Reason #3 For Optimism In 2021: Jaire Alexander

Yes, the 2020 season ended in disappointing fashion.

If just one play or one call or one playcall would have been different, the Packers could have been in the Super Bowl. Based on the disarray the Chiefs were in from injuries and off-the-field issues, the Packers may very well have won.

But it didn’t happen.

There’s looming salary cap issues in 2021 and some key players surely won’t be back, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the 2021 season and we’ll be counting them throughout the offseason.

Today we look at Reason #3: Jaire Alexander

The Packers defense certainly had its up and downs during the year, but there was one constant: Jaire Alexander.

Jaire started the season off with a bang against Minnesota, getting an interception and also notching a safety on an uncalled cornerback blitz.

From then on, he just got stronger and stronger in his third season, developing into a true shutdown corner and ending the year with two 4th quarter interceptions of Tom Brady to single-handedly give the Packers more chances to win the NFCCG than they should have needed.

Throughout the season, he just racked up impressive game after impressive game. He’d flashed his potential in his first two years, but this season, he was consistently dominant, week in, week out.

He only allowed 9.6 yards per catch and didn’t give up a pass longer than 32 yards all year, while giving up a passer rating of 67.4 when targeted.

To put that in perspective, Ben DiNucci, a Cowboys backup, had a rating of 67.9 last year, making him the 84th highest-rated passer in the league. Jaire Alexander made every quarterback he faced this year look worse than Ben DiNucci.

On the year, Jaire only allowed 374 yards in coverage –  less than 25 yards per game!

As the season wore on, teams basically just gave up trying to pass anywhere near him. It was reminiscent of how the Denver Broncos completely avoided future Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler in Super Bowl XXXII.

The AP made Jaire a 2nd Team All Pro, while Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Weekly named him to their 1st Team. PFF rated him as the best cornerback all season and actually said that the fact that he only made 2nd Team All Pro by the AP was one of the biggest snubs of the year.

The Packers have a new DC coming in this year, so Jaire’s role may change a bit, but it doesn’t matter – he’s the rare kind of talent that can flourish in any system.

With the best cornerback in the game leading the defense, 2021 should be another exciting season.

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We’ll be updating our list of Reasons For Optimism In 2021 throughout the offseason, so be sure to check back.

Also, follow our ongoing draft and free agency coverage at Draft Central 2021.

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Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!

Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team

Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.

Both are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!

Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.

 

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Check out Packers Draft Central 2021 for all our 2021 NFL Draft coverage!

 

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.

We’ll be updating our list of Reasons For Optimism In 2021 throughout the offseason, so be sure to check back.

Also, follow our ongoing draft and free agency at Draft Central 2021.

.

Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!

Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team

Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.

Both are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!

Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.

 

.

Check out Packers Draft Central 2021 for all our 2021 NFL Draft coverage!

 

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