In an attempt to improve an already strong defensive secondary, the Green Bay Packers went out and used their first-round selection on Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes, with the desired outcome for him to team up alongside Jaire Alexander. But their fifth-round selection, Shemar Jean-Charles, may end up having just as important of an impact on Green Bay’s defensive approach.

Even though his role throughout camp has been as the second option in the slot (behind Chandon Sullivan), the Appalachian State rookie has been turning heads, especially those of defensive backs coach Jerry Gray, so far in practice.

Being able to have two capable options to fill this important role is vital to new defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s defense, as he comes from a scheme that included seeing Jalen Ramsey in the slot at times, dependent on opposing offensive formations.

The Packers understand that they have a plethora of role-filling options behind Alexander in their CB ranks, but utilizing them correctly is going to be the difference between being stuck in the NFC Championship game for a third consecutive season or actually getting over that hump and earning a trip to the Super Bowl.

Jean-Charles’ stature (5’10”, 184 lbs.) requires him to rely on his knowledge of the game more than his physical abilities, which can lend itself to him being a better fit in Barry’s scheme. His experience from college manning the slot will help him transition into that role in the NFL, but it still requires a bunch of coaching to get him up to speed at this level.

The App. State rookie is going to need to continue to make a name for himself in camps and the upcoming preseason slate, as earning enough reps to get his name in that conversation is key. Not to mention, the fact that Kevin King was only brought back on a one-year deal means that this team has no faith in their former second-round selection, presenting Jean-Charles with a chance to make a lasting impression moving forward into his professional career.


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