In the final part of the ‘Perfect Packers’ series ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, attention turns to the cornerback group to identify the prospects who are fits for the Green Bay based on their athletic testing.
Five corners have been drafted by Brian Gutekunst: Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Josh Jackson, Shemar Jean-Charles, and Ka’dar Hollman.
For this exercise, Jean-Charles’ pre-draft testing will be ignored, since Gutekunst confirmed after drafting him that he does not conform to Green Bay’s usual athletic mold.
Alexander, Stokes, Jackson, and Hollman all achieved at least the following results in the traditional pre-draft testing:
- Height: 5’10.2”
- Weight: 194lbs
- 40 time: 4.56s
- 10-yard split: 1.57s
- Vertical jump: 35”
- Broad jump: 9’11”
- Shuttle: 4.36
- 3-cone: 6.96
Gutekunst mentioned after selecting Alexander that he just about hit their height threshold, so it’s fair to assume 5’10.2”, or perhaps 5’10”, is a hard floor for Green Bay cornerbacks.
Julius Brents – Kansas State
Brents is one of the most athletic cornerbacks to ever enter the NFL Draft, posting a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) out of a possible 10 compared to previously drafted corners. He did it despite ‘only’ running a 4.53 40-yard dash.
A big corner at 6’2.6”, 198lbs, Brents earned ‘elite’ RAS grades for size, as well as explosion and agility.
There is some belief Brents could have safety versatility as well, which could make him especially appealing to the Packers, who need help at the position.
Brents would be an excellent second-round option for Green Bay.
Mekhi Garner – LSU
Another big corner, Garner stands at 6’2” and weighs 212lbs, but he’s plenty athletic, too. His RAS is 8.98, which featured a ‘great’ explosion grade and a ‘good’ speed grade.
Garner could be a late-day-two/early-day-three target for the Packers if they want to add depth to the cornerback room.
Two more ‘Perfect Packers’ who could be day three options for Green Bay are:
Jarrick Bernard-Converse – LSU (9.77 RAS)
Kaleb Hayes – BYU (9.75 RAS)
Although he is not expected to make it to pick 13, Christian Gonzalez of Oregon would likely be on Green Bay’s board. He crushed every athletic test he took part in but did not complete the agility drills.
Even if he wouldn’t have performed especially well in those drills, this may not have mattered too much for Gutekunst, who drafted Stokes with a ‘poor’ agility grade in the first round.
Darius Rush of South Carolina and Deonte Banks of Maryland are two other corners who tested very well but did not complete the agility drills.
The same goes for Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., and he is also 1lb lighter than any corner Gutekunst has drafted, although it’s hard to imagine 1lb being an issue.
Porter Jr. is an expected first-round pick, whereas Rush and Banks could be day two options.
Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly and Iowa’s Riley Moss met every athletic mark set by Gutekunst’s previously drafted corners but are 3lbs and 1lb light respectively.
Again, this would almost certainly not take them off Green Bay’s board, and they could be early-day-three targets.
Jaylon Jones of Texas A&M passed every test except the 40, where he was just 0.01 second slower than the slowest corner selected in the Gutekunst era in Green Bay.
This is a miniscule difference and if he had the chance to try again, Jones may well have run faster. He could be a third-round option for the Packers.
Similarly, Cory Trice of Purdue narrowly missed being a ‘Perfect Packer’ by 0.01 second on his 10-yard split. He will likely be on Green Bay’s board as a day-three prospect.
Perfect Packers series: