Season in Review - Cornerbacks
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
In our ninth instalment of reviewing every player at every position, our focus shifts to our talented cornerbacks.
Alexander started all 16 regular season games, playing in 1,027 defensive snaps (98.8% of the team’s defensive total). He led the team with 17 passes defensed and had 2 interceptions (for 37 yards). Alexander also had 58 tackles (50 solo), 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He gave up just 2 accepted penalties (1 pass interference, 1 unnecessary roughness). Alexander was named as alternate for the Pro Bowl.
Alexander is feisty, physical, competitive corner who has a big upside. He perhaps didn’t take huge strides in 2019 but should continue to progress and develop towards Pro Bowl level.
King entered the season with ongoing question marks about his ability to stay injury free and play a complete season. He pretty much put those concerns to rest in 2019, playing in 15 games (starting 14) being in 805 defensive snaps (77.4% of the team’s defensive total). He led the Packers with 5 interceptions (for 54 yards). King also had 66 tackles (56 solo), 15 passes defensed, 1 sack, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble. He gave up just a single accepted penalty (illegal use of hands).
2019 was the best season of King’s career thus far, and whilst there is still improvement needed, we should be hopeful that if he has beaten the injury bug, he can go on to be one of the better corners in the league.
12-year veteran Williams put in another solid performance – playing in 16 games (7 starts) and in 761 defensive plays (73.2% of the team’s defensive snaps). He had 2 interceptions (for -4 yards), 8 passes defensed, 1.5 tackles for a loss, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble and recorded 39 total tackles (29 solo). Williams was responsible for 5 accepted penalties (2 pass interference, 1 unnecessary roughness, 1 illegal use of hands, 1 holding). He enters 2020 as an unrestricted free agent and at the age of 37, it’s possible he may not be with the team come the season opener – although his veteran leadership would still be an asset.
With his 2 interceptions, Williams has cracked the Packers all-time top 10 and continues to move up several Packers all-time career lists:
Games Played – 159 – 18th in franchise history (3rd in franchise history for a DB)
Interceptions – 30 – equal 9th in franchise history
Interception Return Yards – 419 – 11th in franchise history
Interception Return Touchdowns – 1 – equal 25th in franchise history
2018 2nd round draft pick Jackson hasn’t yet lived up to the billing as a ball-hawk that he had at the University of Iowa. In 2019, he played in 14 games but didn’t start in any and was in on just 103 defensive snaps (9.9% of the team’s defensive total), notching up just 6 tackles (all solo). Jackson was a significant contributor on special teams being in on 224 special teams plays (52.2% of the team’s total). He was charged with a total of 2 penalties (1 illegal formation, 1 holding) – both coming on special teams.
2020 would appear to be a make or break year for Jackson, if he doesn’t show huge improvement then it’s likely that this will be his last year with the team.
Sullivan played in all 16 games (no starts) and was in on 350 defensive plays (33.7% of the team’s defensive total). He had 28 tackles (26 solo), 6 passes defensed, 1 interception (for 7 yards), 1 forced fumble and committed no accepted penalties. Without question, Sullivan was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2019 Packers. He put in a very fine performance all year and was excellent in coverage. Could he be the teams 3rd corner? Time will tell.
Sullivan also filled in as an occasional kick-off returner – having 3 returns for 48 yards (16.0 average) and was one of the Packers’ leading players on special teams generally – being in on 198 special teams plays (46.2% of the team’s total).
Sullivan became an Exclusive Rights Free Agent in March and was re-signed by the Packers.
Brown played in 47 defensive snaps (4.5% of the team’s defensive total) and notched up 10 tackles (7 solo). He also contributed on special teams – being in on 137 special teams plays (31.9% of the team’s total) and had 1 blocked kick (blocked PAT against the Vikings in week 2). Brown gave up 5 accepted penalties (2 offside, 1 fair catch interference, 1 illegal block, 1 out of bounds on kick). He was surprisingly released on 28th December, just prior to the Packers' regular season finale in Detroit.
Smith, nominally a CB put pre-dominantly a KR, was given two shots on the Packers active roster but couldn’t hold down the returners job. He was originally claimed off waivers (from the Chiefs) after week 2 (17th September) – filling the roster spot that became available when S Raven Greene was placed on injured reserve. Smith lasted less than a month on the 53-man roster before being waived on 14th October and then signed to the Packers Practice Squad two days later. He was promoted to the active roster for the second time on 29th October but then waived again on 2nd December. He finished the year having played in 7 games for the Packers (no starts), seeing all of his action on special teams (103 special teams plays which was 24.0% of the team’s total). Smith returned 13 kick-offs for 303 yards (23.3-yard average) and 4 punts for 0 yards. He also fumbled once.
Hollman was the Packers' 6th round draft pick in 2019 (185th overall pick) and did well enough in camp and the pre-season to earn himself a roster spot. He played just 4 games (no starts) and was in on just 4 defensive snaps (0.4% of the team’s defensive total), notching no defensive statistics. Hollman also played just 33 special teams snaps (only 7.7% of the team’s season total).
He’ll be back in camp to challenge for a roster spot again in 2020, but Hollman will have to work very hard to retain that spot after his nondescript 2019 season.
Ento was signed to the Practice Squad on 1st September, having been waived at the final cut-down to the 53-man roster the previous day. He had originally been signed as an undrafted free agent on 30th April. Ento has great speed (in the 4.4 range) and he signed a futures contract with the Packers just after the season finished, meaning that he’ll be back in 2020 competing for a roster spot.
Amos was signed on 15th January 2020 to a futures contract meaning that he should be part of the 90-man off-season roster and compete for a 2020 roster spot in camp. Amos played in the CFL (for the Calgary Stampeders) in both 2018 and 2019 – picking off 5 passes in 2019. He had previously spent time in camp with the New York Giants (in 2017).
Rouse was signed as an undrafted free agent on 30th April but was waived at the final cut-down to 53 (31st August). He was selected in the 9th round of XFL DB draft in December by the New York Guardians.
Kalili was signed near the end of the pre-season (25th August) and had little opportunity to make his mark and was waived a few days later at the cut-down to the final 53-man roster (31st August). He was signed by the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL on 21st January this year.
Porter was signed on 26th August (when S Mike Tyson was waived/injured) and then waived at the cut-down to the 53-man roster (31st August). He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts to their Practice Squad in November.
Jones was claimed off waivers on 11th August but failed his physical and was therefore waived by the Packers. He was picked up later in August by the Texans, but they also released him. In January this year, Jones signed with the Seattle Dragons of the XFL but was subsequently released. He is currently on the roster of XFL’s Team 9.
Hamilton was waived/injured on 31st July – he cleared waivers and by rule reverted to the team’s injured reserve list. Hamilton was released on 9th August when an injury settlement was agreed.
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