Packers: Darnell Savage a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate

2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

After selecting two defensive players in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, could a Green Bay Packers player win Defensive Rookie of the Year?

As the Green Bay Packers‘ defense takes the next step, they will be hoping both first-round picks — edge rusher Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage Jr. — can make an immediate impact.

And Savage has become a popular choice to not only do that but also win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2019. Michael Johnson of NFL Spin Zone named the most likely candidates from each division to win the award this season, and for the NFC North, he chose Savage.

Johnson wrote about defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s success coaching defensive backs in the past, and it’s hard to disagree.

Gary might have been the Packers’ first choice in the draft, but Savage will be expected to start in Week 1, and he’s in a position where he could have a lot of success early on in his career.

Adrian Amos offers consistency at the safety position, something the Packers didn’t have last season. With Savage, the Packers are getting a player who can regularly make game-changing plays. He could get multiple interceptions this year and that would go a long way to helping him win the award.

Gary is the only other likely candidate for the Packers, as defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, cornerback Ka’Dar Hollman and linebacker Ty Summers will likely be role players in 2019.

In an improved Green Bay defense, and importantly with an improved pass rush, Savage should have opportunities in the secondary. If he secures a starting job all season, plays well and makes a few interceptions, he’ll have a good chance to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2019 season.

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And more importantly, he’ll help the Green Bay Packers win a lot of games.