After the 2019 season ended just short the Packers had a lot to reevaluate. They clearly lacked high end talent at certain positions. However, the season also gave birth some bright spots heading into the future. Let’s take a look at some of the Packers impact players who could take a jump in Green Bay next season, who may not be being discussed on a larger scale.
“Make the Jump” Guys
These are the players who are already big time players on the team, but just need that one last step to be a huge factor in a championship run.
Already one of the best young players in the NFL. Jaire Alexander plays with a great energy and confidence. Alexander had an outstanding season in his second year as a pro. He started 16 games and finished the season as the Packers undisputed number one corner. The young star led the NFC in passes defended in 2019 and recorded two interceptions. His play looks like that of a future all-pro, and 2020 looks like it will be the year he makes the jump from great to elite.
Another young star in the making. The Packers traded up to get Savage last season, and got exactly what they expected. Savage was a day one starter and started all 14 games he played in. He finished the season with 55 tackles, five passes defended, and two interceptions. Savage was already a difference maker in his first season. Now some familiarity and experience should make him a huge piece for the team in 2020.
Flying Under the Radar
These are guys who play a role on the team, and will see their role rise and become big time players.
The 12th pick in the draft last year had a huge chip on his shoulder, but you could instantly tell he was up for the task. When Gary chose to wear 52, he made it so he had some big shoes to fill. In his rookie year I don’t think the Packers expected Gary to have to play as a back up. However, when Za’darius and Preston Smith turned out superstars, there wasn’t much choice. Gary’s two sacks don’t really scream on the stat sheet, but he did have a role. Gary was affecting the quarterback when he was in the game, and showed constant hustle. In 2020 Gary will see his role increase and hopefully be the difference make Packers fans thought they drafted.
When I look at Sullivan I see a guy that is integral to the success of the secondary, but won’t get nearly enough attention. In his second year as a pro he appeared in 16 games and was targeted 31 times. Of that 31, he allowed 11 catches for a small 120 yards. Sullivan could see himself starting next year based on if the Packers bring back Tramon Williams. Sullivan quickly jumped Josh Jackson on the depth chart. Look for Sullivan to be a key player in Mike Pettine’s defense next year.
Allen Lazard may be the X-Factor for Green Bay next season. The whole off season, the talk has been about the Packers need at wide receiver. Although, Allen Lazard has given them something to be confident in. Lazard has all the tools to be successful, and now with some confidence he may be on his way to break out in 2020. The Packers should still look to add talent at wide receiver, but Lazard makes a great compliment piece.
Let Me know who you think should be getting more attention from the fan base. The Packers are not far off from bringing the title back to town, and all these guys are gonna help make that happen.
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