Green Bay Packers: 5 biggest questions facing the defense

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
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5. Starting Strong Safety

Morgan Burnett was viewed as one of the team’s biggest pending free agents this offseason. The team chose to let him walk to the Pittsburgh Steelers for pennies on the dollar compared to what was expected. Derwin James was expected to be drafted to fill the spot, but the job will now fall on Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice to fill.

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Jones flashed his tantalizing athleticism last season playing down in the box as a linebacker. However, he would look overmatched in coverage or as a true safety, which is an area Burnett gave the team consistent production. Jones was strong in pass-rushing as he graded better than any other Packers safety per Pro Football Focus. Pass-rushing is only one aspect of the game and does not give Jones a very firm hold on the spot.

Brice has been mostly a reserve and special teams player through his first two seasons. He’s coming off an injury-shortened season in 2017 that saw him only play six games. He and Jones will be battling all offseason, as head coach Mike McCarthy has previously stated they’re keeping things an open battle at the position.

Ultimately, Jones is the favorite to land the job. Although, if he fails to capture it or develop. With a good summer, Brice or one of the other reserve safeties could take the job.