND, I'm a huge Josh Jackson fan. He was raw coming in, and only had ZONE experience at Iowa in his 1 year of play there, when he exploded onto the scene for the most INTs of any DB in his 2018 draft.

While the "bust" label could apply, and you're right there needs to be improved coaching to develop the players into positive forces within Pettine's scheme, I do think the switch to Jerry Gray heading the DB coaching will be a godsend to him.

Jackso has innate talents for ball hawking. His further development, after suffering the foot injury early last season that hindered that for him, under Gray's guidance could help GB realize the return on investment. We'll just have to see and it could be our last hope for him in GB, but, I do think he will benefit greatly, as will the Packers, and the rest of our talented DB group.

Jerry Gray ups the game for the Packers in a big way as the coach of their DBs. An extremely valuable piece of the puzzle.

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