Should The Packers Make Darnell Savage a ‘Star’?

darnell savage
Credit: Dairyland Express

As Packers fans, we have all seen the struggles Darnell Savage this season. After how he finished last season big things were expected of him in his third season. Joe Barry was coming in to run the defense and he was bringing the Vic Fangio/Brandon Staley defense with him.

Barry talked of a new position in the defense called the ‘star’, which ended up being a fancy name for the slot cornerback. There would be some added responsibility and some more blitzing and other stuff that they would do, but for the most part it was the same. Its very similar to the ‘robber’ that Charles Woodson played in Green Bay. See the reasons below:

Initial Speculation

There was much talk and speculation about who would man the position. Barry himself had mentioned about four guys who could fill the role. After Sullivan had a down year as a the nickel back in 2020 the prevailing thought was that they would play different players at the star spot. His season started out slow like the rest of the defense, but Savage never seemed to return to his play of the previous season.

Darnell Savage’s Measurable

His size also lends itself to playing corner/slot. He measured 5’10 3/4ths and 198 pounds at the combine. Savage also only did 11 reps on the bench which is low for a corner let alone a safety. His lack of his size and strength shows on film which you can get away with better at corner/slot versus safety.

Darnell Savage’s Coverage

Savage’s coverage stats also seem to indicate he might be better off playing the ‘star’. In the 2020 season he had the 3rd lowest QB rating in the slot (58.0). The total completion percentage he allowed in 2020 was 56%, but in 2021 it went up to 64% where he played a lot less slot. Touchdowns given up also went from only 2 in 2020 to 7 in 2021.

Strong Draft Class

The draft class of free safeties, or guys who can play it, is also a good group. You have guys like Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame and Daxton Hill from Michigan who are the elite safeties of this class, but they won’t be there when Green Bay picks. After them, though, there are a number of guys who should go in the 2nd-4th round range.

Guys like Jaquan Brisker from Penn State, Lewis Cine from Georgia, Verone McKinley from Oregon, Markquese Bell from Florida A&M, Nick Cross from Maryland, Kerby Joseph from Illinois, Bryan Cook from Cincinnati, Bubba Bolden from Miami(Fla.), and Kolby Harvell-Peel from Oklahoma State just to name a few.

In conclusion this would allow the Packers to stay strong in the secondary and remain versatile. Sullivan probably won’t be resigned due to cap issues. Also, being not as important as guys like Rodgers, Adams, Alexander and Campbell when it comes to free agency. Darnell Savage can play all over with Jaire and Stokes manning the outside spots. Then you have Amos at one safety spot and your rookie filling in when the Packers are in nickel. This would be a very dangerous group to throw against.