NFL.com compares new Green Bay safety Darnell Savage to Lamarcus Joyner
The Green Bay Packers’ defensive overhaul is complete. And if Darnell Savage lives up to his pre-draft comparison, Green Bay will have a true impact player manning the defensive backfield for years to come.
The Packers traded the No. 30 overall pick and two fourth-round selections to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, moving up to No. 21 to get Savage. On his prospect page at NFL.com, the University of Maryland product is compared to former Los Angeles Rams safety LaMarcus Joyner, who signed a four-year, $42 million deal with the Oakland Raiders in March. Like Joyner, Savage is undersized for a safety, but compensates with elite athleticism, above-average cover skills, and a dogged disposition.
If he ultimately reaches his potential and develops into a player like Joyner, Darnell Savage will help lead a Green Bay defense that’s been rebuilt at every level of the field. The team signed outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith away from the Baltimore Ravens with a four-year, $66 million deal; got fellow pass-rusher Preston Smith from the Washington Redskins with a four-year, $52 million contract; and inked former Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos to a four-year, $36 million deal all in the opening days of free agency.
Savage wasn’t the Packers’ only first-round pick, either. They also selected Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary at No. 12, a player who has as much physical talent as any prospect in the 2019 draft class despite his pedestrian production in college.
Obviously, Green Bay has much to prove before it can be considered one of the league’s most promising defenses. But if comparisons between Savage and Joyner are accurate and his teammates quickly coalesce into a cohesive unit, it seems only a matter of time until the Packers’ defense finally gives Aaron Rodgers enough consistent support for the team to re-emerge as a perennial contender.