The Packers Made The Right Decision Drafting Damarious Randall
Mike McCarthy spoke this week, and one of the things he touched on was Damarious Randall. He said the Packers more or less had it wrong on their 2015 first-round pick and that the Packers were playing Damarious Randall out of position.
If cornerback is not Randall’s natural position, how much of this was former general manager Ted Thompson's fault? Is it Thompson's fault at all?
I think it might be, but just a little bit. He did draft Damarious Randall. While you can see the thought process of projecting him as a corner, let’s take a step back.
It’s easy to see why the Packers picked Damarious Randall. They thought he was a good enough player to play safety or corner in their defense. It’s very clear when you look at the state of 2015 NFL Draft when the Packers were picking, Randall was the pick. It had to be Damarious Randall.
Let's look at the next twenty five players in order who were taken after Damarious Randall. We won’t have to spend a lot of time talking about any of these guys:
31. New Orleans Saints - LB Stephone Anthony
32. New England Patriots - DT Malcolm Brown
33. New York Giants - S Landon Collins
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT Donovan Smith
35. Oakland Raiders - DE Mario Edwards Jr.
36. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB T.J. Yeldon
37. New York Jets - WR Devin Smith
38. Washington Redskins - DE Preston Smith
39. Chicago Bears - DT Eddie Goldman
40. Tennessee Titans - WR Dorial Green-Beckham
41. Carolina Panthers - WR Devin Funchess
42. Atlanta Falcons - CB Jalen Collins
43. Houston Texans - LB Benardrick McKinney
44. New Orleans Saints - LB Hau’oli Kikaha
45. Minnesota Vikings - LB Eric Kendricks
46. San Francisco 49ers - S Jaquiski Tartt
47. Philadelphia Eagles - CB Eric Rowe
48. San Diego Chargers - LB Denzel Perryman
49. Kansas City Chiefs - G Mitch Morse
50. Buffalo Bills - CB Ronald Darby
51. Cleveland Browns - DE Nate Orchard
52. Miami Dolphins - DT Jordan Phillips
53. Cincinnati Bengals - OT Jake Fisher
54. Detroit Lions - RB Ameer Abdullah
55. Baltimore Ravens - TE Maxx Williams
It’s pretty clear looking at that list that Damarious Randall was the logical selection for the Packers. Among those twenty five players, there are maybe three you would swap with Randall.
Is there anyone in the next twenty-five picks you'd take over Randall?
Say Damarious Randall was still on the Packers, and you have the opportunity to trade him straight up for one of these three guys: Giants S Landon Collins, Vikings LB Eric Kendricks, and perhaps Eagles CB Ronald Darby.
At the time, the Packers weren’t going to draft Landon Collins. Compared to Randall, Collins is more in the mold of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Why would the Packers take another very similar safety?
Eric Kendricks, six feet tall and 230 pounds, runs like the wind. He doesn't fit into a 3-4 defense, and we know how strict Dom Capers was with some of those personnel roles. There's no conceivable way that the Packers would have taken Eric Kendricks in the first round in 2015.
Randall was going to be the pick. I truly believe he was at the top of the Packers’ board, and it's very defensible looking at these next twenty-five, thirty players on the board that he would have been. I don't think you can really blame Ted Thompson in this situation.
Blame him if you want for letting Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward leave. If you want to do that, that's fine. I don't want to argue about that anymore. At this point, if you're still bent out of shape over that act, that's a personal problem and not a football problem.
We're going to see next year whether the Packers were right or wrong to move on from Randall. If he could still be an effective player, I think they should have held onto him and put up with his shenanigans. We'll see how things go in Cleveland.
It is interesting to note that the Browns are going to save probably in the neighborhood of $3.5 million by switching Randall to safety on his fifth-year option compared to the rate for a cornerback.
This post is an adapted transcript of the most recent episode of Blue 58, a Packers podcast from The Power Sweep. Listen to the full episode below, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, CastBox and more to stay on top of the best in Packers news and analysis.