Packers: 5 best players over the first half of 2020 season

Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander
Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

3. Jaire Alexander

“Can Jaire Alexander take a third-year jump and become a shutdown cornerback?”. That’s the question we all asked during the offseason. Well, Alexander has responded in a big way and is Pro Football Focus’ number one-ranked cornerback at midseason.

Some might point to his lack of takeaways or big plays as a reason why he’s not an All-Pro, but there’s a good reason for that. Quarterbacks have no interest in throwing the ball his way. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, when covering Mike Evans, Will Fuller, and Calvin Ridley this season, Alexander was targeted seven times and gave up zero catches.

That sums up the first half of the season for Alexander perfectly. The Packers have given him the task of shadowing the opponents’ top receiver time and again, and he’s given up very little. Three of the best receivers the Packers have faced this season had zero catches in Alexander’s coverage.

Alexander has improved each year. We spoke about the need for more consistency if he was going to reach the next level and become a shutdown cornerback. Based on the opening eight games of the season, he’s taken that step and become one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks.