Drafting both Eric Stokes and Shemar Jean-Charles was all a part of Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst’s plan to upgrade their already-strong secondary that is in desperate need of cornerback depth. Needing to find that next solid option alongside Jaire Alexander, both options could easily slide into long-term, high-impact roles very soon.
Both Kevin King and Josh Jackson were thought to be capable options to take on that role opposite of Alexander, and while King has succeeded the most, both guys certainly have been producing lackluster results, forcing the hand of the front office to go out and bring in other options.
For Stokes, his speed and physicality profiles fit this defense well, even if his collegiate tape may show remnants of what King was known for – being grabby with wide receivers. A coaching staff that is familiar with getting players away from earning holding penalties – or at least attempting to – can certainly help Stokes shed that as well, especially since his burning speed can help him keep up with any WR.
Jean-Charles fits the mold of a do-it-all option for the Packers, something that a team certainly can never have too much of. Being able to keep up with receivers (even while losing a few battles here and there due to his stature), Jean-Charles profiles to be exactly the depth piece that can replace Jackson.
King was brought back as more of a stop-gap option and Jackson has had a hard time seeing the field due to his inconsistencies – both of this year’s draft selections should be able to replicate, if not improve upon, what both of the incumbent veterans have been doing up to this point.
Right out of the gate, Stokes will likely be seen as the CB2/3 option for DC Joe Barry, fighting with King in camp to try and prove why he was taken at the end of the first round. For Jean-Charles, he is in a bit of a messy fight for a roster spot and a role, alongside the likes of Jackson, Stanford Samuels, Kabion Ento, Ka’dar Hollman, and Chandon Sullivan.
While early results certainly should not be looked into too much, the Packers look to be building for both the present and the future in their secondary.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23