Packers 2017 Recap: CB Josh Hawkins
Take the preseason for what it is. It’s messy, it’s boring, it’s an unreliable measuring stick – all of that can be true. But it was a preseason performance by cornerback Josh Hawkins that likely kept the second-year pro around in 2017.
The Packers defense added two big cornerbacks before the season – free agent Davon House and second-round pick Kevin King. Both were guaranteed roster spots, and it was a safe bet that both Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins were going to be there come Week 1.
That didn’t leave a whole lot of margin for error for Hawkins. When he was given the opportunity in the second preseason game to start at cornerback, Hawkins put on a show. Up until that tilt with the Redskins, it appeared from the reports out of practice that Hawkins was unlikely to make the team.
Instead, he not only made the team, but also managed to start the first three games of his career.
- Appeared in 15 games, started 3 games
- 27 tackles, 6 passes defended, 1 forced fumble
Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Met
Analysis: Hawkins soaks up snaps at cornerback down the stretch
While he made the roster, it was evident the Packers preferred their other defensive backs in favor of Josh Hawkins. Before the season, we placed low expectations on Hawkins.
Then, the injury bug hit the secondary again. As a result, nearly 60 percent of his snaps on defense came in the final six games of the regular season.
The Vikings managed to attack Hawkins for big gains in both matchups. In the October matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium, the cornerback was flagged for a pass interference penalty in the second quarter that moved the ball from the Vikings’ own 16 yard-line to the Packers’ 42 yard-line.
When the teams met again in Lambeau Field, Hawkins committed pass interference twice, once in the first quarter that moved the ball 39 yards and another on a touchdown pass in the second quarter.
That’s a lot of bad news for Hawkins, but there is a silver lining. When the cornerback was on the field, the Packers defense allowed about three fewer yards through the air (8.6 yards with, 5.8 yards without).