Green Bay Packers should add veteran cornerback depth

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Kevin King /

The Green Bay Packers have a young cornerback unit overall, and adding a veteran to the mix is something that they should consider.

In what was really just one offseason, General Manager Brian Gutekunst overhauled the cornerback position as it had hindered this Green Bay Packers team quite a bit in recent years. By signing Tramon Williams, drafting Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, while also adding undrafted rookie Tony Brown, we saw a much-improved cornerback group in 2018.

However, as we look ahead to this upcoming season, there are still some concerns when it comes to this group. First off, without Williams, Kevin King is the most experienced player in just his third season and all of the young players still have some growing and development that needs to take place on the field.

Josh Jackson struggled as a rookie and led this Green Bay Packers team with eight penalties. Jackson was asked to play quite a bit of man coverage and would become grabby when he thought he was getting beat by the receiver. Hopefully, this season we see Jackson in more zone coverages, which is where he excels but he will also have to continue developing his man coverage skills.

An unlikely contributor last season was undrafted free agent Tony Brown, who saw an increase in playing time due to the injuries that piled up in the secondary. We saw a number of promising moments from Brown as he would record 34 tackles and five pass break-ups over 11 games. However, his aggressive nature would give up some big plays as well. For a player entering his second season, he is a great depth piece but is not ready to be a starter.

The other concern that I have with this unit is injuries. Like clockwork every season, it feels like the Green Bay Packers secondary is decimated with injuries. King has shown a lot of potential when on the field but has played in just 15 games over his first two seasons. It almost feels like year three is now or never for him.

Even Jaire Alexander missed three games last season, and don’t forget, he only played in six games over his final season at Louisville. Hopefully, those few missed games in 2018 were just an outlier, rather than a trend that is developing.

On paper, I really do love the cornerback group that Gutekunst has put together and truly believe they can be a top ten unit in this league. But for the reasons mentioned above, along with the lack of experience, I do think the Green Bay Packers should add another veteran to the mix.

Whether it’s in a big moment or in a big game, on the practice field or in the film room, having that additional veteran presence can go a long way in the development of young players as well giving the Green Bay Packers another reliable option.

During Training Camp last summer, tight ends Robert Tonyan and Emanuel Byrd discussed how valuable it was having Marcedes Lewis on the practice field in addition to Jimmy Graham and that Lewis was like another coach on the field for them. The cornerback group already has a veteran in Tramon who is the exact type of player that the Packers want their young corners to learn from, however, I still see adding another veteran as a necessary move.

With the addition of veteran cornerback, their job wouldn’t be to take major playing time away from one of the younger players, but rather to add depth and stability to a very important position that is fairly inexperienced at the moment. Whether in a big moment or if one of the young cornerbacks are struggling, a veteran option off the bench could help steady the ship in that Green Bay Packers secondary.

After the draft is a time when NFL teams will make some cuts and usually to veteran players to make room for the young guys that they’ve added through the draft. So some new names could appear on the open market in the upcoming weeks, but a few unsigned options as of now include Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne amongst others.

With about $10 million in cap space still available according to Spotrac, and that does include the few rookie signings they’ve made, Green Bay has the room to spend $1-3 million on a one year deal for a veteran cornerback.

Next. Best and worst case scenarios for Darnell Savage. dark

Over the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay, we have seen poor play and injuries take their toll on the Packers’ cornerback position, so I see adding experienced depth as a must.