Packers 2016 Recap: CB Damarious Randall
- Played in 10 games
- 33 tackles, 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections
- Pro Football Focus: 39.6/100 (109th out of 112 qualified cornerbacks)
Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Not Met
Analysis: Randall’s disastrous second season has a silver lining
When you’re a first round pick, there are certain expectations to meet. 2015’s first-round pick Damarious Randall was not expected to be a shutdown corner at the start of his second season.
Then star cornerback Sam Shields exited with a concussion in Week 1 and never returned.
Randall was thrust into the spotlight of being a team’s top cornerback, and the light quickly proved too bright. In Week 2, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs caught 10 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, followed next week by a 205 yard and two touchdown performance from the Lions’ Marvin Jones Jr.
“Maybe I've just got to focus more,” Randall told reporters after the Packers’ early bye week. “Maybe I've just got to put in more work in the film room. Even when we're facing guys that aren't Pro Bowl-caliber receivers, just maybe if I take each and every guy more and more like they're talented receivers, just like every receiver up in the league is talented.”
It simply didn’t matter who lined up against Randall. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the cornerback allowed 8.5 touchdown passes in 2016. The last time a Packers cornerback allowed 8.5 touchdowns was Al Harris in 2004.
A sports hernia hampered Randall’s play until he underwent surgery in late October. He missed five consecutive games.
Randall throughout the season shied away from tackles, timidly going after the ball carrier. At the snap, he frequently found himself out of position and lost a step or two because of it. There’s no question Randall is confident in his abilities, and there’s no question he has ability. It’s time to see if he can conquer the space between the ears in his third year.
Randall’s disappointing season is best explained through his two interceptions against the Seahawks during the Packers’ late season winning streak.
While Randall ends up with an interception, his technique is poor. Doug Baldwin whiffs at the catch as only green grass stands in his way to the end zone, and the ball pops into the air. Randall gets up from the ground and nabs an easy interception.
They all count the same in the stat sheet, but this one may be the least deserved interception of the entire Packers season.
Just when you’re ready to cut Randall loose, he makes a tremendous play like this. This interception reminds you of how Charles Woodson used a burst of speed at the last second to jump in front of a sure-fire touchdown pass.
There’s no question Randall has the talent necessary to thrive in the NFL after seeing him make a play like this.