As the late hours of day one of the 2015 NFL Draft have come to a close and the early hours day two are upon us, there are mixed reactions by the media and Packers fans alike with the pick of Damarious Randall out of Arizona State. The Packers picked up the 5' 11'', 196 lb safety late in the draft in hopes of filling a need at corner as well as at a special teams slot.
Randall is viewed as a stud playmaker in the secondary with stellar ball-hawking skills, but might be a bit undersized at only 5' 11''. In a division in which he will be lining up against the likes of Calvin Johnson (6'5''), Martellus Bennett (6'6''), and now Kevin White (6'3'') he will need every bit of his coverage skills. The questions come with his fundamentals and tackling at a position where those are crucial:
#Packers are going to have to answer whether first pick Damarious Randall can tackle. That's the biggest knock on him even as a safety.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) May 1, 2015
Randall played at free safety at ASU, and was asked during his conference call about the possibility of playing at corner:
I have a background in both. I just feel like I can play whatever they ask me to play, cornerback and safety. Wherever the coaching staff feels I can help the team. ... Probably 12 teams talked about corner and 7-8 talked about safety.
The Packers could use his versatility on special teams, regardless of where he plays on the defensive side of the ball. That seems to be exactly where they are planning on utilizing him until Dom Capers is comfortable inserting him into nickel and dime packages. He seems to be ready to roll wherever McCarthy, Capers, and the newly hired Ron Zook play him come the start of mini camps and into training camp.
Overall, Randall is a solid late-first round pick that fills a need everybody knew had to be filled in Mike McCarthy's defense. Although I'm not so sure he is ready for the Green Bay weather, he seems to think he's ready to go:
I'm very, very prepared. The coldest weather I probably played in was 10 degrees, 12 degrees. When we played against Oregon State.
The coldest game at Lambeau Field kicked off at 5 degrees Fahrenheit, with a -10 degree wind chill and only got colder. Welcome to the Frozen Tundra and, as current and former Packers have wishes already, welcome to the green and gold family.
Casey Hayward (@show_case29) May 1, 2015
Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) May 1, 2015