Chemistry Building In Green Bay Packers Secondary

Jaire Alexander, Xavier McKinney, Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Green Bay Packers secondary is going to look a lot different in 2024 than it did in 2023. Gone are several key members from recent seasons, as the front office did a much-needed overhaul of the safety position.

Gone is former first-round pick Darnell Savage Jr., who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. Rudy Ford was not brought back, and neither was Jonathan Owens. Taking their places on the roster are free agent signing Xavier McKinney and three draft picks; Javon Bullard, Evan Williams and Kitan Oladapo.

McKinney is the player many people are keeping a close eye on. The Green Bay Packers paid him handsomely with a free agent contract, signing him away from the New York Giants. A versatile defender, he is already making his presence felt.

Despite being only 26, he is the elder statesman of the safety position. Anthony Johnson Jr., a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, is the only returning safety with double-digit snaps played defensively in 2023.

That has led to the younger players peppering McKinney with questions. The leadership role is one he is happy to fill, as he was a captain with the Giants previously. He is also quickly acclimating himself with other veterans on the team, such as star cornerback Jaire Alexander.

“I know Sav left, that’s my dude, and I miss Sav, but having X, we’re already on the same page with things. He communicates,” Alexander said during OTAs.

Alexander and McKinney could combine to be one of the best cornerback/safety duos in the NFL. Both are supremely talented and when playing to their potential, are among the best players in the league at their respective positions.

They will play a major role in determining just how good this defense can be. In recent seasons, the Green Bay Packers have underwhelmed on defense, but they are hoping that changes with Jeff Hafley taking over for Joe Barry.

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