The Green Bay Packers made a significant splash in free agency with the acquisition of Xavier McKinney. However, the Packers find themselves still in need of another starting safety to fortify their squad. Fortunately, they may have a solution already within their current roster.

Anthony Johnson Jr. played 334 snaps in 2023. He manned the free safety position for 237 snaps, while also seeing action in the box (54 snaps), slot corner (40 snaps), and even as a wide corner (3 snaps). Johnson allowed a passer rating of just 57.7, which ranks him as the 15th lowest among safeties with at least 90 coverage snaps.

Among 12 rookie safeties with at least 80 coverage snaps, Johnson Jr. allowed the fifth fewest yards and the fifth fewest yards after catch. Furthermore, he was one of just five safeties in this group to not allow a touchdown throughout the entire season. Remarkably, Johnson also boasted the second lowest passer rating allowed.

Among rookie safeties who logged at least 200 coverage snaps overall, Anthony Johnson Jr. showcased remarkable performance specifically in man coverage. He allowed the fewest receptions and ranked third in yards allowed. Johnson also permitted the fourth fewest yards per reception. In terms of yards after catch, he ranked second lowest. Additionally, he boasted the second lowest passer rating in man coverage.

In zone coverage, Anthony Johnson Jr. allowed the third fewest yards after catch. Additionally, he recorded a pass breakup while allowing zero touchdowns all season.

The Packers’ decision to limit their free agent signings at the safety position to Xavier McKinney could suggest several possibilities. It might indicate that Brian Gutekunst has confidence in some of the safety prospects available in the upcoming draft. Alternatively, it could imply that the Packers’ coaching staff is particularly high on the potential of Anthony Johnson Jr.

However, regardless of their current roster evaluations, the safety position remains a key need for the Packers heading into the draft. There’s a strong likelihood that Green Bay will target a safety either in the first round or in the second.

If Anthony Johnson Jr. is to secure a starting position in 2024, he will need to prove himself during training camp and preseason. However, there’s evidence to believe that he could be a reliable starter in Green Bay.