If nothing changes, the Green Bay Packers will begin the 2015 regular season with someone other than Tramon Williams starting at left cornerback.
Williams hit the market earlier this month and has taken visits with the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. Though he hasn't signed a contract, the possibility remains that the veteran corner might leave Green Bay, the place he's called home since 2006. Should that happen, the Packers would find themselves with only Sam Shields as a proven option outside.
Of course, the team has some options if Williams departs. Defensive backs Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde have played well in the slot and could be options along the perimeter as well. 2014 sixth round pick Demetri Goodson was limited to special teams duty as a rookie, but his size (5'11", 197 pounds) and speed (4.44 second 40-yard dash) suggest that he could become a player with some seasoning.
Yet the Packers possess another option that has yielded little discussion.
Tay Glover-Wright, an undrafted cornerback out of Utah State, joined Green Bay's practice squad last October after a stint with the Atlanta Falcons. Glover-Wright never earned a promotion to the 53, but he spent the rest of the season practicing with the team and honing his craft.
The Packers' have been exceptional at churning out quality corners, perhaps even rivaling their prolific work at wide receiver. That's thanks in large part to Joe Whitt, the team's excellent assistant coach who has proven to have the Midas touch when it comes to cornerbacks. Under his tutelage, Shields transformed from an undrafted rookie who never settled into a position at the University of Miami into the nickelback on a Super Bowl-winning defense. Whitt also molded Davon House into a skilled press corner who earned a four-year, $24.5 million contract with the Jaguars last week. Hayward has become an effective player in the slot, as has Hyde. Whitt's fingerprints are also over Jumal Rolle, a cornerback who spent time in Green Bay in 2013 and '14 before leading the Houston Texans in interceptions last season.
Could Glover-Wright become Whitt's next success story? That's difficult to say, but he certainly possesses the requisite athleticism and potential.
"The scouts I talk to see a little of the Miami kid in [Glover-Wright]," an NFL agent told Acme Packing Company before the 2014 draft in reference to Shields. "Very fast, good athlete. Needs more time to learn the position."
Both players transitioned from wide receiver to cornerback late in their college careers. Shields spent his first three years at Miami as a wideout before trying his hand at corner his senior year, while Glover-Wright made the switch shortly after transferring to Utah State as a junior. Also like Shields, Glover-Wright possesses track-star speed. He ran the 40 in 4.36 seconds at his pro day last year. With his considerable physical gifts and experience gained from a season in the system, Glover-Wright projects as an ideal pupil to work with Whitt.
Surely, Green Bay isn't depending on Glover-Wright to step into a major role this season. The team remains in the hunt for Williams and, even if he returns, is likely to invest an early draft pick at cornerback later this spring. Still, if Glover-Wright takes to Whitt's coaching, he could carve out a role in the secondary as soon as this season.