Green Bay Packers: A Look at Shemar Jean-Charles & What he Adds to Defense

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 09: Shemar Jean-Charles #8 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts after a defensive stop in the first quarter during their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 09: Shemar Jean-Charles #8 of the Appalachian State Mountaineers reacts after a defensive stop in the first quarter during their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

It’s no surprise that the Green Bay Packers chose to double-dip at the cornerback position in this year’s draft class. For starters, it was a very deep class and the position was a big need for the Packers—not only in 2021 but in 2022 and beyond as well.

As we all know, Green Bay would spend their first pick on Eric Stokes from Georgia, and then with the 178th pick in the draft, they would select Shemar Jean-Charles from Appalachian State.

Jean-Charles saw minimal playing time during the 2017 and 2018 seasons but became a full-time starter in 2019. That season he recorded three quarterback pressures and in coverage allowed a completion rate of 55 percent on 67 targets with an interception and nine pass breakups, according to PFF ($$).

This most recent season, we really saw Jean-Charles take a big step forward and flash those ball skills. His completion rate when targeted plummeted to 33 percent, and he came away with another interception and a whopping 16 pass breakups—the most in college football. Jean-Charles’ coverage grade from PFF was also the eighth highest among all corners. On the flip side, it’s worth mentioning that he was penalized 11 times over his final two years.

From a size and measurement standpoint, Jean-Charles is really an against-the-grain selection for the Green Bay Packers. He’s a bit on the smaller side at 5’10 – 184 pounds and his RAS of 4.27 is considered below average and well below the 8.0 threshold that Brian Gutekunst has typically stuck to.

Yet as Gutey recently noted in an article by Packers Wire, many of Green Bay’s scouts were thrilled to land Jean-Charles:

"“He was a favorite of a bunch of our scouts,” Gutekunst said after Day 3 of the draft. “We have a certain process we go through in the final three weeks before the draft. Guys get together and they work our board from the bottom up. This was a guy that just was the outlier for them. They were so excited to try and move this guy up the board, which we did. As it unfolded, I got a lot of taps on my shoulder during those period of times about him being on the board and available. We were thrilled to be able to select him.”"

Although Jean-Charles was primarily a boundary corner at Appalachian State, from the sounds of it, he will transition to the slot here in Green Bay. But as a Day 3 pick, expectations should be tempered as he still needs time to develop his game, and truthfully, there’s always that possibility that he never becomes “the guy.” However, learning from Jerry Gray, he will certainly be in good hands.

Where Jean-Charles can contribute and help immediately is on special teams, an area here in Green Bay that needs some serious help. In his pre-draft report, Jordan Reid of The Draft Network called him a “special teams ace.”

Now for a more in-depth look at what Jean-Charles will add to this Green Bay Packers defense, here is what several draft analysts had to say in their pre-draft reports:

Jordan Reid – The Draft Network

"“Prior to starting over the final two seasons of his career at Appalachian State, Shemar Jean-Charles mostly served as a special teams ace. Following that point, he quickly transitioned into being one of the better players on the roster. Possessing a rocked-up top half, he’s an impressively put together corner prospect. Playing mostly on the outside, he was able to collect 26 passes defensed and two interceptions over the past two seasons combined.He’s a physical corner out on the perimeter, but his lack of length could lead to him playing a nickel role on the next level. There is some hip tightness with Jean-Charles, which could make his transition inside result in some growing pains early on. But as he continues to become more comfortable, he’s a developmental player that could prove to be solid depth at the position.”"

Lance Zierlein –

"“Boundary corner who stays in the receiver’s business all day long. He’s a little undersized to be taking on big NFL wideouts, but he’s a feisty cover man with good foot agility and short-area quickness and his coverage movement is fairly fluid. He’s going to lose some battles due to his lack of size and length, but he plays with route recognition and ball timing to make finishing catches a contested effort. He’s a little below average in run support, which could be exploited. He’s better in man coverage, but capable in zone, as well, and should find work as a quality backup with CB4/5 potential.”"

Tony Pauline – Pro Football Network

"“Positives: Two-year starter who also contributed on special teams during his college career. Nice-sized corner with an aggressive style who is best facing the action. Possesses excellent length, effectively fights with his hands, and battles receivers at the line of scrimmage.Competes to break up throws and physically defeats receivers to strip the ball away. Works hard to get off blocks and make plays against the run. Instinctive and shows good awareness facing the action, quickly locating the pass in the air.Negatives: A bit late out of his transition following receivers off the line. Average burst to the ball out of his plant. Struggles staying on the receiver’s hip out of breaks. Slow getting his head back around to locate the pass in the air.Analysis: Jean-Charles is a tall, physical corner who struggles making plays with his back to the ball. His skills facing the action and productive special-teams play could help him snatch a roster spot as a ninth defensive back.”"

Pro Football Focus Draft Guide

"“Jean-Charles was one of the most productive cornerbacks in college football over the past twoseasons. In fact, his 27 forced incompletions leads all players in college football over that span. When you flip on the tape, though, that number is far less impressive. Yes, Jean-Charles plays the catch point tremendously well for his size, but a good deal of those forced incompletions came when he was originally beaten, only to be brought back in by an errant throw. His instincts and change-of-direction ability will ultimately force him to the slot.”"