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Cheese Curds, 6/22: Projecting Jaire Alexander’s continued rise to stardom

Alexander continues to get better and better every season, and at this point it will be tough for him to play much better than he did in 2020.

Carolina Panthers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

So far, Brian Gutekunst’s first pick as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers still looks like his best.

After moving down and back up the board, losing a third-round pick but gaining a first-rounder the following year, Gutekunst landed Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander with the 18th overall selection in 2018. The scrappy corner has lived up to his status and more, becoming one of the most respected players at his position in the NFL after just three years.

He has broken up double-digit passes in each of his three years. He has steadily dropped the passer rating and yards per target he has allowed over his career, with 2020 seeing those numbers bottom out at 67.4 and 4.7 respectively. Additionally, his two picks (and his helping to create a third) in the NFC Championship Game put him squarely on the minds of NFL fans around the world who might not have known much about him coming into that game.

While Gutekunst’s selections of Darnell Savage and Elgton Jenkins look like excellent picks as well, Alexander is one of the very best players at one of the most important positions on the football field. The Packers have him locked up through at least 2022, and should be looking to sign him to a long-term contract sometime next offseason.

Packers CB Jaire Alexander primed to follow up All-Pro season | Packers.com
Only three cornerbacks in team history have made Pro Bowls in one of their first three seasons: Herb Adderley, Willie Buchanon, and now Alexander. If he stays on the trajectory that those two Packers legends had, he'll be a true superstar in no time.

The NFL’s top 11 outside cornerbacks | Touchdown Wire
Indeed, Alexander earned a second-team All-Pro nod last season in addition to his Pro Bowl appearance, and in this list he's ranked as the second-best boundary corner in the NFL.

Carl Nassib of Las Vegas Raiders announces he is gay, pledges $100,000 to Trevor Project | ESPN
Good for Carl, whose donation goes to an excellent cause that supports LGBTQ youth around the country.

Breaking down what LB De’Vondre Campbell brings to Packers defense | Packers Wire
Campbell has all the physical tools that one would want in an inside linebacker, but he displays some issues with diagnosing plays and doing so quickly.

Which NFL rookie receivers will be most productive in 2021? | NFL.com
Amari Rodgers doesn't crack this list, which lists the top seven rookie wideouts. That shouldn't come as a big surprise, however, given the depth chart ahead of him and the fact that he was the 13th receiver drafted.

Man arrested in 21-ton, $100K Pistachio heist | TheHill
That's a lot of little green nuts. Apparently there's big money in the pistachio business!