Packers 2021 post-draft position review: Cornerbacks
The Green Bay Packers knew they needed to get better at cornerback this offseason.
And they have.
The Packers kept their top three cornerbacks from last season but also added to the position during the draft. But have they done enough?
Here’s our post-draft review of Green Bay’s cornerback depth chart.
Currently on the roster
Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan, Shemar Jean-Charles, Josh Jackson, Ka’dar Hollman, Kabion Ento, Stanford Samuels, KeiVarae Russell
The Packers were quiet in free agency in that they didn’t sign a top cornerback like Richard Sherman or William Jackson, but they did re-sign Kevin King and Chandon Sullivan.
While that didn’t exactly excite the fans, Brian Gutekunst’s work wasn’t done. The Packers selected Eric Stokes in the first round of April’s draft, then added Shemar Jean-Charles in the fifth round.
Improved from 2020?
Yes. And potentially quite a bit.
Green Bay brought back its starting cornerbacks from a year ago. And while King struggled for much of the 2020 season, especially in the NFC Championship Game, he has been a solid player for this team in recent years.
But by adding Stokes and Jean-Charles, there’s a lot to like about the Packers’ offseason work at cornerback.
A second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler last season, Alexander enjoyed a breakout year and showed the world that he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. We saw flashes in his first two seasons, but Alexander put it all together in 2020 and regularly shut down great receivers.
While there’s some uncertainty with the other starting spots, Alexander is one of the stars of this defense and leads the way at cornerback.
The Packers have lots of young talent in the secondary, but there are still questions at cornerback.
We can assume the plan is for King to start initially in 2021, which isn’t a bad idea. He’s an experienced player who has made some big plays for this defense in the past. It makes sense not to rush Stokes onto the field and give him some time if he needs it.
If Stokes plays well early on, he can eventually take over the starting job on the outside opposite Alexander.
Similarly, Sullivan should expect some competition from Jean-Charles even if not right away. The starting three could eventually be Alexander and Stokes on the outside with Jean-Charles inside, but we may not see that for a little while.
Another option could see Alexander play the “Star” position similarly to how the Los Angeles Rams use Jalen Ramsey. That would allow King and Stokes to play on the outside.
How does Josh Jackson fit into the team’s plans? Will he be more involved in Joe Barry’s system? Will there be development from Ka’dar Hollman, Kabion Ento, and Stanford Samuels?
The Packers have a lot of young talent and potential at cornerback. Barry needs to put it all together and find the best lineup.