2 Packers players who benefit the most from trade deadline decisions

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Anthony Johnson Jr.

After Darnell Savage went on IR following a week seven injury, the Packers immediately turned to Jonathan Owens to fill in across various packages. Fellow safety Rudy Ford has been a pleasant surprise in the starting lineup this season, performing well against both the run and in coverage.

While Owens is the likely immediate beneficiary while Savage is out, the fact that Green Bay decided not to bring a new safety into the mix hints that there is curiosity to work the rookie Johnson in as well.

Owens is a great tackler and will provide value against the run while playing in the box, but he is less suited to be a contributor in coverage. Owens is also 28 years old, and despite playing in all 17 games for the Houston Texans a season ago, the Packers are keen on seeing which youngsters they can get more snaps.

Like Valentine, few expected Johnson to fall to the seventh round. Johnson's name caught on late in the draft process after never posting below a 69.4 PFF grade while at Iowa State. His 3,159 snaps were the most of any Power Five defensive back since 2018, yet he recorded a stellar 90.0 PFF coverage grade for his career.

Especially after a game where Kirk Cousins and the Vikings' passing attack walked Green Bay's defense down the field routinely in week eight, the leash extended to Owens on passing downs is not likely to be long. That has never been where he excels.

Johnson brings aggressiveness with a willingness to meet the ball carrier, and he covers like a corner in the deep third or slot with elite field vision. With Savage's injury timetable up in the air and Owens being a short-term fix, Johnson figures to be a big part of the 2024 plans in Green Bay. Which, if the current roster trend continues, would indicate the Packers will want to see what he can do this season.

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