Ranking the Packers (No. 17): Chandon Sullivan

In a part-time role last season, Chandon Sullivan put up dominant coverage numbers from the slot. That could be his home in 2020.
Author:
Publish date:

GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.

No. 17: CB Chandon Sullivan (5-11, 189, third season, Georgia State)

In last year’s rendition of this roster countdown, Sullivan ranked No. 63. I put him two spots after Mike Tyson.

Oops.

Sullivan played in five games as an undrafted rookie with the Eagles in 2018 but was released just after the 2019 draft. The Packers, liking his ability to play safety and cornerback, signed him shortly thereafter. He emerged as a quality role player last season and might enter training camp as the front-runner for the slot. Considering the Packers played with at least five defensive backs on 81 percent of the snaps last season, the nickel position is of vital importance.

“Chandon was a guy we liked him coming out of college,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said of Sullivan’s time at Georgia Southern, where he was a three-time member of the all-Sun Belt Conference team. “He had his ups and downs in Philadelphia, but at the time it was one of those things we thought he’d be a nice player to compete with our roster. I’m really proud of him and how he stepped up in the moments that he did. He was put in some pretty tough spots, not only for a young player, but also he had to play a lot of different spots for us whether it was safety, nickel, outside. I think he showed his versatility and I’m excited where he can go.”

Over the final 12 regular-season games, Sullivan played 20-plus snaps in 10 games and 35-plus snaps in five games. According to Sports Info Solutions, Sullivan allowed a scant 6-of-21 passing (28.6 percent) for 74 yards with one interception and five breakups. In other words, he almost got his hands on as many footballs as the receivers he was covering. The numbers at Pro Football Focus weren’t as great but were darned good, nonetheless: 13-of-32 passing (40.6 percent) for 140 yards with one interception and three breakups.

The interception came at Dallas in Week 5. That’s where the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. A key play in that game was Nick Collins’ pick-six, which he celebrated by dropping to his knees and raising his arms to the roof of AT&T Stadium.

“If you walk out of here like you’re leaving the building, if you look to your left, you’ll see the picture from the Super Bowl,” Sullivan said a few days later.

Sullivan celebrated his interception in the same fashion.

“I guess it was kind of on my mind subconsciously,” Sullivan said. “We had a plan – I’m not going to tell you what we were going to do – but in the heat of the moment, being my first interception, I was like, ‘Man, I know what I’m going to do,’ I ran to the end zone. I knew we were going to take a group photo and I posed. I knew that the photographers were going to get a picture of me solo, just like how he did it when they took it. So, I posted the picture and it kind of took off. So, that’s kind of cool.”

Sullivan was an Academic All-American who graduated with a 3.86 GPA while majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology. He was one of 13 finalists for the William Campbell Trophy – aka the Academic Heisman.

“We took grades very seriously,” Sullivan said. “My dad, he taught us to try to be the best at everything you can. Growing up, it was always straight-A’s. If you brought home a B, that’s OK but you’re going to hear about it for a little while. Hat’s off to my dad and my mom.”

Why he’s so important: Tramon Williams was the oldest starting defensive back in the NFL last season. He was so good in the slot that he received one All-Pro vote. Williams remains unsigned and, with no marquee additions in the defensive backfield, Sullivan would seem to be front and center in the conversation to take his place in the lineup.

“My mind-set is never that I made anything or that I’ve arrived,” Sullivan said. “The way I was brought up from my parents and my earlier coaches was to never be satisfied. I never feel like I’ve arrived. I’m just hungry every day. … Even when I got released, I never lost confidence in myself. I’m fortunate enough to be here in this situation.”

90 TO 1 ROSTER COUNTDOWN

Part 1 (87 to 90): FB Elijah Wellman, FB Jordan Jones, G Zack Johnson, S Henry Black

Part 2 (83 to 86): CBs DaShaun Amos, Will Sunderland, Stanford Samuels, Marc-Antoine Dequoy

Part 3 (80 to 82): DT Willington Previlon, RB Damarea Crockett, S Frankie Griffin

Part 4 (77 to 79): G Simon Stepaniak, G Cole Madison, T Cody Conway

Part 5 (76): QB Jalen Morton can throw a football 100 yards

Part 6 (73 to 75) TE James Looney, TE Evan Baylis, RB Patrick Taylor

Part 7 (70 to 72) OLBs Jamal Davis, Randy Ramsey, Greg Roberts

Part 8 (67 to 69) LBs Krys Barnes, Delontae Scott, Tipa Galeai

No. 66: Well-rounded OT Travis Bruffy

No. 65: WR Malik Taylor

No. 64: WR Darrius Shepherd

No. 63: RB Dexter Williams

No. 62: DT Gerald Willis

No. 61: ILB Curtis Bolton

No. 60: CB Kabion Ento

No. 59: C Jake Hanson

No. 58: OLB Jonathan Garvin

No. 57: OT John Leglue

No. 56: DT Treyvon Hester

No. 55: WR Darrell Stewart

No. 54: WR Reggie Begelton

No. 53: S Vernon Scott

No. 52: OLB Tim Williams

No. 51: Ka’darHollman

No. 50: G/T Jon Runyan

No. 49: WR Jake Kumerow

No. 48: OT Alex Light

No. 47: TE Robert Tonyan

No. 46: LS Hunter Bradley

No. 45: DT Montravius Adams

No. 44: ILB Kamal Martin

No. 43: OT Yosh Nijman

No. 42: S Will Redmond

No. 41: G/C Lucas Patrick

No. 40: ILB Ty Summers

No. 39: WR Equanimeous St. Brown

No. 38: TE Josiah Deguara

No. 37: RB Tyler Ervin

No. 36: Lane Taylor

No. 35: RB AJ Dillon

No. 34: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

No. 33: DT Tyler Lancaster

No. 32: CB Josh Jackson

No. 31: WR Devin Funchess

No. 30: S Raven Greene

No. 29: TE Marcedes Lewis

No. 28: DT Kingsley Keke

No. 27: ILB Oren Burks

No. 26: P JK Scott

No. 25: QB Tim Boyle

No. 24: OLB Rashan Gary

No. 23: RB Jamaal Williams

No. 22: RG Billy Turner

No. 21: QB Jordan Love

No. 20: TE Jace Sternberger

No. 19: DT Dean Lowry

No. 18: G Elgton Jenkins