Here’s the scoop on Packers third-round draft pick Casey Hayward, a cornerback from Vanderbilt, according to Pete Dougherty’s scouting report:
• Position: Cornerback.
• Height, weight: 5-foot-11, 192 pounds.
• Highlights: Appeared in 50 games for the Commodores, starting his last 37 contests. Named second-team All-SEC as a senior after finishing third in the NCAA with seven interceptions. Ranked first in college football by allowing opponents to complete just 19.5% of passes thrown his way. Also recorded 62 tackles, 7 ˝ tackles for a loss and led the Commodores with 17 passes defensed while giving up 1.39 passing yards per target. Was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back and was named to the Nagurski Award Watch List, an honor given to the nation’s top defensive player. Considered the top “rising star” among 2012 NFL Draft-eligible cornerbacks by NFLDraftScout.com. Had 31 touchdown-saving tackles during his career. In 2009, Hayward became the first cornerback in Vanderbilt to history to lead the team in tackles-for-loss with 8.5. Recorded a pair of interceptions in Vanderbilt’s 31-24 loss to Cincinnati in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Led all active players and finished 11th all-time with 47 passes defensed in his college career. Also received interest from Tennessee, Dallas, Atlanta and Minnesota leading up to the draft. Appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman, totaling eight tackles and registering one third-down stop as a reserve nickel back. Ran a 4.47 40-yard dash while posting a 34-inch vertical jump and bench pressing 225 pounds 19 times at the NFL Combine.
• Strengths: Good size. Quick feet and flexible hip swivel. Keen eyes, instincts and anticipation. Is aware in zone and maintains field leverage. Excellent ball skills and production. Track throws, competes in the air and has hands to intercept. Very good closing burst. Bested all Combine CB participants with time of 3.90 in short shuttle. Has special-teams experience as a jammer. Energetic, smart and durable.
• Weaknesses: Short arms. Speed and physicality are just adequate. Has some man-cover limitations — plays upright, show some wasted movement in transition and gives up separation on non-vertical routes. Stressed by sudden receivers. Gets caught peeking in the backfield and bites on double moves. Average recovery burst and catch-up speed. Soft in run support — plays small, struggles to break down and is a weak, low tackler.
• Noteworthy: Played quarterback, defensive back and returned kicks while also competing in basketball and track and field in high school. Threw for 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns and added 1,284 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground as a senior at Perry High School in Georgia. Named the Houston County Athlete of the Year by Rivals.com as a senior. Excelled as a sprinter and a triple jumper for Perry’s track and field team. Majored in sociology at the Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science.
“Casey Hayward is a very bright guy. A classy kid. He’s a captain, he has good football instincts and great production. I think he’s a guy that will be able to handle moving around. We are very excited about getting the opportunity to get these guys in here and start working with them.”
— Dom Capers, Packers defensive coordinator
“I think I’m going to bring a lot of instincts and a lot of playmaking ability to the team and I feel like Green Bay also has that with Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams. I just want to get behind those guys and learn from them and see how they interact with each other and see if we can repeat that.”
— Casey Hayward, Packers second-round pick
— Quinn Cretton, firstname.lastname@example.org
— Strengths and weaknesses according to Pro Football Weekly