June 12, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (29) during the team's mandatory minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
How Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (62 overall)
Chance of making the team: Certain
Reasonable expectations for 2012: Dimeback and rotation duty. It's tough to make a prediction about what is happening at CB right now. There are so many questions about the cornerback spot but also lots of hope. At this point it's as easy to see Hayward being the number #2 corner with Tramon Williams as it is him being the #5 or 6 corner and not being activated much this year. The best guess is splitting the difference and saying he'll be the dimeback. This means he gets on the field some, but mostly for spelling Sam Shields or Davon House. He may also do some special teams duty as well.
How he can exceed expectations: Become a starter. It's not easy to be a starter as a rookie at CB, but despite this there is some hope that Hayward can fight his way to a starting position and produce. Hayward had some of the best ball skills for a CB in the draft and should fit right in with the aggressive playing style of the rest of this CB group.
Why Packer fans should keep an eye on him: Because Ted Thompson doesn't trade up for a player lightly. So far most of the players who have been traded up for have become key players for our defense. Right now nothing has been shown that Hayward will be any different. If he can translate his play for the ball to the NFL style and fit into our defense then the CB spot will be in good shape for years to come....and in today's NFL you can never have enough corners.