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The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Alabama Crimson Tide program has a proven track record for producing NFL safeties under Nick Saban. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Landon Collins, Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Xavier McKinney is an impressive list.
Jordan Battle is the next name on that list. The Crimson Tide safety is No. 99 on the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
Battle came to Alabama as a four-star recruit. In 2019, Battle recorded two tackles for loss, one sack, and one interception.
During his first year as a starter in 2020, Battle recorded 66 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, and four pass deflections.
Battle enters the National Championship game against Georgia with a stat line of 81 tackles, one tackle for loss, three interceptions, and two touchdowns.
“It’s been impressive,” Ian Cummings, an NFL Draft analyst for Pro Football Network said. “Battle has always flashed playmaking ability on the back end for the Crimson Tide, but he’s become a bit more consistent this season. He’s adept at reading and reacting to throws, and we’ve seen that quick identification and trigger on all of his picks. On top of that, he’s improved his tackling consistency, after struggling with that in 2020.”
Battle is a do-it-all type of safety. He’s asked to do a lot in Nick Saban’s defense. He has experience playing in the box, in the slot and he looks his best playing deep safety where he covers a lot of real estate.
“Battle is fairly versatile, and he projects well at special teams with his tackling ability,” Cummings said. “He’s not your absolute chess piece. He’s probably best at two-high and single-high in the NFL, but he has at least shown he can move around the field a bit. He has the fluidity and physicality to come into the slot and match receivers and move tight ends. He doesn’t have a ton of man coverage experience to this point, but again, he projects well there.”
A good nickname for Battle is Verizon Wireless. He covers a lot of range in the backend of Alabama’s secondary.
Battle shows great field awareness. He has disciplined eyes and displays great route recognition. He’s quick to trigger and break on routes.
“His processing is one of his biggest strengths,” Cummings said. “He positions himself and communicates well on the back end, and processes what he sees in front of him rather quickly. On top of that, he has the quick reaction ability to convert on what he sees. Whether it’s coming downhill to make a tackle or breaking on a route to intercept a pass.”
As a run defender, Battle comes downhill with bad intentions. Battle really struggled with missed tackles in 2020. That’s something that he has improved upon in 2021.
“There are still moments of inconsistency where Battle fails to wrap up or over-shoots his angle,” Cummings said. “He’ll need to keep refining that at the NFL level. But at the very least, he has the explosiveness and range to come into the box and seal off openings, and he also has the frame (6’1″, 210 pounds) to present a size mismatch for some backs. He’s trending up here, and he has good potential.”
Battle has experience playing in the box and in the slot. He’s got loose hips to turn and good lateral quickness to mirror slot wide receivers. He has the frame and size (6-1) to match up with tight ends.
Fit with the Packers
The NFL Draft is all about long-term projection. That’s why it would not be surprising to see the Green Bay Packers select a safety early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Adrian Amos is set to be a free agent following the 2022 season. Is Darnell Savage Jr in Green Bay’s long-term plans after a disappointing 2021 season?
With those two players possibly on their way out in the near future, it’s a safe bet that Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst seeks to find a replacement for one or both of them in the upcoming draft. Enter Jordan Battle.
Battle is a scheme-versatile player that can help an NFL defense in a variety of ways. He can line up in the box as an extra linebacker. He can man the slot position. He can play deep safety and patrol the backend with his outstanding range.
“I’d gladly take Jordan Battle as a well-rounded, versatile safety prospect,” Cummings said. “He has good athleticism, but even more important, he’s instinctive with how he positions himself and how he diagnoses plays. He’s not quite that all-out chess piece or matchup eraser, but he’s a defensive back you can move around a bit and alleviate some stress off your defense. In obvious passing situations, put him at two-high or single-high and let his processing and range take over.”
Green Bay defensive coordinator Joe Barry is on the record of saying a team can never have enough players capable of playing the nickel cornerback position. Battle is fully capable of manning that position for Barry. Battle’s presence would also allow Barry to deploy Savage in the slot while allowing Battle to patrol the backend of his secondary.
Battle is an early second-round pick all day long. With the Packers selecting late in the first round, it’s possible that Battle could be their man as they look to find a replacement for Amos or Savage.
If Battle is their man, the Packers would be getting a pro-ready safety capable of providing an impact in a variety of ways.