While he played safety at Arizona State, Packers GM Ted Thompson said last night that he'd probably play cornerback in the Packers scheme. Although, as Thompson added, because of defensive coordinator Dom Caper's variations, Packers defensive backs play all over the place. In this regard, Randall will probably be well suited to the Packers defense. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr., said he really "loved" this pick for the Packers. Another draft pundit said that Randall was "the best cover guy" in the draft.
Randall plays a bit bigger than his size according to draft reports. He tackles well and has very good closing speed: he ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Draft guru Mike Mayock said this before the draft: "Randall is what today's free safety is all about. He is by far the best cover safety in this draft. Randall can play man-to-man; he has cornerback-level cover skills. You give up some physicality, but his coverage ability is where the NFL is going. Remember Jimmie Ward was a first-rounder last year (to the 49ers) with a similar skill set."
In addition, Randall can play special teams and also has spent a little time as a returner. With that kind of speed, and the need to preserve WR Randall Cobb for receiving duties, we can only imagine that Randall will get plenty of opportunities to win a returning role as well as time in the defensive backfield. Imagine having WR/R Jared Abbrederis, who was lost to injury prior to the start of the regular season last year, and Randall back on returns. That could be a dynamic returning duo that would give opponents' special teams fits.
We like this pick although, frankly, it's not one we had on our radar, as our prior post will attest in terms of draft possibilities. Guess that's why we're here writing and Ted Thompson is up in Green Bay making the picks. For the latter, we should all be grateful.
What will days 2 and 3 of the draft bring the Packers way? We have to believe additional depth in the defensive backfield, as well as inside linebacker, tight tend, and perhaps offensive and defensive line depth. Also, it wouldn't shock us if Thompson drafts a quarterback along the way.
It's great to be a Packers fan, isn't it, folks?
Go Pack Go!!!