The Green Bay Packers were in desperate need for help in the secondary after losing both Tramon Williams and Davon House in free agency. Ted Thompson surprised quite a few fans and analysts when it was announced that the Packers had selected safety Damarious Randall with their first round pick. He is a very intriguing pickup, but isn’t naturally a cornerback.
Looking ahead to training camp this year, Randall is going to have a chance to earn some major playing time as a rookie. He will have to prove that he can slide over to the cornerback position smoothly, but he has already taken strides to do that during OTAs and the Packers’ mini camp.
Head coach Mike McCarthy is one of the best coaches when it comes to developing young talent. Bringing Randall in as a project is exactly the type of risky move that Super Bowl contending teams have to make. If he doesn’t end up being able to switch positions, then Green Bay will have to cut their losses and move on.
That being said, if he is able to live up to the potential that Green Bay sees in him then they could be getting a future defensive star.
During his collegiate career with the Arizona State Sun Devils, he was one of the best cover safeties in the game. He ended up recording 106 tackles, three interceptions, a defensive touchdown, nine defensed passes and two forced fumbles during the 2014 season with Arizona State. Those numbers show exactly why he was streaking up the draft boards of most teams.
At this point in time, the Packers don’t have a ton of competition for him at the cornerback position. Fellow rookie Quinten Rollins will also likely have to play a role in 2015, but outside of that they don’t have too much. Demetri Goodson and Ladarius Gunter are two other names that will compete for playing time, while the Packers also have Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde who could see some time at the cornerback position.
Randall has the potential to be a first-year starter, but training camp will decide all of that. His instincts are excellent, and he is very athletic in the secondary. He isn’t the most dominant tackling corner, but he is more than capable of making plays on receivers in the open field.
Green Bay’s defense is capable of stepping up and being much better than they were last season. They have a lot of young players who have the potential to be stars, but they need a few of them to step up in a big way during the 2015 season. Randall is one of those players, and he knows how hard he’ll have to work in order to be that guy for the Packers.
It will be very interesting to see how the depth chart shapes up throughout training camp. Randall is going to play a role for Green Bay as a rookie, but if he wants to start he’ll have to come through with an impressive training camp and preseason.