On the day that the Green Bay Packers rookie mini-camp is scheduled to start, Casey Hayward, one of the team’s two 2nd round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, has officially come to terms on an agreement with the club according to a message on the twitter account of Hayward’s agent Scott Smith that stated, “Congrats to
#Packers 2nd round pick CB Casey Hayward @show_case29 on signing his 4-year deal today.”
As expected the deal is a four-year agreement, which is standard for second round picks.
Hayward, who played four seasons at Vanderbilt, starting three, should have the opportunity to compete right away from playing time, either as the nickel or dime back. Depending on what the Packers decide to do with Charles Woodson, Hayward may even see some significant time as a rookie.
For instance, if Woodson is moved to safety, Hayward would be considered the favorite to win the nickel job, which equates to playing about 50% of the snaps in Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense.
Hayward is a complete defensive back, not just a cover corner, although he is quite the ball hawk. During his career he intercepted 15 passes and broke up 46, while playing in the SEC conference. 13 of his 15 interceptions came over the course of his last two seasons, highlighted by the seven he notched as a senior.
However, Hayward showed repeatedly throughout his career that he is more than capable of coming up and stopping the run. In fact, he proved to be rather adept at it, racking up an impressive 19.5 tackles for loss and forcing two fumbles.
All in all, he is an intriguing prospect that has the potential to contribute right away as a sub package player, which should help improve a pass defense that was the worst in NFL history last season.