Packers 2017 Recap: S Kentrell Brice

After exploding onto the scene with a dynamite pro day prior to the 2016 draft, Kentrell Brice was one of the most fun storylines of the 2016 Packers’ season, rising from undrafted free agent signing to a rotational contributor in the secondary.

Heading into 2017, the former Louisiana Tech Bulldog looked to build on a solid rookie year, competing with Josh Jones and other newcomers for playing time in what looked to be a strong safety group.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in six games with three starts
  • 17 tackles
  • 1 interception, 3 passes defensed

Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Met

What we said after last season

Packers 2016 Recap: S Kentrell Brice – His aggressive, violent tackling remind many of former safety Atari Bigby. Bob McGinn wrote in late January that Brice has a chance to be the Packers’ best player from 2016’s rookie class. It’s high praise for another undrafted defensive back from Louisiana Tech.

Analysis: Injuries end early productivity for Brice

Coming off a surprising rookie campaign, Brice seemed primed for a bigger, better role in 2017. Early returns looked good for the former undrafted free agent player, too. He played nearly 96% of the defensive snaps in the Packers’ season-opening win over the Seahawks and chipped in his first career interception just a few weeks later against the Bears.

As the season wore on, Brice remained a key special teams player, only to see an ankle injury against the Cowboys put his season in jeopardy. With injuries in the secondary, he returned to play nearly every one of the Packers’ defensive snaps in Weeks 6 and 7, only to finally end up on injured reserve to make room for Vince Biegel in early November.

When he was on the field, Brice’s play embodied the big-hitting, all or nothing style we saw in 2016, to mixed results. Brice made his fair share of big hits, but just as often, going for a kill shot resulted in a solid play for the opposing team. If Brice hopes for an expanded role in 2018, he needs to be more consistent.