At pick number 30 in this year’s draft, the Packers picked a safety that they believe can be a pro cornerback in Damarious Randall. With an interception returned for touchdown in each of his last two seasons, the 5’11” 196 pound safety would have also been the best cornerback on the Sun Devil’s team but played safety because of team need. Sound familiar Packernation? A certain Clay Matthews was the best OLB on a certain team but played the ILB position because he was the best player his team had at that position. Now I am not saying that Damarious is the cornerback version of Clay Matthews. What I am saying is that at the collegiate level, Damarious Randall had that same kind of versatility and was willing to do what the team needed him to…and he did it very well. So when the Packers coaches get ahold of Randall…they expect they can make him into a viable replacement for the departed Tramon Williams.
The Packers liked Randall’s baseball skills and he had also done some kick returning which highlights the most consistent through-line in this year’s draft – versatility. Look at this year’s draft and one thing that you see again and again are players that can play their position but also seem likely to contribute on special teams. I believe that this year’s draft had more emphasis on how drafted players could contribute on special teams than any of Ted Thompson’s previous drafts.
Damarious Randall reminds me more and more of Micah Hyde in reverse…a safety that the Packers believe can be a cornerback. Like Hyde, he is also just one of those guys who “gets” football. He wants to play wherever the Packers need him and expects to be successful. Dom Capers will scheme him in as he develops his skillset and if, heaven forbid and knock on wood, we have injury issues at safety, he can do that too. Again the through-line of this year’s draft was versatility. As with Hyde…don’t underestimate how important his contribution on special teams may be when the Packers take the field in 2015.
But what do you think Packernation? How do you grade the pick of Damarious Randall? Don’t just let the draftniks grade our draft. We are going to be getting your feedback on each and every pick. Just click one option below: