There is a lot of optimism about the Packers corner defender group, but is that justified? Let’s dive a little deeper into who these boys are and what they can do to protect them.
First of all, I don’t think we’re even positive about what these types are.
Is Eric Stokes a rising young talent or is he on his way to a second year slump?
Is Rasul Douglas an experienced vet who finally realized his potential, or is he just a one-year miracle?
Is Jaire Alexander a superstar who is ready to reclaim the title of best corner defender in the NFL, or is he the man who will change forever after the injury that cost him most of the season?
The biggest question mark must be Jaire Alexander’s injury. Of course, he played in the play-offs, but very sparingly and only in situations where the team would not be able to cope. The 49ers certainly ran straight against him during the shot and he avoided the blow the Packers needed to keep the 49ers at the goal of a longer field. He was not ready to make contact. One can only hope that another 6 months of vacation and rehabilitation will be shouldered almost 100%.
The NFL is playable year after year too and injuries are just one reason we can never be sure how many past results we will see in the future.
If all these men played their potential, the Packers would be great … but doesn’t that apply to every team? Players don’t always play out their potential every year (for example, look at Preston Smith’s inconsistent bag production year after year).
In the case of corner defenders, most fans are looking for catches.
The highlight of Jaire Alexander ‘s career in terms of cross – sections is only 2.
Rasul Douglas had 5 choices last year, but that seems to be an anomaly, considering he had 0 choices in the last two seasons, despite 30 games.
Eric Stokes slipped to the end of the 1st round in the draft largely due to the lack of breaks (he only got 1 break in 16 games as new.
So instead of looking at the production, let’s look at what each of these players brings to the table.
Alexander is an undersized, fast-paced, amazingly fast harasser who is capable of making even the most unlikely splash games.
Stokes is a much more boring player – he just uses his speed and athleticism to stick to his husband’s hip so he doesn’t even fold.
Douglas is a cunning veteran of the gang – (at the lowest timed speed to date) and relies on effective positioning, instincts and film learning.
These men also had different research reports from college. When Alexander came out, my report on him was that he was in the corner for everything you want except size. Douglas was curving for everything you wanted except speed. Stokes was on the corner with everything you want except ball skills.
They are three exceptionally talented corner defenders, all with different strengths and weaknesses. Alexander and Stokes don’t get many choices, and I expect the teams to do a lot of film research about Douglas, who took two halves last season for touchdowns, limiting his chances of being knocked out.
However, there is much more to corner defenders than just getting caught.
I think these men will become cover demons.
Alexander and Stokes have the speed to run with someone in this league. Everyone. Despite the lack of speed, Douglas is effective in coverage. Alexander is undersized, but Douglas is tall and tall. Stokes is of medium build.
These are three potentially great angles with three very different designs and styles.
This allows them to play all kinds of lineups. There is a lot of talk about who plays the slot machine, and I think the answer is everything. If there is a receiver for a fast water insect nest, Alexander can take it. If there is a large slot receiver, Douglas can take it. If there is a fast and higher slot, Stokes can take it away.
All three have proven their ability to play outdoors. Packers have the option to start from one lineup and switch smoothly within the game if they don’t work. They can even change the game to keep violations.
However, there are inevitably some bumps in the road.
Maybe Jaire’s shoulder injury has some lasting consequences. Maybe Stokes will retire a little in his second year. Teams may be more careful when throwing Douglas. They all probably have a bad game along the way. It ‘s coming.
But even if these guys don’t reach their full potential, they’re still very good. Adding a clear pair of 1st rounds to the top 7 will also help speed up passing, making them even more efficient.
I still don’t think there will be many intermissions in this group, but tight coverage with good passes will result in a lot of bags and throws, which are big wins for the defense. I think that the attacks must be countered by near misses.
The speed of Alexander and Stokes (not to mention Savage and Amos and the line defenders) should be able to control the close attack.
Even if things go according to plan, this versatile group of corner defenders will suppress all kinds of bait attacks and take Packers to the top 5 of the rankings.
#expect #Packers #Cornerbacks #year