The Green Bay Packers’ competition for playing time at the slot corner position could prove to be one of the most exciting battles in camp. While Chandon Sullivan seems to be the next man up, there are several guys looking to elevate their game.
The Green Bay Packers have now fully reported to training camp and players will soon begin competing for the open spots on the depth chart. While most positions have clear answers as to who will be getting the playing time, slot cornerback remains a fairly wide-open battle with several guys looking to make a name for themselves. The slot corner position has grown in importance over the past several years as teams are lining up with three or more wide receivers nearly 65% of the time, so this could prove to be one of the more crucial position battles in camp.
The Packers do have their top two corners from 2019 returning in Jaire Alexander and Kevin King, but both figure to record most of their snaps lined up outside. While Alexander has the ability to cover the slot, he’s only played inside for about 13% of his snaps in the NFL. Jaire will likely spend most of his time matched up against the opposing team’s top receiver each week. Kevin King’s size and style of play are a better fit on the boundaries as well.
2019 saw free agent Tramon Williams take the majority of the snaps (547) at the slot corner position, where he was able to grab two interceptions and rack up 39 tackles. While Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst hasn’t ruled out a reunion with the 37-year-old veteran, it looks like he wants to see what some of the younger players have to offer at the position.
Chandon Sullivan played the majority of his snaps as the Packers dime back last season, and the former undrafted free agent didn’t disappoint, tallying one interception to go along with six passes deflected and 30 tackles. While Sullivan looks like the most obvious in-house choice to take over as the primary slot corner, he still needs to prove that he can take that next step forward.
Green Bay Packers 2018 second-round pick, Josh Jackson is also in the mix for playing time, but after compiling just over 100 snaps in 2019, it’s unclear if Jackson has the skillset to see consistent playing time in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s system. While he has shown flashes of his speed and athleticism on special teams, his inability to become a contributor on defense has some people thinking it’s time to move on from the third-year corner.
While Ka’dar Hollman’s playing time was limited as a rookie in 2019, hopes remain high that he’s able to improve heading into his second year. Hollman has the speed to play in the NFL and after having a year to pick Tramon Williams’ brain and trying to cover Davante Adams in practice, the University of Toledo product feels like he’s ready to compete for snaps on the defense.
Another player whose name continues to pop up around the slot cornerback position battle is Will Redmond. The Green Bay Packers signed the 2016 third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in September of 2018 after he was released by the Kansas City Cheifs. Though injuries have seemed to plague him throughout his career, he was finally able to see some consistent playing time in 2019, recording 271 snaps on defense and another 187 as a special teams contributor.
Raven Greene’s career has also been hampered by injuries, but if healthy, could make a case to see some time at the slot corner position, along with undrafted rookie Stanford Samuels.
While many believe the best option for the Green Bay Packers is to re-sign Tramon Williams and pencil him in as the third cornerback, the coaching staff seems just fine letting this hungry group of younger athletes battle it out in training camp. Though Chandon Sullivan seems to be the front-runner of the group, there are several guys nipping at his heels for playing time, which could prove to make this one of the most exciting position battles of camp.