Drafted out of Arizona State in 2015, Damarious Randall has been a fixture in the young Green Bay Packers secondary for a couple of seasons now. However, when he was drafted, he was a ball-hawking/coverage free safety. He made the change to cornerback when he got to Green Bay but his experience as a safety has been great for the youngin at times.
2015, his rookie season has been the best for him in his young career thus far. He played in all but one game while starting in nine of the fifteen games he participated in. His three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown in Oakland was a great start to his career. His open field tackling, which was a skill he acquired playing safety at Arizona State has proved to be big at times when in one-on-one situations with a bigger player like a running back, tight end, or quarterback. His coverage skills, at times, have been above average too. In many cases, especially with bigger wide receivers like Keenan Allen, Calvin Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald, he has been able to defend passes and prevent completions, even though he stands at just 5-11.
His 2016 season saw more of the same, although he played in just ten games, starting nine of those. It was a groin injury that kept Randall out for the middle part of the season, ultimately leading to the decrease in numbers. The groin injury nagged him for the rest of the year, questioning whether he was even 100% during the final stretch of the 2016 campaign. However, he recorded as many interceptions in his second year as his rookie year. He was apart of a banged up secondary that showed a lot of decline after Casey Hayward left for the Chargers, Micah Hyde landed in Buffalo, and Sam Shields suffered a potentially career-ending concussion.
2017 was quite the roller coaster for Randall. The year started out rough after facing a lot of backlash from fans after being benched versus the Bears in a week four matchup. How would Randall handle this criticism? He would record an interception in the next three games, one of which was a momentum-changing pick-six in Dallas. By mid-season, Randall would become the lead cornerback after rookie Kevin King and Quinten Rollins would be placed on IR and the returning Davon House was nursing injuries on and off throughout the whole year. Randall would eventually record four interceptions on the season, a career high.
There is still time for the three year pro to make a huge impact for a young Packers secondary that’s hungry for playmakers. He has shown flashes of greatness in his short career, but he needs to step up big in 2018 and start playing more consistent. If the Packers secondary can make a huge leap in the offseason, the Packers could be 14-time world champions in a little over a year from now.