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Packers rookie Jaire Alexander contested passes more often than any other cornerback

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Green Bay’s top pick was the best in the NFL at breaking up passes this season.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew that Jaire Alexander had a good rookie year. After the Green Bay Packers selected him 18th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Alexander went on to play in 13 games, starting 11 of them, and demonstrate why he was worthy of that mid-first-round pick.

Alexander was the team’s most effective corner as a rookie, and he found himself joining Browns rookie Denzel Ward on the PFWA All-Rookie team at cornerback. One interception, 11 pass breakups, a half-sack,and 66 total tackles will get you there.

However, Alexander’s ball skills were even better than those raw numbers suggest. Pro Football Focus charts every NFL player, and found that Alexander contested a whopping 36.7 percent of passes that were targeted for the receiver he covered. That’s the highest rate in the league this season for cornerbacks, and it made him one of just two corners who contested more than a third of targets:

Those other names in the top five of this are also good corners — a few are young, like Alexander, while one in particular is at the top of his craft. Humphrey and Jackson are second-year players who are developing into excellent every-down cornerbacks. Alford is six-year veteran and five-year starter with double-digit pass defenses every season since 2014. Gilmore, the best of the bunch, was voted first-team All-Pro this season.

It’s great to see Alexander in the company of players like this. His ball skills and aggressiveness should keep him at the top of this list for years to come, and it should be fun to watch him continue to make plays on the football — hopefully with more interceptions forthcoming.