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Sullivan Surprised In Secondary

Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ll be listing his 12 best moves over the course of the next few weeks. Here’s No. 12:

Gutekunst signed an obscure free agent by the name of Chandon Sullivan on May 6, 2019. Released five days earlier by the Philadelphia Eagles, the move was barely noticed by fans or acknowledged by the local media. Fast forward just over a year, and the 23-year-old is poised to play a significant role in the fortunes of the Packers this season. As of right now, Sullivan is projected as the team’s No. 3 cornerback and a likely starter in the sub-packages. That could change if veteran Tramon Williams is re-signed, but it’s still a pretty dramatic rise for a player who wasn’t even deemed worthy of a spot on the Eagles’ 90-man roster.

Sullivan lacks ideal speed, but he plays faster than his 40 time of 4.60. He also showed toughness and a nose for the ball last season. Those are the exact same traits he exhibited at Georgia State, where he recorded seven interceptions and 18 passes defensed despite seldom being challenged by opposing quarterbacks.

In 378 snaps last season, Sullivan allowed 14 completions in 33 targets (42.4%). That was the best percentage on the team – well ahead of starting corners Jaire Alexander (56.4) and Kevin King (61.7). Whether Sullivan can maintain that level of play with increased snaps is a question, but what’s not a question is his place on this list. At best, he’ll develop into a starting-caliber corner. At worst, he’ll be a useful backup and a stalwart on special teams. Either way, that’s a very nice return on a very small investment.

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3 Responses “Sullivan Surprised In Secondary”

  1. Bryan Johnson
    06/25/2020 at 2:14 pm

    He had a great first year. Made some awesome plays. The risk is that so many teams can go three deep at WR, and Sullivan was a firm 4th corner last year. He’s one Kevin King injury away from having to cover Kenny Golliday and I’m not sure that’s going to be a winning formula.

  2. Tom Moshier
    06/25/2020 at 8:36 pm

    I thought Tony Brown played pretty well too. Not sure why he was released. Don’t recall an injury. At any rate Sullivan and Brown were far superior backups to the days of LaDarius Gunter, Josh Hawkins, and Lenzy Pipkins. Although we did parlay Pipkins into Antonio Morrison. So there’s that I guess. Bashaud Breeland was a nice pickup for the secondary as well for as long as that lasted. While not perfect, I feel better about the secondary now than I have since the days of Williams and Shields in their prime.

  3. 06/26/2020 at 9:05 am

    Sullivan had the lowest QB rating when passers were throwing his way then anyone in the nation his last year in college…..might have been his last two years but memory fades.
    I was shocked he wasn’t drafted, and /or picked up by Green Bay as a UDFA. But he’s on the team now and don’t expect his performance to wilt. It was indeed a great pick-up by Gutsey!

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About Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for close to 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2006. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.