Packers $67 Million Starter Projected to Make First Pro Bowl

Xavier McKinney

Getty New Packers safety Xavier McKinney is expected to make his first Pro Bowl in 2024.

The Green Bay Packers have high hopes for new safety Xavier McKinney, and they’re not the only ones expecting big things from him in 2024.

Alex Ballentine with Bleacher Report shared a few hot takes and predictions for the Packers for the upcoming season. The predictions included a handful of bold takes, along with an explanation of why McKinney will make his first Pro Bowl in 2024.

“It all just goes to show how much stock the Packers are putting in McKinney being able to solve their issues at safety,” Ballentine wrote. “Not only did they spend in free agency, but they paid at the top of the market for a non-premium position player…As he rounds into his prime he’s in position to put up an elite season and finally get some Pro Bowl recognition.”

The Packers signed McKinney to a four-year, $67 million contract in free agency. That kind of money suggests the Packers are ready for McKinney to be a breakout star.

Xavier McKinney’s Path to Green Bay

He may not have the accolades, but McKinney is still one of the best safeties in the NFL.

Prior to going pro, McKinney was one of the top high school players in Georgia. He enrolled at Alabama, where he developed into a first-team All-SEC player in his final season. He finished the year with 95 total tackles, four forced fumbles, three sacks, and three interceptions.

That versatile skill set helped McKinney get drafted with the 36th pick in 2020. The New York Giants had high hopes for him as a rookie. However, he played in just six games due to a broken foot.

McKinney found his groove in 2021. He finished the year with a career-high five interceptions to go along with 93 combined tackles and 10 pass breakups.

An ATV accident sidelined McKinney for half of the 2022 season, but he returned to full form in 2023. He finished the year with 116 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and three interceptions.

Now, McKinney is hoping to put all of it together with a new team in the Packers. His versatile skill set allows him to make plays all over the field. That’s the perfect kind of safety to play for defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley in his defensive scheme.

Green Bay’s Other New Faces

McKinney isn’t the only new face with big expectations in Green Bay.

New running back Josh Jacobs has some big shoes to fill in 2024. The Packers gave him a four-year, $48 million deal prior to cutting ties with longtime veteran Aaron Jones.

It’s a big deal, but only includes $12.5 million in guaranteed money. The big question is which version of Jacobs the Packers will be getting. He led the league in rushing in 2022, only to average a career-low 3.5 yards per carry the following season.

The Packers also have a rookie class that could feature multiple 2024 contributors. MarShawn Lloyd will likely serve as a change-of-pace back behind Jacobs. Meanwhile,  linebacker Edgerrin Cooper and safety Javon Bullard could compete for starting roles.  First-round pick Jordan Morgan could also be Green Bay’s starting left tackle as a rookie.

For a team that made a playoff run this past season, the Packers will need these new faces to quickly acclimated to Green Bay if the team is going to make a Super Bowl run in 2024.

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