If there’s one position on the Green Bay Packers’ roster where they have room for a surprise rookie standout, it’s cornerback. And against the Eagles, Lenzy Pipkins showed he’s more than just a great name — though he’s definitely that.
His stellar showing earned him a spot on the team of the week for Pro Football Focus.
According to their stats, he gave up just two catches on 32 coverage snaps, allowing just four yards.
But it was more than just pass coverage, Pipkins showed talent as a tackler with three stops, including one behind the line, and even flashed some talent as a blitzer off the edge.
The 6’0’’ 190-pound corner from Oklahoma State ran 4.46 at his pro day, giving him the kind of size/speed ratio the Packers covet. But his agility numbers and jumps were below average and he played just one season for the Cowboys after three years at Louisiana-Monroe, all of which led him to go undrafted.
Pride of Detroit writer Kent Lee Platte has a metric known as Relative Athletic Score (RAS), he uses to determine athleticism based on positional averages. Pipkins has the size and speed of an NFL corner, but his RAS score is a 3.46 (scored out of 10).
That’s ... well, that’s bad. But it’s also not everything.
So much of playing corner in the NFL is attitude, instincts, and intelligence. It’s too early to discern how much of each Pipkins has at the pro level, but early returns are good. At least against third-string players in a meaningless game.
Long way to go.
With Damarious Randall out indefinitely following a nasty hit that led to a concussion, and Davon House day-to-day with a hamstring injury, the Packers will have plenty of time to get guys like Pipkins reps.
The locks ahead of Pipkins on the 53-man roster at this point appear to be Randall, House, Quinten Rollins and Kevin King. Ladarius Gunter should be considered a good bet, although his offseason and summer have, by all accounts, been worse than underwhelming.
Josh Hawkins stands as the biggest fringe corner in his way, but Hawkins has had his own issues with inconsistency and has far from locked down his spot on this roster.
Pipkins has a chance to stack success (Mike McCarthy voice), and if he can, could be a surprise roster addition come opening day.
That said, let’s not overreact to one preseason game. There’s a long way to go, but considering how atrocious the Packers secondary looked for much of last year, any signs of progress or hope should be pointed out and taken as a positive.
Will it matter in a month? We’ll see, but something tells me Packers Nation will have a hard time forgetting such a great name.