Packers 2021 roster preview: Fresh start for Josh Jackson?

Green Bay Packers, Josh Jackson (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Josh Jackson (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Josh Jackson hasn’t made the impact he would’ve hoped after being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round three years ago.

Jackson enters an important fourth season with the Packers.

But with a change at defensive coordinator with Mike Pettine being replaced by Joe Barry, could Jackson see more playing time in 2021?

2020 stats

Jackson featured in 12 games in the regular season, starting five. He made 26 tackles and two pass defenses.

2020 review

Jackson saw extended playing time while Kevin King was out with injury, and he played OK. Unfortunately, the numbers weren’t great. According to Pro Football Reference, Jackson allowed 74.2 percent of passes to be completed in his coverage, including a passer rating of 113.0.

Despite that, he proved to be a solid backup behind King and made some plays while he was out injured.

What was most surprising was that once King returned from injury, Jackson barely played again. He was inactive for four games and his snap counts dropped considerably.

Will he make the roster?

Jackson will face competition for a roster spot this year. The Packers drafted Eric Stokes in the first round and Shemar Jean-Charles in the fifth, adding more young talent at cornerback.

What to expect in 2021

If Mike Pettine was still running the defense, it would be difficult to see Jackson making the roster. Pettine barely used Jackson outside of the games King missed last season. But with Joe Barry taking over as defensive coordinator, maybe Jackson will get a new opportunity.

It won’t be easy, though. King was re-signed this offseason will likely start opposite Jaire Alexander. Then there is first-round pick Stokes who should see plenty of snaps early on. Chandon Sullivan and Jean-Charles will likely be the top two in the slot, leaving limited roster spots remaining.

Jackson will need to win a spot ahead of Ka’dar Hollman, Kabion Ento, and Stanford Samuels.

If he does make the roster, Jackson will be entering the final year on his rookie contract. It would effectively be a prove-it season.