The Green Bay Packers hit a home run with their first-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. With the 18th overall selection, they took Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander. Alexander has since turned into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and earlier this week, the Packers rewarded him as such.
Green Bay and Alexander agreed to a record-setting four-year, $84 million deal. The $21 million yearly average is a record for cornerbacks, surpassing the $20.3 million that Denzel Ward signed for earlier this offseason. The $30 million guaranteed that Alexander will be earning is also a record for a cornerback.
Alexander has produced from the second he stepped onto the field for the Packers. He played in only four games last season because of a shoulder injury before returning for the postseason, but he has done more than enough to earn the contract that he did.
Just how dominant has he been? According to PFF, Alexander is the highest-graded cornerback in single-coverage since 2020, registering a 91.5. He far outpaced Xavien Howard, J.C. Jackson and Ward, who have grades of 88.8, 82.4 and 79.7 in the same span of time.
Alexander had the fourth most pass breakups in the NFL during his first three seasons in the league with 42. Only James Bradberry with 45, Stephon Gilmore with 43 and Janoris Jenkins, also with 43, had more.
The extension for Alexander is the most recent step in the Packers’ committing to build up their defense. As the old saying goes, defense wins championships, and Green Bay seems to be taking that to heart.
Green Bay has had three first-round picks in the last two drafts and all three were used on Georgia defensive players; cornerback Eric Stokes in 2021, linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt in 2022. They also re-signed Rasul Doulas and De’Vondre Campbell this offseason, further committing to ensuring the defense is the backbone of this team’s success.