3. Starting Cornerbacks
Kevin King is the only corner that is locked into a starting spot. Anyone of Tramon Williams, Josh Jackson or Jaire Alexander could round out the starting group. King’s size and athleticism are the perfect embodiment of the modern premier corner. After him though, comes players with either inexperience or too many other question marks.
Alexander has the athleticism and ability to play inside or outside, but some say he lacks the size to play outside. He brings a certain swagger and attitude to a defense that has lacked it for many years. He thrives getting in the jersey of opposing receivers and throwing them off their route. His ideal position would be in the slot where he has shown success in the past.
Williams boasts the most experience of any in the cornerback room. He also is the only one to previously play in Mike Pettine’s system. Although it was only a single season, it will allow him to get up to speed quickly and help the younger corners do the same. Williams was a top-10 corner last season for the Arizona Cardinals in a limited role. There’s no reason to think that he can’t do the same again moving forward.
The Packers second-round pick Jackson would be a great outside option with his height and long arms. The area that he needs to work on is adjusting to the speed of the NFL. He only ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine and lacks true top-end speed. Despite a lack of speed, he does have the athleticism to make great plays. He may not start at the beginning of the season, but he and Williams could quickly change roles.
After having a lack of quality depth last season, the Packers are going to struggle this season to get all of their playmakers on the field this season. However, Pettine has shown the ability to get creative with his athletes, and that will not change this year.