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Three Packers Duos Ranked Among Top Tandems by NFL.com

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com selected the top tandems at every position group. Three Packers pairs earned a mention.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Jaire Alexander likes the potential of the Green Bay Packers’ cornerbacks.

What’s not to like?

Alexander, an All-Pro in 2020, is back after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. In one of the great practice-squad raidings in NFL history, general manager Brian Gutekunst responded to Alexander’s injury by signing Rasul Douglas. And Gutekunst’s first-round choice last year, Eric Stokes, had a tremendous rookie season.

“I tell them all the time, Eric Stokes and Rasul, they play as good as any All-Pro corners or any Pro Bowl corner that I’ve see,” Alexander said during minicamp. “That was good to see, being able to pick up where I left off. The sky’s the limit at this point because you know who’s back. The general’s back. So, the sky’s the limit.”

At NFL.com, Bucky Brooks picked the top tandem at every position group. No Packers were picked but he did list three as runners-up.

One was the cornerback tandem of Alexander and Douglas, which he ranked third. Miami’s Xavien Howard and Byron Jones got top billing and Baltimore’s Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were second. Are those duos better than Green Bay’s starting pair? Perhaps, but every team in the NFL lines up with three cornerbacks for the majority of its defensive snaps. Brooks’ picks don’t have a No. 3 anywhere near as good as Stokes.

At running back, Brooks selected Cleveland’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as the top tandem, with Denver’s Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams second and Green Bay’s Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon third.

Last season, 24 running backs rushed for at least 750 yards. Dillon and Jones and Gordon and Williams were the only set of teammates. Jones and Dillon were one of three tandems to top 1,000 total yards.

“It’s kind of a luxury,” running backs coach Ben Sirmans said, “because you can keep them both fresh throughout the game and then, toward the end, you can either throw A.J. in there to pound and wear the defense down, or put Aaron in, and all of a sudden, the defense is worn down and it’s an explosive play. Having a blend of both those guys, that will continue throughout this upcoming season.”

The third duo mentioned by Brooks were David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins as the bookend offensive tackles. There’s some projection there with Bakhtiari missing almost all of last season with a torn ACL and Jenkins missing the second half of the season with a torn ACL, unlikely to be on the field for Week 1 and having not played right tackle in his first three seasons.

Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata topped Brooks’ list, Tampa Bay’s Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Jones were second and Bakhtiari-Jenkins were third.

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