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Packers by positions: DBs

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by AmishMafia, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    CBs

    Jaire Alexander - had a very good year. Built on his rookie success early, but seemed to wane a bit starting in the middle of the season. Growing pains, perhaps. Seems to have the proper attitude and expect him to only get better next season. I don't think he has plateaued by any means and should continue to improve. Seems to get better each game although he did get taken advantage a few times by talented experienced WRs.

    Kevin King - Had a good year as well. Had a few hiccups, but less than last season. Improved on his techniques across the board. I suspect working with the new DB coach will have a good effect on him. Has the opportunity to take another step.

    Tramon Williams - still playing well, but there is a noticeable decline in the quickness. Not sure how long he will play. Maybe we can squeeze another year out of him. His biggest value is having the young pups around him. He is a tireless worker who puts in lots of film time. He is a smart student of the game.

    Chandon Sullivan - did a tremendous job for such an unheralded player. PFF rated a 73.2. Played in 5 games for Philadelphia in 2018, starting 1. Apparently didn't impress enough and we were able to pick him up this season. Seems to have a knack for the big play and always seems to be around the ball. The new Tramon Williams? Let us hope. But at the least, he should be a solid #3 CB.

    Josh Jackson - was a phenom in his first preseason, has not done much since. It is confusing how he looked so good and then disappeared. The skills and tools are there, it will be interesting to see what effect the new coach has on his career.

    Ka'dar Hollman - unknown rookie draft pick, who actually flashed some ability in preseason. I thought he was too raw to do much in his first year, but was more ready than I thought. He only played in 4 games on special teams but did get some snaps on defense. His PFF grade is 79.5, but is based on such a small sample of play. He only had one target.


    Safeties

    Adrian 'Smash' Amos - Great FA signing as he played very well (PFF 76.4). Very aggressive and had some big plays. I don't think it's a coincidence that Packer defense played much better and the Bears defense did much worse this season after they signed Haha. Amos is still young and should be on this level for a few more years with some opportunity to improve, although I think he is near maxed out.

    Darnell Savage - played very well (PFF 68). I thought it a mistake to trade up for him when there were other Safeties close in abilities. I was wrong on that. Love the aggressiveness and the speed he brings. In his first year he had an impact on the team and when he was out, he was missed. The future is bright for this man.

    Ibraheim Campbell - in a 5 year career he has played for 5 teams. Missed all but the last 6 games. Always looks intriguing, but tough to judge based on the limited playing time. I don't think he will ever be anything more than a solid player who fill in but you don't want starting.

    Raven Greene - played in only 2 games. Very active and aggressive out there but he has a slight build. That is not a great recipe for durability. Didn't play well in coverage, but that is a little harsh considering the small sample size.

    Will Redmond - Played average at best. I don't think he will be on the roster next season. Saw play time because of injuries to Campbell and Greene. He may take a step next season but we seems unlikely.


    Going forward
    We are set to roll with what we have, as far as starters. There is some depth at CB, but we need more. I would not bring in any DB free agents. I would bring back Tramon at the very least to help the young guys. Maybe he gets cut at the final cutdown if one of the Sullivan/Jackson/Hollman looks ready. I would definitely take a stab at a mid round CB to groom and a Safety to provide some reliable depth. I also would strongly consider a really good CB if he was there in the 2nd or 3rd. You can never have enough CBs, and until those young pups prove themselves, we should keep the prospects flowing coming.

    Free Agents

    None

    Draft

    2nd round surprise he's there picks.
    Cameron Dantzler CB Mississippi. Good player, athletic, just not fast. If he was faster, he would be a solid first round pick. But he plays technique very well and is aggressive. I think he slips because he is not fast.

    3rd round surprise he's there picks.
    Noah Igbinoghene - very athletic guy with limited technical skills. Got by on athletics at Auburn and the talent around him. If he dedicates himself he can be a very good CB at the pro level.

    AJ Terrell - CB Clemson. Good technique and decent athleticism. Was looking good this past season and then really got exposed vrs LSU. He will need to put on some weight and some strength to handle an NFL level WR. If he can do that, and not lose his quickness, he could be a very good player.

    4th to 6th round stabs
    Troy Pride CB - blazing fast from Notre Dame. Looked like a promising player last year but didn't play well this year. Need to look closely and figure out why he regressed.

    Nevelle Clark CB - late bloomer. Came on as a junior and played well this last season. Has a ways to go to play at the next level, but he has great size and decent speed. Needs to add a bunch of strength.

    Michael Ojemudia CB - Iowa. Good size to him and aggressive.


    Jordan Fuller S - Ohio. Good size. Does everything well, nothing standoutish. Will be a good reliable player in the NFL.

    Jeremy Chinn S - Southern Illinois. Big kid who plays aggressively. 6'3" 219lbs. A student of the game who excelled against lower level competition.

    Reggie Floyd S - Virginia Tech. Very solid build and very aggressive. Does well in coverage but likes to play up in the box. Not sure he is fast enough for the NFL for many WRs.


    Bottom Line

    Almost our entire defensive backfield, sans Tramon, will likely improve this coming season. Although most of our depth is unproven, we should be fine this coming season but should look to add any value picks at CB and a least mid/late round prospect or two from the draft.
     
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  2. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I think corner is a much bigger need than is being discussed.

    Alexander locks one spot down for now and for the foreseeable future.

    Kevin King is inconsistent. I am not saying that he should be replaced this offseason by any means, but he's entering a contract year and it's unclear whether the Packers want to extend him (or if they should).

    Their third corner, which was a 73% snap count player in 2019, is Sullivan. I agree he played surprisingly well, but it would be a pretty tenuous proposition to go into 2020 counting on him to be such a major role player.

    Their 4th corner, which is really the first true backup at the position, is completely unreliable or completely unknown.

    As distasteful as it might be to some, cornerback is a big need.
     
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  3. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I would definitely pursue a veteran corner, albeit not a top end one. Tramon should be allowed to walk. The Packers don't need to push their luck there.
     
  4. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    DB's are always needed. It's a passing league and every team is looking for more because they need more. Even when you have them, you have injuries to account for most years.
     
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  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    In my opinion the Packers should re-sign Tramon to be the third cornerback on the depth chart as well as add some depth either in free agency or via the draft. There's no doubt the team has more pressing needs to address this offseason though.
     
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  6. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Who do you have in mind and how much?

    I think we should spend our money in other areas. Our secondary is so young, I think you have too see what we have first. Maybe if the young puos arent looking good we could get a veteran at final cutdown, but I cant see us pursuing anyone at the beginning of free agency prior to the draft.
     
  7. gopkrs

    gopkrs Cheesehead

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    I agree. Tramon exceeded my expectations this past year. We can find out if he still has it.
     
  8. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    I think he has value on the field, but his biggest value is helping the younger players and teaching them how to be a pro.
     
  9. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Actually, his biggest value to this team last season was in having a fine season at slot corner in year 2 of the Pettine defense. We cannot say that about some other guys. Of course performance and "helping the young guys" are two sides of the same coin. If you put some grizzled vet on the field for a 70+% snap count and he's not pulling his weight then his "doing it the right way" message is not going to resonate.

    There are not many players you can point to who played noticeably better at age 36 than at age 35 while staying healthy. This one of the rare few.

    One of the reasons to retain Williams last season continues into 2020: versatility. It wasn't needed with low injury incidence in the D-backfield, but having that guy around who can play the perimeter, or free safety in a pinch, is good to have when you have to pare down to the 46 man game day roster.

    Given other needs, it would be a good idea to re-sign Williams to the proverbial "cheap contract". Of course that caveat doesn't pan out very often with guys who can still play. So, how cheap is the question. There are 31 other teams out there, a couple of which surely have a slot corner issue who might be interested in a one year solution. It comes down to cost.

    As for Sullivan, his 34% snap count came primariy in dime and quarters zone coverage. His flashes came in zone coverage, like here:



    And here:



    What would he look like in a 70+% snap count with a heavy dose of man coverage as his tape in that role accumulates? That's anybody's guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  10. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    While King's play and availabilty improved last season, particularly advancing from somewhat clueless in zone coverage, we cannot conclude he's earned a second contract with the kind of money starting perimeter corners get paid.

    I think it is fair to assume at this stage the Packers do not want to extend King because they do not know if they should. He's in a prove it year. Any extension consideration is a matter for late- or post- 2020 consideration.

    Depending on the outcome of free agency, particularly whether Williams is brought back, CB could move up the draft needs list. Even if Williams is brought back, at the conclusion of 2020 he and King may not be worth another rodeo, cap space will be tight, and there are no clearly visible ascending players to take their place.

    If they decide to roll with Sullivan in the slot, there's no reliable CB depth you can point to or a backstop if Sullivan is not up to the task.

    It's fair to think somewhere in this draft, at least from the middle rounds on down, a name or two will be added to the CB roster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  11. OldSchool101

    OldSchool101 Peerless Beer, Lacrosse WI

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    Nicely laid out Amish. My thoughts are twofold,
    on one side we have an above average secondary that should be fine overall. The other side of me sees that it’s a very delicate position injury wise and the sheer number of roster spots dedicated shows its importance.
    I think it’s almost a given that we need 1-2 additions on an annual basis. It should be considered a given that at least 1 starter misses significant time.

    Resign Tramon on the cheap would be wise
    Draft another CB between rounds 3-5 range
     
  12. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    When the Packers bought Tramon's age 35 and 36 seasons, I understood why but it was obviously a risk. It turned out as well as anyone could have expected. But I feel to run it back at 37 would be pushing their luck.

    I am definitely not saying that he was somehow *the* problem in that debacle of an NFCCG, but he certainly showed his age nonetheless. I think it would be smarter to find someone younger.
     
  13. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Tramon would cost 5-6M to bring back. So that cap number is the starting point for any expenditure on a free agent corner. I think the Packers would be smart to pay a little more for someone who isn't quite so old. Maybe 8-9M? Some names that come to mind.

    Chris Harris Jr. would be excellent for a couple years in the slot. He's entering his age 31 season and had a down year by his standards last year. But that's largely because Fangio asked him to play outside. Richard Sherman got 9M annually from the 49ers entering his age 30 season (2018). So a little younger, and an outside cornerback. Maybe Harris costs 8M?

    Mackensie Alexander had a solid season last year, mostly in the slot, for Minnesota. But he doesn't have a lengthy pedigree of success to market himself. Our new DB's coach obviously has a lot of experience with him so he'd be able to give pretty good intelligence on whether he'd be worth it.

    Kendall Fuller was a fantastic slot cornerback in Washington. The Chiefs moved him to safety, where he wasn't as effective. Perhaps a move back to corner is in order?

    As to your comment in bold, I disagree. Not that they aren't young, but that they should avoid a veteran in order to see what they have. They obviously know what they have in Alexander-- he's a stud. They basically know that King is an inconsistent corner with durability problems in a contract year. After that, no one has anything remotely close to the pedigree that should make the Packers count on them playing a major role.

    Sullivan was solid as a dime player. He may or may not be capable of more. Counting on it would be an unnecessary risk. Jackson has shown nothing but that he's capable of being a liability. Hollman was a 6th rounder and we've seen nothing from him. To pass on veteran help to see what we have in those guys would be foolish.

    And if one of these youngsters emerge, then great! Use him to replace King.
     
  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Harris might be the most optimal of all outcomes for the slot. But that's in isolation. To state the obvious, it takes cap away from addressing other needs. The cost spread between Williams and Harris is likely more than $2 - $3 mil per year.
     
  15. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Perhaps, but there are pretty solid comparisons (e.g. Sherman) that suggest that it might not be-- or that it might be pretty close (4M? 5M?). At 29, Amukamara got 9M/season for three years. Harris, career wise, has been better than him, but the former is also an outside corner, while Harris is almost certainly going to be pursued as a slot.

    And we also don't know what Williams would cost. It was 5M last time around. Is it less, because he's older? Is it just more of the same? Is it a little bit more because he played well and the salary cap will be ~12% higher than it was when he signed the last deal? I suspect somewhere around 5-6M on a one year deal would be the price tag. Some who are saying that we shouldn't spend on the position are also suggesting that we bring Williams back. This is a little confusing to me.

    But I agree that Harris would be the ideal addition. I would bet he's still capable of being a top end cover corner inside. And he was not a bad player on the outside, rather just not as good.
     
  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I believe $5 - $6 mil would be too high for Williams at age 37. More like $4 mil. If it took $6 mil I'd pass.
     
  17. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Maybe he'd take that. But he might not. Obviously if he can be had for 4M, then the spread from him to one of the guys I've mentioned could be more than 2-3M. But then, it might be worth it to pay up for a 3rd corner who isn't 37 years old. My main concern with Williams isn't price, but that his play will fall off a cliff, especially late in the year when it's cold and SF is forcing our corners to tackle.
     
  18. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Signing a 37 year old player is obviously a calculated risk measured against price.

    As for the SF game, when you let a RB get clean to the third level all day he's going to be hard to tackle. And with 5, 6, 7 DBs back there on every play I'd hardly tag one of them for those 140 yards before contact. It was an epic failure of the front 6 and 7. If that SF game is the basis for team building then its the front 6 and 7 that needs all of the attention. That would be an overreaction to an outlier performance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  19. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Certainly. But he looked his age nonetheless. Both things are true.
     
  20. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I can't say I saw anything in that game that warranted singling out Williams. The better question is where the h*ll were the safeties, the purported last line of defense? There's been more criticism of the players than of Pettine and that would be a mistake.
     
  21. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I'm not singling him out in terms of performance. I'm just saying he showed his age, to me.

    I'm not saying Pettine's gameplan was perfect, but the players definitely deserved most of the blame. They got their butts handed to them one on one.
     
  22. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Chris Harris is an interesting option. Upon reflecting on your argument, it makes sense. I still think the money is best spent elsewhere, ILB and DE, but there is certainly value there.
     
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  23. GleefulGary

    GleefulGary Cheesehead

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    As much as I think we need a player at ILB, a CB is soooo much more important than an ILB. Unless it's a true 3 down backer (rare), then we're better off putting the money into CB, imo.
     
  24. GleefulGary

    GleefulGary Cheesehead

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    Couple things in regards to OP's post. Not quoting because it's really long.

    Noah Ig from Auburn would be a great pick, and I'd easily take him round 2. Don't think he lasts to us in round 3.

    I don't agree that AJ Terrell got exposed against Clemson. Chase from LSU is a STUD WR. I mean, a STUD. Plus you've got the top QB in the draft. Terrell was in position almost every single time, the problem was finishing. Those are things that can be worked on. Now a guy who wasn't in position, that's a problem...but Terrell is good. He's not going to last until the 3rd, and that's a guarantee. Again, I would take him in the 2nd without hesitating. I imagine he goes somewhere between 32-45.
     
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  25. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    If you're not singling out one game then I'm not sure how you support the argument. PFF scored Willams at 75 for the season with 57 targets, which syncs pretty closely to my eye test--a good season. pro-football-reference has him down for that same 57 targets and a 79.3 passer rating against. The 57.9% competion percentage for a slot corner is pretty darn good considering the higher number of shorter routes covered vs. a perimeter corner. My eye test is based on what he didn't do--long stretches where his name is not called. That's a good thing for a cornerback.

    If you don't like my eye test or those stats, consider the oppositions' opinion. Alexander was targetted nearly twice as much, 98 times by PFF's count, 110 by pro-football-references count. Williams took some 25% few snaps, but he was sitting for base defense run downs. Now, you would expect a perimeter corner covering a lot of #1 and #2 targets to get thrown at more often, but the stats show Williams was not somebody in particular to throw at.

    So maybe somebody will pay Williams $6 mil at age 37 for a one year stop-gap just as somebody might pay Matthews that amount to be a pass down specialist. I would pass on Williams nonetheless given what else needs to get done. Better to roll with Sullivan and trust he's not just a zone player, or some player to be named out of the draft, and put the money into the ILB position, Littleton being a guy both you and I favor who would be quite expensive if the Rams choose not to pay him.

    As for the playoff debacle, Pettine's approach all year was to shut down the big plays, give up the ground yards, give up the under throws, give up the first downs, but shut them down in the short field and frustrate them with 3 points. The ol' bend-don't-break, which was consistently effective. In the first SF meeting, Garoppolo beat him over the top twice for TDs. This second meeting looked like a doubling down on the season-long approach--they're not going to beat us through the air. Mission accomplished. :eek:

    If you're a front 7 player and that is your mandate, and your first step is a pass rush step, you are going to be get beat one-on-one in the run game. Over and over and over again, it would appear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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