After knocking off Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13, the Green Bay Packers are very much alive in the NFC playoff race, but that doesn’t mean general manager Brian Gutekunst doesn’t have plenty of work still to do building out the roster.
In a lot of ways, the Packers are thriving while in the midst of a rebuild, thanks in large part to quarterback Jordan Love‘s rapid development, especially over the past several weeks.
However, there are still pressing needs that Green Bay is going to need to fill this offseason, including continuing to build out a young defense.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic recently released his latest 2024 NFL mock draft projection, including the Packers coming away with Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold with the No. 13 overall pick:
“The Packers’ cornerback situation has been in flux, making it a position the organization might look to upgrade this offseason. Green Bay prioritizes athletic traits and competitiveness, which is why Arnold is the pick here, despite some undisciplined tendencies. Arnold will be ranked higher on some draft boards than his Alabama teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry.”
Arnold, 6-foot and 196 pounds, intercepted 5 passes as a sophomore in Tuscaloosa this season, while producing 61 tackles with 1.0 sack, 1 forced fumble and 11 pass breakups.
A lanky cornerback with tremendous ball skills and instincts in coverage, Arnold would fit right in in Green Bay’s secondary with veteran playmaker Jaire Alexander holding down one starting job on the perimeter and the chance to push seventh-round rookie Carrington Valentine for the other.
In two collegiate seasons, Arnold logged 106 total tackles, intercepted six passes, broke up 19 more, while adding one sack.
Carrington Valentine Addresses Controversial Non-Call vs. Chiefs
In a pivotal moment of the Chiefs’ final offensive possession Sunday night, Packers rookie cornerback Carrington Valentine appeared to commit what many believed was an obvious pass interference penalty against wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, only for the officials to leave their penalty flags tucked in their pocket.
— Rate the Refs App (@Rate_the_Refs) December 4, 2023
Afterwards, Valentine cracked a joke about the moment, that was key in sealing the Packers’ 27-19 win.
“I don’t know what PI you talkin’ ’bout. I ain’t see no flag on the field,” Valentine told reporters.
Valentine was playing expanded snaps on Sunday night, with Jaire Alexander sidelined for the fourth consecutive game, due to a shoulder injury. The rookie out of Kentucky produced two tackles with one pass breakup against Kansas City.
Terrion Arnold Weighs in On Florida State’s College Football Playoff Snub
Arnold and his Crimson Tide teammates are headed to the College Football Playoff, but the Tallahassee, Fla. native says he sympathizes with Florida State’s ire over being left out despite finishing undefeated and winning the ACC Championship.
“I feel like it’s just one of those things where even me talking to Jordan Travis, I just got done talking to Keon Coleman … It makes it something that you want to go out there and play for,” Arnold said, during an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show. “Even them not being able to get in, I’m going to go out there and play for my guys, play for Bama nation but even play for them, too–being from Tallahassee.”
Despite finishing 13-0 and winning their conference, the Seminoles will have to settle for an appearance in the Orange Bowl against Georgia. Meanwhile, Arnold and Alabama will take on Michigan at the Rose Bowl, in a College Football Playoff semifinal.