All things considered, the Green Bay Packers had a very solid 2019 rookie class. Guys like Darnell Savage, Rashan Gary, Elgton Jenkins, Jace Sternberger, and Ty Summers all showed varied levels of promise to be NFL contributors. Everybody has their thoughts on who is going to breakout for the Packers in year two, but the most likely scenario is that Darnell Savage takes the biggest leap forward.
In 2019, Savage played in 14 games and registered 55 tackles (1 for a loss), 5 pass deflections, an approximate value of 5, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 quarterback hit. Savage also allowed an opposing completion percentage of 56.7% which was better than Pro-Bowl safeties, Harrison Smith, Budda Baker, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Savage also allowed an opposing QB rating of 71.1 which was also better than Budda Baker, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and another Pro-Bowler, Jamal Adams.
Just for fun, I wanted to compare Darnell Savage’s rookie season statistics to a Hall of Fame safety’s rookie season statistics and that led me to Troy Polamalu. Surprisingly, Savage beat him in tackles, pass deflections, forced fumbles, interceptions, and AV. This isn’t to say that Savage will be as good as Polamalu but it shows that he has already had a great start to his career.
During his rookie season, Darnell Savage consistently showed off his incredible speed for a safety which will always be a valuable asset. More so, Savage showed off great instincts that most young safeties take years to develop. He showed coverage skills that many analysts doubted he had coming out of Maryland. Savage also showed the ability to stop the run throughout his rookie year and made sure fans saw why he was considered a big hitter coming out of college. After looking like a veteran on the field his rookie season, all of the skills he showcased in 2019 can be improved upon in 2020.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Savage can take a leap forward in the 2020 season. The 22-year-old safety has the tools and skills to be a future NFC Pro-Bowler. In fact, it’s not entirely out of the question to think that Savage could be a Pro-Bowler as soon as next season.