Ranking the Packers (No. 58): Jonathan Garvin
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. 58: OLB Jonathan Garvin (6-4, 257, rookie, Miami)
Jonathan Garvin won’t celebrate his 21st birthday with an adult beverage. Rather, it will be with a cup of Gatorade on the Packers’ practice field.
Garvin will turn 21 on July 28 – the first day of full-squad training camp – and is the youngest player on the 90-man roster. A seventh-round pick out of Miami, he’ll be front and center in the battle to be the No. 4 outside linebacker behind Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary.
“Jonathan is a great kid. He’s compassionate, he’s very intelligent, very analytical,” Todd Stroud, the Hurricanes’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach, told Packer Central. “He’s football-smart, he’s a technician, he takes to coaching. He was a pleasure to coach. His upside, I think the Packers got a really good value with that guy just because people don’t realize that kid’s only 20 years old. He’s just starting to scratch the surface of what he could be physically and mentally. He’s got a huge upside. He’s a wonderful kid, he’s respectful, he’s coachable. His best football is certainly in front of him. I wish we could have had him another year. He’s going to be a good player for somebody.”
Garvin had a breakout sophomore season in 2018 with 5.5 sacks and 17 tackles for losses among his 60 stops. In 2019, he had five sacks and nine TFLs as he wound up playing second fiddle to Gregory Rousseau, the freshman who earned All-American honors with 15.5 sacks and 19.5 TFLs.
At the Scouting Combine, Garvin ran his 40 in 4.82 seconds. Paired with his rather lackluster production on the field, his draft stock took a big hit. However, he recorded a 36-inch vertical jump and his arms measured 34 inches, which should help him battle offensive tackles.
“Some of the moves that I worked are imitating the NFL guys”
While Rousseau was deserving of the accolades, Pro Football Focus credited Garvin with 44 pressures – only one fewer than his teammate.
“I think you’ve got a guy with length, you’ve got a guy that can burst on the takeoff and also is a technician, as well,” Stroud said. “He’s willing to commit to a few things and get good at them. When he gets up there to the NFL game and those guys make a living rushing the passer, I think his arsenal will improve a little bit and he’ll take to coaching and he’ll adapt and overcome. He’s got great body awareness – almost like a wrestler.”
Stroud said he tried to convince Garvin to come back for his senior season but quickly gave up when it was clear that Garvin’s mind was made up.
“Personal reasons and family, I’ll leave it there,” Garvin said of his reasoning. “I haven’t hit my prime yet. I have years to go to hit my prime. By the time the contract is done, I still won’t be in my prime and I’ll still keep on growing and developing.”
Why he’s got a chance: Garvin is battling former third-round pick Tim Williams and a few undrafted free agents for a spot on the roster. “His football is ahead of him,” Stroud said. “His physical maturity is going to do nothing but improve over the next 36 months.”