Two Packers players have been included on Football Outsiders’ annual list of players primed for a breakout season. The list (paywalled via ESPN+) focuses on what Football Outsiders classifies as “NFL’s best and brightest young players who have barely played. Given that criteria, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the two Packers included are Jace Sternberger and Chandon Sullivan.
In his injury-shortened rookie season, Sternberger logged just 60 snaps in six regular-season games. He was targeted with just one pass, but didn’t make a catch. He did marginally better in the postseason, but generally, his rookie year was a wash.
The arrow is pointing up in year two, though, in large part because the Packers just don’t have a ton of high-end options at tight end. “This placement for him is really more about the opportunity than anything else,” the article says. “The Packers had no reliable targets last year other than Davante Adams — Aaron Jones finished second on the team in targets — so it stands to reason that Sternberger could step right in and fill a gaping No. 2 target role the Packers never properly filled after Jordy Nelson was released.”
Sullivan, meanwhile, was great in his limited exposure last season. He played 350 snaps over the course of last season, intercepting one pass and defending six others. He was targeted with 31 passes in coverage last year and gave up completions on just 11 of them, allowing 120 yards without surrendering a touchdown.
In his second season with the Packers, Football Outsiders thinks he’ll slide into a slot corner role, especially if Tramon Williams doesn’t make his way back to Green Bay. “The path of least resistance for the Packers is probably using Sullivan as the primary nickel corner,” they write, “which is a role that wouldn’t seem a stretch from what he did last year.”