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.