The Green Bay Packers have established starters in place at cornerback and safety, but backup roles and roster spots at both positions will be up for grabs when Matt LaFleur’s team reconvenes for training camp in late July.
As the offseason workout program wraps up, the favorites could be Shawn Davis at safety behind Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage and Keisean Nixon at cornerback behind Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes.
“They’ve approached it the right way and it’s going to be a lot on them in terms of where they are when we come back,” LaFleur said, via Mike Spofford of Packers.com. “They’ve got to stay in the book and up to speed on just all the nuances of those positions. But they’re going to have a lot of opportunity.”
At various points during OTAs and minicamp, Davis and Nixon played snaps with the first-team defense and were otherwise the preferred options after the starters.
Davis, a fifth-round pick of the Colts in 2021, spent the final four months of the regular season in Green Bay. Nixon was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders. Both could one injury away from playing a major role on Joe Barry’s defense in 2022.
Inexperience is certainly one question mark. Nixon has been on the field for 273 total defensive snaps over his three-year career. Davis didn’t play a single snap on defense as a rookie last year.
The Packers have one of the best starting secondary groups in the NFL. Alexander, Douglas and Stokes might be the best trio of cornerbacks in the league, while Savage and Amos are going into their fourth season playing next to each other at safety. There is plenty of speed, playmaking ability and experience in the five starters.
But training camp will be required to sort out the rest in the secondary.
Davis will compete with the likes of Vernon Scott, Innies Gaines, seventh-round pick Tariq Carpenter and undrafted rookie Tre Sterling. At cornerback, Nixon needs to beat out Shemar Jean-Charles, Kabion Ento, Kiondre Thomas, Rico Gafford and Raleigh Texada.
Barring an addition at cornerback or safety between now and the end of July, Nixon and Davis will go into training camp as the likely favorites for the important backup roles in the Packers secondary.