When you think of the Green Bay Packers and their history there are numerous players that come to mind since their inception. Not to mention their legendary head coach Vince Lombardi.
But for the sole purpose of this article, we’ll be taking a look at the current roster and picking three players that when you think of the 2019 Green Bay Packers and in seasons beforehand, you’ll say these three guys come to mind. One will be obvious but I think there are strong cases for the other two players we are thinking of here at Last Word on Sports.
So, without further adieu, let’s jump into these faces, shall we?
2019 Green Bay Packers: Faces of the Franchise
This player’s name may come to a surprise to anyone who doesn’t follow the Packers that closely, but everyone who does follow this team is fully aware of the potential this young player showed in his rookie season in 2018 and expect a breakout season in 2019.
The Packers finished their 2017 campaign with a record of 6-10 due to Aaron Rodgers‘ collarbone injury that caused him to miss a majority of the season after a 4-1 start. However, if you’re looking for a bright side to losing your star quarterback and finishing with a losing record, then it all comes down to draft positioning.
After trading their draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks during the 2018 NFL draft, the Packers selected cornerback Jaire Alexander out of Louisville with the 18th pick in the first round. It’s no secret that Green Bay has struggled to find a suitable replacement at the cornerback position since a prime-Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward.
Alexander, 22, immediately shined in his first season at Green Bay notching one interception, two fumble recoveries and 61 tackles in 13 games of action. Early injuries did cost Alexander a few games but when he’s on the field, he is one of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine‘s go-to guys for a big stop.
Expect big things from Jaire Alexander in his second season! pic.twitter.com/umD9jKchr7
— PFF (@PFF) June 18, 2019
While Alexander is on the slimmer side in both weight and height (5’10”, 196 pounds) his speed and skill set allows him to stay connected with a receiver and fight for the ball while it’s in the air. If his 2018 season is any indication on how high his ceiling is, then we should see more lockdown coverage and big-play ability out of the second-year pro.
#Packers Jaire Alexander For President
Blows up the screen pass by blocking Thielen into Diggs AND makes the Tackle For Loss. pic.twitter.com/JmRVV59gQQ
— Steve Frederick (@_SteveFrederick) November 26, 2018
“I see myself in the Pro Bowl,” Alexander told reporters on June 4, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I see myself as an All-Pro.”
Coming in as the second face of the 2019 Green Bay Packers is a wide receiver named Davante Adams. The fifth-year pro has emerged as Rodgers’ top target for the better part of the last three seasons. Showing flashes of greatness in his rookie season where he posted three touchdowns and 446 receiving yards — and moments to remember against the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys at home in the playoffs — Adams has proved that belongs on this roster.
Adams had a down year the following season in 2015 where he and Rodgers failed to connect on the same page and took a step back to former Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb. That was also the season where Jordy Nelson was lost due to a torn ACL perhaps putting more pressure on Adams to develop as a receiver.
However, from 2016 on, Adams has been one of Green Bay’s most explosive players in recent memory and proving to the league he’s a true number one elite receiver. Since his lone down year, Adams has posted double-digit touchdown receptions, at least 800 receiving yards and a catch rate of 62 percent.
Green Bay went through a rough patch where they had to decide whether to keep veteran Nelson or Cobb. They decided to keep Cobb and after the 2018 season, they decided to let Cobb walk. But the one name that has remained constant with the Packers’ offense? Davante Adams.
He definitely shined during the 2018 season. Adams posted a career-high 169 targets, 111 catches, 1,386 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns — including a walk-off overtime touchdown reception from Rodgers against the New York Jets.
The one thing that Adams has adapted well to is his red zone efficiency with Rodgers. If you’re going to play with Rodgers, then you have to make yourself available in the red zone, especially once Rodgers starts to scramble and buy time. Nelson had the ultimate connection with Rodgers in this aspect. Cobb showed signs of it and Adams is definitely close to that Nelson-level.
The Packers' Davante Adams has developed into a daunting red-zone threat.
— PFF (@PFF) July 14, 2019
“I’d like to throw to Davante more. He’s that open,” Rodgers said, according to Packers Wire’s Zach Kruse. “We gotta keep finding ways of getting him the ball. There’s nothing wrong with having a go-to guy who is that dynamic and finding ways of getting him the ball.”
— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2018
You knew this was coming. Everyone knew this was coming. The fact remains that the Packers only go as far as he takes them. We saw it during the 2017 season when Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr landed on him thus breaking his collarbone. And again in 2018 where he suffered a heavily sprained knee against the Chicago Bears in Week One.
Despite the epic comeback against the Bears after the entire NFL landscape held their breath when he left the game, a hobbled Rodgers could still only do so much. However, it’s crazy to think that a partially broken Rodgers is still dangerous and better than a good chunk of NFL starting quarterbacks, but … here we are.
The Packers and Rodgers never found their footing during the 2018 season that also saw a pretty brutal schedule against top-tiered teams for most of the year. Remember when they had to play the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots in back-to-back weeks on the road?
Rodgers’ injury did get better over time despite the serious nature of it and he did provide some awesome moments last season: the aforementioned comeback against the Bears, the game-tying and game-winning drive against the San Francisco 49ers and the ultra-rare overtime victory against the Jets.
However, at the end of the day, the Packers went 6-9-1 with Rodgers throwing for 4,442 yards, 25 touchdowns and just two, TWO, interceptions. You can play the what-if game and think what life would’ve been like for the Packers had he stayed 100 percent healthy throughout the season.
Rodgers is the ultimate name, face, and leader of this team, and has been since taking over in 2008. However, the injury bug has bitten number 12 more times than Packers fans care for. Their lone Super Bowl win is now nine years ago and they’ve appeared in the NFC Championship game two times since then.
It’s been said before and it’ll be said a million more times: The 2019 Green Bay Packers will go as far as Aaron Rodgers will take them.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Daniels / David Bakhtiari
If you don’t follow Daniels on social media, then you’re missing out! Daniels has shown a playful side with his interests in anime and video games numerous times. While he is a beast on the field on defense, he is a pretty relatable guy for a lot of people with similar interests.
Bakhtiari is another fan favorite who cemented his place in Packers fandom until the end of time when he was seen double-fisting two beers during the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run — even ousting his own quarterback! Can you truly protect someone who can’t keep up with the pounding of beers? In addition to being seen as one of the best left tackles in the entire NFL, Bakhtiari is full of energy on and off the field.