Maurice Drayton has now worked under three special teams coordinators during his career as an NFL coach. After two years with the Indianapolis Colts under Tom McMahon, Drayton has been the Green Bay Packers’ assistant special teams coach for the past three seasons, working first under Ron Zook in 2018 then under Shawn Mennenga in 2019 and 2020.
In 2021, Drayton will get his shot at the head of the Packers’ special teams group. According to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, the Packers are promoting Drayton to coordinator, replacing Mennenga who was fired on Wednesday.
A former college football cornerback at The Citadel, the 44-year-old Drayton began his coaching career there as a graduate assistant in 1999. The Colts job was his first in the NFL, and he helped Indianapolis finish with 9th-place rankings in both 2016 and 2017 according to Sports Illustrated’s Rick Gosselin. Indianapolis ranked even higher by DVOA, finishing 5th in 2016 and 8th in 2017.
Drayton arrived in Green Bay after leaving Indianapolis, as the Colts staff turned over under new head coach Frank Reich and McMahon left to take the coordinator job with the Denver Broncos. The Packers, however, have floundered on special teams during those three three years. Zook’s 2018 units ranked 29th in DVOA and although Mennenga’s arrival helped the 2019 group rank 18th, 2020 saw another drastic dropoff back to a 25th-place ranking.
The Packers are evidently banking on a different approach from Drayton, choosing to stick with him rather than look outside the organization for a new face. This decision comes even as one of the team’s reported targets in 2019, Brayden Coombs, is on the market following his dismissal from the Detroit Lions.