Green Bay Packers: 5 things to be thankful for in 2018-19

Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images
Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images /
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Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images /

1. Young player breakouts

Alexander, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kenny Clark, Davante Adams and Corey Linsley took 2018 by the horns, and they have each made considerable leaps so far this season. Alexander ranks as the 11th overall cornerback in the NFL, and he brings an edge of swagger that this defense has lacked since the prime days of Charles Woodson. Clark came into this year as a breakout candidate, and he has answered that call to become a top-10 interior defender for the NFL.

After the decline and ultimate release of Jordy Nelson, the Packers needed a playmaker with the ability to take the top off of the defense. The rookie fifth-round pick out of the University of South Florida Valdes-Scantling has shown plenty of ability to do that. Rodgers has shown a trust in him that is rare for a rookie. Heading into the future, he gives the Packers a great playmaker opposite Adams to give him better matchups.

Adams has yet to achieve his first 1000-yard season. However, that is mostly due to both he and Rodgers’ inability to stay healthy. That should end this week, and Adams is a legitimately elite talent at the wide receiver position. Thankfully, he’ll be locked up with the Packers for the foreseeable future. Linsley had a rough season in 2017, but he has shaken that off this year. He locks down the middle, and the Packers kept him in place with a deserving contract extension.