When the Packers drafted Jaire Alexander with the 18th pick in the 2018 Draft, they were taking a chance on an extremely talented player who was hindered in 2017 due to injuries. In three seasons and 29 games at Louisville, Alexander made 77 tackles with seven interceptions — including five in 2016.
Despite playing only six games his junior season due to injuries, Alexander was rated among the top two or three cornerbacks entering the draft. At 5′ 10″ and 195 pounds, Alexander showed very good 4.38 speed in the 40. His overall skills impressed the Packers enough to trade their first round, third round and sixth round picks to the Seahawks in order to move up to 18 and draft Alexander.
Alexander began the season as fourth on the depth chart at cornerback. However, he played in the season opener and recorded three tackles. Off to a good start, Alexander went on to start 11 of the 13 games played, missing two weeks with a groin injury. He recorded 66 tackles, an interception and one fumble recovered.
In an interview following Wednesday’s OTA’s, Alexander noted he is feeling much more comfortable on the field, with last year’s experience he is able to recognize more things and the speed of the game has gotten slower. His expectations are very high, displaying enormous confidence in his ability to the point of Pro Bowl and All-Pro status, making himself a household name. While only in his second season, Alexander feels he can take the rookies in the secondary, Darnell Savage and Ka’Dar Hollman, and teach them a few things. He says he will do what 13-year veteran Tramon Williams did with him last season.
The Packers ranked 22nd in points allowed last season at 25 per game and were torched in the passing game. Quarterbacks threw for 30 touchdowns and only seven interceptions for 374 yards per game and a rating of 100.9. Alexander feels the defense will get considerable pressure on the quarterback, forcing the ball out quicker, which means more opportunities for interceptions.
Alexander and Kevin King are currently listed as the starting cornerbacks, with the 36-year old Williams as the third corner. Alexander is extremely confident that he can be a shutdown corner this season. If that is the case, the Packers can expect a significantly improved pass defense leading to more interceptions and a more effective defense in 2019.
Watch the full video of Alexander’s comments on Packers.com here: https://www.packers.com/video/alexander-i-ve-got-all-the-confidence-in-the-world