If there’s a time to take risks in the NFL, it’s during the draft. The Green Bay Packers took one last year when they traded up to select Darnell Savage 21st overall. It was a big risk, especially for a team known for having somewhat of a bad track record for selecting defensive backs early on. Savage, however, could be one they got right.
The moment Savage was drafted, he was expected to be a starter. It’s a lot to ask of a rookie to be immediately forced into a starting role. Accompany that with the added pressure of playing for a defense that was desperately trying to sort out their secondary.
Like Green Bay expected, Savage handled it well. He started 14 out of 14 games, picking off two passes while adding 55 total tackles and two forced fumbles. Of course, this was only after one year, but the Packers may have a future playmaker in Savage, and now they hope for even bigger returns in year two.
“I think the sky’s the limit for Darnell,” said defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
This kind of praise from his coach was well deserved after Savage earned All-Rookie honors for his play last season. It might be difficult to top in only his second season, but Savage’s partner on the backend, Adrian Amos, likes what the future has in store for his fellow safety.
“The playbook, knowing what to expect to the following season. Being around your team and your situation, coming into Year 2, we have the same secondary, he knows where I’m going to be, who the corners are. He can make a big jump in that way,” Amos said during a recent conference call.
Savage still has a lot of work left on the table, but these votes of confidence are certainly encouraging. At just 22 years of age, Savage already showed great flashes in 2019 and he should only get better. One day he could become a real problem for opposing offenses.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.
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2 thoughts on “Packers Made the Right Call With Darnell Savage”
Ya, dude’s a baller. Here’s the deal though, had they not taken Gary at 12, and dropped back, they could have picked up an additional #2, still have taken Savage with the drop back pick, still had the Saints pick at 30, had 2 #2’s, and their 3rd. In other words they could have had Savage, and a total of 4 additional picks in the first 76 selections in the draft. Could have had all that by simply not selecting Gary. Huge wasted/squandered draft opportunity. It’s not like we couldn’t have used the influx of additional talent. I mean, DK Metcalf would have looked brilliant in Green and Gold. Or Dalton Risner, Drew Lock, so many key adders could have been there. Drew Lock is going to be a stud in Denver, and we paid this year for Jordan Love. Could have been Drew Lock last year.
Let’s not write Gary off….he may Have had a subpar showing in year 1, but I always thought of him a developmental. Hopefully he takes a jump this year.
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