Long has that draft pedigree that GM Brian Gutekunst often covets. He was a 2019 third-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams where he played up until 2022, including two seasons with Joe Barry. Long, who measures in at 5’11” – 196, is also super athletic, posting an elite Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.22.
During his career, Long has played 1,375 defensive snaps, according to PFF. He’s made 104 of his 118 tackle attempts and allowed a completion rate of 68 percent on 129 targets at 11.3 yards per reception. Long has forced six pass breakups and two interceptions.
In 2023 specifically, with both Las Vegas and Carolina, along gave up 13 completions on 18 targets but at only 6.5 yards per catch with one pass breakup. Long also has 533 career special teams snaps, playing across multiple phases.
Long is a few years removed from college, but here is a look at what Lance Zierlein’s pre-draft scouting report had to say to give us some additional insights into his game:
"“Death, taxes and David Long sitting under a receiver’s chin waiting to jam and bully the release – all three are inevitable. He lacks height, length and makeup burst, but it is hard to find tape where those areas came back to haunt him very often. He’s patient from press, stays connected to routes underneath, but may have to adjust to off-man and prove he can withstand vertical challenges against taller targets. He’s not as long, loose or fast as teams like, but he’s a consistent cover man with the talent to find reps early in his career.”"
After releasing Bo Melton and James Robinson from the 53-man roster last week and adding Darnell Savage back off IR, the Packers still had one roster opening. So a corresponding cut is not required.
Most likely this is an addition where the Packers are taking a swing on Long’s potential, with some potential future unknowns at cornerback with Rasul Douglas in Buffalo and Eric Stokes in the final year of his rookie deal in 2024. As already mentioned, he’s a tremendous athlete, has experience, and is still just 25 years old. As long as the Packers cornerback room is healthy, Long’s role will most likely come on special teams.
Green Bay does now have a fairly crowded cornerback room. Active on the current roster are Jaire Alexander, who has missed the last several games with a shoulder injury. Along with Corey Ballentine, Carrington Valentine, Keisean Nixon, Kyu Blu Kelly, and Robert Rochell.
Eric Stokes is also still on IR but was designated to return last week, opening a three week window for him to be added back to the 53-man roster, at which point a roster move will have to be made to make room.