The Green Bay Packers already have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, at least according to multiple projections. However, after star players such as Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes, there are many question marks surrounding their depth. During voluntary OTA’s, two players stood out to coaches and analysts in attendance: Keisean Nixon and Shawn Davis. Nixon is a cornerback and Davis is a safety. Mike Spofford of Packers.com reported that Matt LaFleur said the following about the two players:
“They’ve approached it the right way and it’s going to be a lot on them in terms of where they are when we come back. They’ve got to stay in the book and up to speed on just all the nuances of those positions. But they’re going to have a lot of opportunity.
Zach Kruse of Packerswire.com stated, “At various points during OTAs and minicamp, Davis and Nixon played snaps with the first-team defense and were otherwise the preferred options after the starters.”
Getting to Know Keisean Nixon
Keisean Nixon played two years of college football at South Carolina. In his freshman season in 2017, he played just four games but was a turnover machine. Nixon had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and a forced fumble.
The next season, 2018, Nixon played in 12 games and logged 63 total tackles. While he did not secure any interceptions, he defended nine passes and had 1.5 tackles for loss.
Keisean Nixon left South Carolina for the NFL after his sophomore season. He went undrafted in 2019 and signed with the Las Vegas Raiders. In three seasons with the Raiders, Nixon played in 40 games, but was mostly used on special teams. As a kick returner, he had six returns for 84 yards. Nixon had his best season as a defender last year, allowing just a 76.4 passer rating when targeted. However, he was only on the field for 11% of the team’s defensive snaps.
It is worth noting that the interim head coach of the Raiders last season, Rich Bisaccia, is now the special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.
Getting to Know Shawn Davis
Shawn Davis is a second-year defensive back who played his college football at Florida. After playing primarily special teams as a freshman, Davis emerged as one of Florida’s best defensive backs. In 2019, his junior season, Davis had 51 total tackles, three interceptions, and three passes defended. His 111 yards after intercepting a pass was first in the SEC that year.
In 2020, his senior year, Shawn Davis played seven games due to the shortened COVID-19 season. In those games, he had 39 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.
The Indianapolis Colts drafted Shawn Davis in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He did not make their roster, however, and was assigned to their practice squad. The Green Bay Packers claimed him off of the Colts’ practice squad in September of last year. With the Packers, Davis appeared in one game and played nine snaps on special teams.
Other Players Competing for Playing Time
In addition to Shawn Davis and Keisean Nixon, there are several other players who are competing for backup roles in the Packers secondary.
- Tariq Carpenter
- Kabion Ento
- Rico Gafford
- Innis Gaines
- Vernon Scott
- Tre Sterling
- Raleigh Texada
- Kiondre Thomas
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