The Packers secondary finished 29th against the pass in 2017-18. Heading into next season, they will be without Morgan Burnett, Damarious Randall and Davon House; three key components that kept them from being dead last. However, Burnett had injury issues while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went through a down year and Kevin King was a rookie. Some of the failures also came because the pass rushers weren’t able to get to the quarterback.
All of this lead Packers’ fans to believe they would make the secondary a priority during the offseason. After the first wave of free agency, Green Bay really haven’t solved any of their issues and some would say it’s worse. GM Brian Gutekunst said they would explore all avenues when it came to free agency. Reports had them linked to top free agents such as Trumaine Johnson on top of signing Kyle Fuller to an offer sheet (the Bears eventually matched). This left all Packers fans frustrated. Here are three avenues that should silence the boos.
3 Ways To Improve The Green Bay Packers Secondary
Sign A Veteran Cornerback
Now that the top free agents are signed, the Packers should be in discussions with the next tier free agents. Bringing House back would be a start. There have also been some discussions about bringing Tramon Williams back. The same Tramon Williams that helped lead the Packers to a Super Bowl. He’s not the same player as he once was, but he is serviceable for depth at a position of need. Last year, Williams had two interceptions with a fumble recovery. The best statistic he had was his 12 passes defended — three more than Randall had last year. Another option would be, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Although he didn’t have a great statistical season, Rodgers-Cromartie played 15 games. A player that stays on the field would be a breath of fresh air for a typically banged up secondary.
Draft Multiple Cornerbacks
The latest mock drafts suggest the Packers could take Derwin James out of Florida State. Drafting James would be a start, but he’s not an outside shutdown corner. He’s projected as a slot corner or strong safety for the Packers. Gutekunst will be looking at drafting players such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Josh Jackson or Denzel Ward with the 14th-overall pick. It won’t be the last time they draft a cornerback, in this draft either. They will have options for later rounds such as Nick Nelson, Carlton Davis and Donte Jackson. Couple this with a veteran free agent and they’re back in business.
Improve the Pass Rush
What helps with a poor secondary? Getting to the quarterback. Last year, the Packers secondary had to maintain their coverage longer. Improving their ability to get to the quarterback will help their secondary deficiencies. They filled a need with Muhammad Wilkerson, but they will need more help. Mike Pettine’s defence thrives with versatility. The draft is deep with pass rushers as well as players that can play standing up or with their hand in the ground. Gutekunst will have plenty of opportunities to address the pass rush.
Stay Calm…Change is Coming
Packers fans just need to be patient. Gutekunst has been aggressive just like he said he was going to be. Signing Wilkerson as well as Jimmy Graham are moves that wouldn’t have happened under the old regime. They have been doing their homework and exploring all avenues. There’s a lot of time between now and the start of the season. Green Bay has the draft as well as players who get cut after training camp. The Packers can’t sign everyone so sit back and “trust the process”.
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