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Alexander Cracks Top 10 of 25-And-Under List

Green Bay Packers star Jaire Alexander was arguably the best cornerback in the NFL in 2020.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Young players are the lifeblood of every NFL team. Young stars are more than that. They are building blocks and, in some cases, the faces of the franchise.

The 33rd Team, the site started by former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner, assembled a list of 75 players ages 25 and younger. From that list, its 11-person staff voted for the top 25 young stars.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander ranked 10th. He finished as high as sixth and as low as 15th.

“Alexander allowed just 337 yards in coverage in 2020 while earning the fourth highest PFF-coverage grade among players with at least 300 coverage snaps and the highest among corners,” the authors wrote. “While the interception production is not there, Alexander broke up 13 passes in 2019 and 2020. Alexander also allowed the fourth-lowest NFL Passer Rating among corners with at least 450 coverage snaps behind only Xavien Howard, Darious Williams, and J.C. Jackson.”

Alexander missed most of last season with a shoulder injury. In 2020, he was voted second-team All-Pro. According to PFF, he finished No. 6 with 15.1 snaps per reception, No. 3 with 0.64 yards per snap and No. 5 with a 68.3 passer rating. He intercepted one pass and broke up 13, down from two picks and 17 passes defensed in 2019, but quarterbacks didn’t test him as often.

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According to Sports Info Solutions, Alexander yielded a measly 42.3 percent completion rate and 4.7 yards per target in 2020. Those ranked No. 1 among starting corners. Alexander has allowed a sub-50 percent completion rate each of the last three seasons.

This offseason, the Packers made Alexander the highest-paid cornerback in terms of annual salary. What does that mean?

“I wanted to be recognized as the best player and the best player gets paid the most,” Alexander said. “So, you tell me. You tell me how I felt about that.”

No other Packers made the list, though at least Alexander made the list. In the NFC North, Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson was fourth and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was 23rd.

The Packers have a solid group of young starters.