The 2021 NFL Draft is just around the corner and Green Bay Packers fans are eager to know who the team will select with their first-round pick. As of right now, the Packers have the 29th pick in the first round although GM Brian Gutekunst has made a trade in the first round of each of his first three drafts with Green Bay.
This is the first in a series of articles looking at players the Packers may be interested in selecting at this year’s draft. The only players listed here are realistic possibilities for the Packers to pick at 29 or if they trade up or down slightly from that spot.
Today we will examine cornerbacks since the Packers clearly have a need at this position. Jaire Alexander is one of the league’s best cover corners and he should be part of the Green Bay defense for years to come. However, the other starter, Kevin King, has been signed what is essentially a one-year, prove-it deal with voidable years.
Nickel back Chandon Sullivan has been tendered but has yet to sign his contract. For depth, the Packers have Ka’dar Hollman who is entering his third season and needs to show he can contribute on defense. Former second-round pick Josh Jackson has struggled to earn playing time but may be a better fit in Joe Barry’s defense which emphasizes zone coverages. Kabion Ento hopes to be healthy and to compete for a roster spot but he has yet to prove himself to be a steady contributor. KeiVarae Russell and Stanford Samuels will also provide depth and help on special teams if they win a job in training camp.
The Packers need to improve this position and they will be looking for a player who can take over as the starter if King falters or does not return in 2022. There are many good corners available in this year’s draft and that bodes well for the Packers since the team needs to add some depth at this position.
So here is a list of possible cornerbacks the Packers may take in the first round. They are not listed in any particular order.
Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Farley has the size and length the Packers are looking for at this position. He stands 6’1”and 210 pounds and plays very well in press man coverage. That may not make him the best fit in Joe Barry’s zone-heavy defense.
Farley is a ball hawk who did a great job of shutting down opposing receivers in college. He has good but not outstanding speed, but he accelerates well and that allows him to get into position when the ball is in the air. He also changes direction well which helps him excel in man coverage.
The biggest concern about Farley is his injury history. He had a torn ACL late in 2017 and dealt with a painful back condition in 2020 that slowed him down a bit.