The Green Bay Packers are hoping for major improvements at cornerback this season.
Easily the Green Bay Packers’ weakest position group entering the offseason, new general manager Brian Gutekunst made it a priority to add more talent.
But first, he made the surprising decision to trade away the team’s best corner Damarious Randall. But Gutekunst had a plan, using his top two draft picks on highly-rated corners Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.
Let’s take a closer look at the position.
Currently on the roster
Kevin King, Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Davon House, Quinten Rollins, Josh Hawkins, Demetri Goodson, Donatello Brown, Lenzy Pipkins, Herb Waters
Who makes the final 53-man roster?
The Packers will likely keep six or seven cornerbacks on the roster.
Second-year Kevin King, rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, and returning veteran Tramon Williams are the only locks to make the team. Davon House isn’t guaranteed a spot on the roster. It’s certainly possible one or two of the young corners on the roster outperform him at training camp.
Former second-round pick Quinten Rollins needs to show he’s fully healthy after a lot of bad injury luck.
Kevin King: The Packers’ top draft choice a year ago, King enters an important second season. He played well as a rookie before a shoulder injury ended his season early.
Williams’ arrival is important as he’ll offer experience, and even at 35 he can still play. But King will play more snaps than Williams. Rookies Alexander and Jackson will be expected to help the secondary from day one, but their best football is probably still a year or two away.
While King missed almost half of his rookie season, he still got nine games of regular season experience. The Packers need their talented young corner to make a second-year jump.
Overall, the Packers look much healthier at cornerback than they did a few months ago. Alexander and Jackson should become important parts of the secondary in the coming years, even if they take time to adjust to the NFL.
Williams and House provide the experience previous Packers defenses lacked, although at this stage it’s no guarantee House makes the roster.
If King can stay healthy and make the second-year jump, and one of the two rookies can make an early impact, the Packers will be in good shape at corner.