The Green Bay Packers head into the offseason with a lot of unanswered questions. Will Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams be back in 2022? What about Rasul Douglas and De’Vondre Campbell? Will the team have to release any veterans for salary cap purposes?
While there are a lot of questions, there are also some areas where the Packers have solid depth and feel confident about their roster heading into the offseason.
Here is a look at the Packers deepest position groups heading into the offseason. These rankings do not include players who are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this offseason as their return is obviously in doubt. The level of the returning players and their importance to the team are taken into consideration.
The Packers have two talented and young cornerbacks who will be projected starters in 2022. The duo of Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes should give the Packers a pair of fast and talented cover corners on the boundary next season and beyond.
Before he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 4, Alexander was considered one of the better cover corners in the league. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2020 despite intercepting only one pass, a rare accomplishment in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks completed just 51.3 percent of their passes when targeting receivers covered by Alexander in 2020 and had a quarterback rating of just 67.4.
Alexander returned for the Packers 2021 playoff game against San Francisco but was limited to just eight defensive snaps in the game.
If he is healthy and returns to form in 2022, the Packers will have a shutdown corner on one side of the field again next season.
When Alexander and Kevin King were injured, 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes took over as the starter and earned All-Rookie Team honors. Stokes has elite speed, a strong work ethic and a desire to excel. He needs to improve his ability to adjust to the ball in the air which would allow him to make more big plays in the future.
As a rookie, Stokes limited opposing passers to a quarterback rating of 71.3 while completing just 49.5 percent of their passes according to pro-football-reference.com.
Behind Alexander and Stokes, the Packers do have some questions. Rasul Douglas was outstanding after joining the club in October and has expressed a willingness to come back if the Packers can reach an agreement with him. Chandon Sullivan gave the Packers competent play covering slot receivers. He is also an unrestricted free agent. Kevin King has starting experience but will only return if he can work out a new contract with the team.
- Running Back
The Packers duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon give the Packers two starting quality runners with diverse skill sets. Jones is a one-cut runner with enough speed to be a breakaway threat on any play. Dillon is a big, between-the-tackles runner who is tough to bring down one-on-one.
Both backs are good receivers out of the backfield and both can pick up extra yards after the catch in the open field.
Both Jones and Dillon gained more than 1,000 total yards this season and both are capable of having an even better year in 2022.
Behind the dynamic duo, the Packers have second-year players in Kylin Hill who showed promise in the preseason before suffering a knee injury against the Cardinals and Patrick Taylor who played well down the stretch after Hill was injured.
This group is deep, talented and diverse.
- Offensive Tackle
If David Bakhtiari is healthy and back in the lineup, the Packers have a solid group of talented and proven players at the offensive tackle position.
Bakhtiari is a three time Pro Bowler and a two-time All Pro who is considered one of the best tackles in the league at pass protection. His run blocking is also very good.
Billy Turner started at right tackle last season and he was a solid starter. He is under contract for 2022 although there is a possibility Turner could be a cap casualty.
The Packers will also have Yosh Nijman back in 2022. Nijman started eight games this season and saw his first extensive action on offense. The former Virginia Tech star did a good job of filling in for injured teammates and showed he may have the ability to develop into a reliable starter.
Elgton Jenkins was a starting guard in 2020 and made the Pro Bowl there. In 2021, he moved to left tackle and started eight games there before an injury ended his season. Jenkins may be moved back to guard next season or he could start at either tackle depending on where the team needs him most. The big question surrounding Jenkins may be when he’s healthy again and how well he’ll play post-injury.
The Packers have four players who have shown they can start in this league and two of them have earned Pro Bowl honors. This is the strongest and deepest position on the team.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
Click here for more great Packers coverage
Visit my Web site for all things Gil Martin