Let’s start with the obvious answer, first-round pick Jaire Alexander. First-round picks don’t usually sit for too long. And when your pass defense was as bad as the Packers was last year, you need all the help you can get.
Tramon Williams and Kevin King are expected to open up as the starters outside when training camp begins with Alexander as the nickelback. But there is major opportunity here for Alexander. King was mostly a bystander during OTAs and minicamp while recovering from shoulder surgery. King has yet to participate in team drills and has mostly taken part individual drills and meetings. Should King be slow to recover, this could give Alexander the opening he needs.
Alexander will play a lot. The nickelback has become a de facto starter in the NFL. Teams are moving away from base package personnel (four in the secondary) and using five or six DBs regularly. Even if Alexander opens up as the nickel or star position, he more often than not will be on the field for the first defensive play of the game.
But with a strong showing Alexander could steal a starting spot outside from King. While King has a year of experience in the NFL, Alexander has already gained more practice time in Mike Pettine’s system.
Alexander is already getting positive reviews from both his peers and coaches. If he keeps this up once the pads come on in training camp, Alexander should have a starting spot locked down when the season opens.