If there is any one position on the Green Bay Packers defense that one could call “top-heavy,” it is the cornerback position. Jaire Alexander, a two-time Second Team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection, leads a group of highly-qualified defensive backs.
Rasul Douglas has also established himself as a ball-hawk and above-average pass defender since coming to Green Bay. When healthy, Eric Stokes can keep up with any wide receiver, and in his rookie year had 14 pass deflections. And then, of course, there is Keisean Nixon, the All-Pro kick returner.
That is quite the top four. Any team would love to have their cornerback room with that kind of talent in their top four players. And while that is a good thing for the Packers team as a whole, it is tough for roster hopefuls that are fighting for one or maybe two spots behind them.
Green Bay Packers Insider Says Shemar Jean-Charles Has an Uphill Climb to the 53-Man Roster
One player that has been turning heads on a consistent basis during training camp is 2023 seventh round draft pick Carrington Valentine. Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur said of Valentine:
“He’s extremely athletic [and he] has made those splash plays. I love how he competes. He goes out there and he’s going to challenge it. You can coach him hard [and] he’s receptive to the coaching. I think we have a good young player right there.
So, I’m excited to see what he’s able to do when we get into some of these competitive practices going against, a team like Cincinnati next week and some of the creatures they have on that offense and then into the preseason games, and certainly we’re only on one day in pads, but I think he’s got a great attitude…
“… I think he’s very, very talented and he’s got to continue to build on his early success.”
As good as Valentine has been, and as exciting as it would be to see him carve out a role for himself, that may mean a very recent draft pick, 2021 fifth round selection Shemar Jean-Charles, finds himself on the outside looking in.
Matt Schneidman of The Athletic wrote of the situation:
“Cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles appeared to commit defensive pass-interference penalties on two reps, both while guarding Heath. With the emergence of rookie cornerback Carrington Valentine over the first week of camp, the 2021-fifth-round pick Jean-Charles might have an uphill climb to make the initial 53-man roster.”
Of course, there is still many opportunities for SJC to redeem himself. Preseason games also will play a factor in final roster decisions. But as it stands right now, Valentine looks like he may displace Jean-Charles on the 53-man roster.