Everything you need to know about Packers second-round pick Javon Bullard

Javon Bullard
Javon Bullard / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

Green Bay Packers second-round pick Javon Bullard was a two-way player at Baldwin High School in Georgia, playing both cornerback and wide receiver. He was recruited to play the former, being rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.

Bullard garnered interest from a number of schools and ended up receiving 27 offers. He eventually committed to his home state Georgia Bulldogs over the likes of Auburn and Tennessee.

As a freshman in 2021, Bullard featured as a backup as Georgia went on to win the national championship. Following the departure of Lewis Cine, Bullard became the team's starting nickel defender in 2022. He finished the season by being voted the National Championship Defensive MVP as Georgia won another national title.

Bullard saw his role shift in 2023, spending more time at free safety. He excelled there, allowing a passer rating of just 34.0 and earning Second Team All-SEC honours.

What can Packers expect from second-round pick Javon Bullard?


One of Bullard's biggest strengths is his natural athletic ability. He is a noticeably fluid and twitchy player who has the reactive quickness to translate effortlessly to the NFL level. That showed up at the Combine, with Bullard logging a 1.51 10-yard split that ranks in the 83rd percentile at the safety position.

He also offers impressive alignment versatility, something that was no doubt a big reason that the Packers selected him. Bullard played as Georgia's primarily nickel defender during their title-winning 2022 campaign and consistently showed the ability to blanket slot receivers in single coverage.

In 2023 he was utilised across the secondary and saw most of his snaps come as a true free safety. He was more than comfortable doing this too. Playing multiple roles on a talented and complex Georgia defense speaks to Bullard's football intelligence.

Bullard's intelligence is a big reason behind his impressive ball production. He logged two interceptions in each of his last two seasons at Georgia, whilst also having a handful of pass breakups. He forced an incompletion on 16% of his career targets.

The other big feather in Bullard's cap is his competitive toughness. This pops off the tape and he plays with far more fire and aggression than a player of his size has any right to do. In his draft guide, "The Beast," The Athletic's Dane Brugler reports that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart refers to Bullard as a "little stick of dynamite."


One of the concerns with Bullard is his long speed. This is by no means a major flaw in his game, but he doesn't quite have the top-gear speed to consistently carry quicker receivers vertically from the slot. He is also likely best as a split-field safety when working from deep as a result.

The other question mark will be his size. Whilst there is no questioning Bullard's competitive toughness, he is still small by NFL standards. Add in a lack of length and there will be question marks against how he matches up against bigger-bodied receivers at the next level.

It does also limit his effectiveness when trying to deconstruct blocks and wrap up in space against bigger ball carriers. Given his frame it is unlikely that he is ever going to add a ton of additional mass, so this is likely something the Packers will have to live with.

Where does he fit with the Packers?

The Packers desperately need bodies at safety, and Bullard gives them another dependable starter alongside their big free-agent signing in Xavier McKinney.

His versatility pairs well with McKinney, who showed the ability to work effectively from a range of alignments during his time with the Giants. Having a duo that is capable of mixing things up on the back end will allow the Packers to get creative with their coverages and disguises.

His best fit in the long run may however be working as the team's primary nickel defender, where he can really make the most of his fluid movement skills, competitive toughness, and football intelligence. The nickel is becoming an increasingly important position to NFL defenses and Bullard may just be the long-term answer for the Packers there.

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