Packers 2015 NFL Draft – First Round Pick: Damarious Randall, Safety, Arizona State

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With their first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2015 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Damarious Randall, Safety, Arizona State.

PLAYER DETAILS: 

Damarious Randall
Safety
Arizona State
5-11/1968 lbs

CAREER NOTES: 

He recorded 69 tackles, nine interceptions and five total touchdowns (two receiving, two punt returns, one interception return). He was a three-star cornerback JUCO recruit and received almost three dozen scholarship offers, choosing to stay in Arizona and play for the Sun Devils.

Randall missed the start of the 2013 season due to a groin injury (nine starts), finishing his junior year with 71 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, six passes defended and three interceptions. He started all 13 games as the senior boundary safety in 2014 and led the team with 106 total tackles, 12 passes defended and three interceptions, earning First Team All-Pac 12 honors.

COMBINE:

4.46 40yd, 38″ vertical, 120″ broad jump. 6.83 3-cone, 4.07 20yd shuttle

SCOUTING REPORT: 

CBSSPORTS.COM: Above average speed for the position with transitional quickness and natural footwork. Highly aggressive and plays at full speed at all times. Never gives up on plays and has a knack for chasing down ballcarriers downfield from behind. Understands angles and sees things happening quickly. Decisive sideline angles with closing burst to make up ground. Good anticipation to jump routes, reading the quarterback and baiting throws.

Played on special teams coverages at Arizona State with experience as a return man. Productive starter in only two seasons at the FBS level, creating 10 turnovers (six interceptions, four forced fumbles).

 

VIDEO:

COMMENTARY:

Best cover safety in the draft, aggressive, explosive, player, can play in the slot, lots of versatility, very good ball skills, special teams gunner, and also has some return experience. Averaged  8 tackles per game last season, with 3INTs. Has game experience at both safety and corner. Has been mentioned by some scouts as a potential conversion project to cornerback.

But a safety?  Really? Disappointment reigns. I’m trying to think of him as a defensive back, not just a safety. What the Packers did here was add some much-needed aggressiveness to their secondary. However they choose to use him, he will bring a hard-working and frenetic attitude to a secondary that can be a bit timid. He will be a special teams ace from the get-go, a key area Mike McCarthy promised to improve this season. To that end, he is likely to take over the gunner role from Jarrett Bush, who now surely will not return.  Actually, if you think about it, he’s a much better version of Jarrett Bush – plays safety and corner, aggressive, special teams ace. But is that worth a first round pick?

Randall will be a good football player and a playmaker, but he’s not the ILB or pure cornerback I was hoping for.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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91 thoughts on “Packers 2015 NFL Draft – First Round Pick: Damarious Randall, Safety, Arizona State

  1. I didn’t see this coming. Don’t quite get it.

    Sure, it frees up Micah Hyde to play in the slot…maybe they really see this guy as a CB (some scouts imply that might be where he belongs based on his ballhawking and his size) but many are saying his cover skills just aren’t up to snuff.

    1. I’m on board with you. Not sure what TT was thinking. There were other pure corners that would have made more sense than this guy

      1. I would’ve been on board with Eddie Goldman or Malcom Brown at this stage. Carl Davis. Maybe even Eric Kendricks.

        I think TT has decided he likes S/CB hybrid players.

            1. You can only trade down if there’s a willing partner who will give you appropriate value for the pick. My guess is that wasn’t there.

              1. Apparently Thompson did field some calls for a trade down but the trades offered weren’t all that favorable for the Packers. Seems to me maybe other teams were bargain shopping with the knowledge that there weren’t that many 1st round graded players this year.

      1. “Best cover safety in the draft, aggressive player, can play in the slot, lots of versatility, special teams gunner, and also has return experience.”

        Maybe these things all added up. Played in a hyper-aggressive scheme at ASU, so the question is: does what he does translate to GB? Probably spells the end of Jarrett Bush in GB.

        1. Well Jarrett Bush is currently a free agent but I don’t know if this really affects Bush in the sense that Bush has always been on the team as a special teams player and I’m guessing a 1st round pick is only there to get his feet wet.

    1. I felt CB was a bigger need than ILB, and that there was better value at #30 at CB, OLB, or DT. Instead, he picks the “top” FS on the board.

      Some guy praising the Packers pick on the tube right now. You’re welcome Patriots…the guy you needed dropped right into your lap.

      1. ..and Ted got his corner Dobber. Ted loves this guys versatility. 3 players in one. That’s a damn good pick at 30. I am honestly in shock we got this guy!!
        Ted

    2. My feelings were the same, but really the Packers made the right choice, Kendricks and Perryman are still on the board, McKinney and Dawson too if they happen to like them.

      1. Yeah, but my guess is that TT will have to trade up to get one of those guys (but with a relatively weird draft so far, who knows?). Maybe one drops to #62. Bet it’s Perryman and not one of those I liked better. I am thinking we see a ILB in round 4-6, and not in rd. 2 or 3. Well, time for TT to work his magic in the later rounds.

  2. I hate this pick…. there were REALLY GOOD pass rushers, DTs, and cover ILBs out there. And we take a safety. We have two starting safeties and a great slot corner already.

    1. I wonder if the signing of Sean Richardson and the drafting of Randall implies there might be something going on with Morgan Burnett…

    2. I dislike this pick. I am stunned. Maybe Malcom Brown held up a liquor store this morning and ESPN missed the story.

      That said, Randall has talent and a decent ceiling, he also has some perceived flaws. Don’t get it.

    3. If you think of him as a corner, does that make you feel better? Randall said during the combine more teams were looking at him as a corner than a safety.

      1. No. Arguably he was the best CB on the board though, maybe better than PJ Williams, Darby, etc. It’s just that there was a player with a solid 1st round grade on the board in Malcom Brown.

      2. No, it doesn’t Thomas. Where’s he going to play? Hyde, Heyward, HHCD, Burnett, Shields are our nickel defensive backfield. And they’re all good players. And every single one of them better than any DTs (outside of Daniels) or ILBs we have on the roster. I’m sure TT went BPA – but I fail to see how this helps out the defense that was THIS CLOSE to the super bowl last year.

        1. I like how people were freaking out that the Packers lost Williams and House and now people are freaking out that he’s picked a corner. Hyde and Shields both didn’t play all that well last year and Hayward is a big mystery on the perimeter.

          I think the real reason is that DT and ILB just aren’t that important to a 3-4 defense, especially in a passing league like the NFL is now; the Packers had absolutely terrible inside linebacker play, which some of that can be blamed on bad defensive line play and the Packers still made it deep into the playoffs.

          1. I wasn’t one of those people freaking out. I think Heyward is going to be fine. They already have 5 above average to very good DBs, and one project with measurables (Goodson). I was fine with a CB later in the draft… just not early – when there was plenty of top tier front 7 talent out there to be had.

          2. No. I’d suggest that maybe if DTs just aren’t that important, perhaps we should play hardball with Daniels about his contract. I had concern about CB, but felt that a CB in the 2nd or 3rd was almost as good as those likely to be available in the first. My dire suspicion is that Randall simply was not the BPA, and it is a reach and a need pick. Course, TT never showed me his board.

            1. In reality Daniels is a DE and not a DT (or more correctly a NT) at least in the base set. From my previous analysis DE is very important but NT is not.

          3. I agree Hobbes. I am actually laughing at how people here actually think they know more than the legend TT.
            Reminds me of when Ted selected Jennings over Chad Jackson. People didn’t know who the hell he was or when Ted chose Jordy when they were 5 deep at receiver.
            Mind boggling how Ted has built one of the most talented teams thru the draft yet people still doubt his greatness. Absolutely mind boggling.
            Apparently I am the only guy here that saw our GM just draft another Deion Sanders. Plays receiver, safety, corner, returns kicks and oh also plays baseball. His athleticism is off the charts. I like the fact TT’s just drafted a player that has the same traits of Neon Deion and Bo Jackson.
            Ted

          4. I’m not necessarily freaking out…I’m confused. If TT wanted to pick a CB, the question is: is this FS conversion a better cover guy than the others on the board?

            Maybe the greater question is: is Randall the best cover guy WITHOUT glaring character issues on the board? Certainly when Jones–maybe the cleanest CB in the draft–went to Dallas earlier, I was starting to wonder how that could impact what the Packers do. Perhaps Jalen Collins’s pot issues were too much to overlook.

            In the long run, TTs the guy with a plan, and we can’t see how this is fitting into the plan as a whole.

            1. If anything it sounds like Arizona State was forced to put a square peg in a round hole, Thompson said in his presser that Randall likely would have been their best corner but they had a hole at safety so that’s where he played.

        2. It doesn’t and this guy was not the BAP. Thoson fluked out with some players at draft last year.

          1. Apparently Mr. Thoson is pretty good at fluking because he has an entire roster of flukes.
            Ted

          1. I have images of Redd Foxx in my mind, clutching his chest and staggering around…”Ohhh, Elizabeth! This is the big one!!!”

  3. I’ll be damned!! TT does it again!! Hits another home run. This guy athletically sounds like another Deion Sanders. Huge playmaker and multi-talented. Ted called him “a football player”. What’s not to like.
    Listening to Ted a little bit ago. Relax people, they are starting him out at cornerback. If anything Ted got three players in one. He got a corner, a safety and a punt return guy. Talk about filling a need!! This is why you all need to Trust in Ted!!
    Ted

    1. Someone needs to get Ted’s doctor on the line…I think his prozac dosage is a little out of whack… 😉

      1. GBPDAN, he was projected by Mike Mayock in 1st round to Eagles (position 20!). So, it is not that everyone overlooked him… Because you overlooked him, that does not mean that you are right to spit on player who might become another top player in NFL. He might be bust as well, but nobody will call your name for this comment if he will be star, but TT will be called if this player become bust… So, you are not in the same position…

    1. Randall was a borderline 1st round pick. Maybe more of a sleeper in the 1st round, which is basically where he was chosen, 30th overall.

  4. Terrible pick. He could have picked him in the 2nd round. You dont waste 1st round picks on conversions especially not S to CB, maybe the other way around. Another one of TT over thinking the pick. Im still pissed about the D.Sherrod over J. Houston. He will be gone soon.

    1. Dude. Justin Houston was picked in the 3rd round that year. Every team in the league passed on him at least 2x. No one knew he was going to be this good.

      We never got to find out how good Sherrod could have been – that injury wrecked his career.

      1. He went 70th. Barely out of second round and was abeasr at Georgia. I believe it was drug use that made him drop. Still a terrible pick. If he was going to pick a player that we already have starters at he should have chose Strong. Our Red Zone offense stalled at times. I think TT had 1 more yr after this season and he is gone

        1. I think TT pretty much has 1 year left when he wants to have 1 year left. It’s not like he has an owner to really scare him and he’s gotten his team into the playoffs essentially every year under his watch.

  5. Gruden said he can’t tackle. So did someone on the NFL network. But he lead the team with over 100 tackles? And he’s a gunner. Can he tackle or not?

    Leave it to Ted to take a tweener, experimental player, with his first round pick and move the player to another position at the next level, the NFL.. isnt this something better done in later rounds? I bet some of the other people in the Packers organization want to slap Ted sometimes. Like when he took Thornton in the 3rd rd last year

        1. Hell Deion Sanders made a career out of not tackling and he’s consider the best cornerback of all time

  6. Matt Miller’s scouting report

    “An aggressive prospect with playmaking traits,
    Damarious Randall is versatile enough to play free or strong safety—or both. He
    has good speed and shows range on film, with an ability to get outside the
    hashes from his spot at center field. Randall excelled at the Senior Bowl and
    flashed both in man coverage and in zone drills. He also stood out at the
    combine and posted an impressive workout and agility/speed times. Randall
    stands out on Arizona State film not only on defense but on special teams. He
    has the speed and agility to make plays in space. He also has the hands and
    awareness for the ball you must have at free safety. Turn on the film and
    Randall is consistently making plays. He was often the best player on the
    field. That too often gets overlooked for size and speed.”

    Let’s just say our nickel and dime packages
    have just improved.

  7. This guy was certainly not the BPA. We should avoid all players from ASU. Look at the guy we picked up from ASU last year. Now they don’t know what to do with him.

    1. That’s pretty much the reason why the Packers got to pick Aaron Rodgers; all Cal quarterbacks coached by Jeff Tedford are trash, look at Kyle Boller, Joey Harrington and David Carr!

      Seriously, what does an outside linebacker picked in the 4th round a year before have to do with picking a cornerback this year?

      1. Keep rolling Hobbes!! I am enjoying reading your comments tonight. Someone has to teach the class.
        Ted

  8. Ugh – my first post since the SB. Don’t mind the pick, but not here. He could have easily traded back and got an extra 4th and still get Randall. He did the same thing with Thornton and RR last year. You have to play the odds once in a while. If it were me I would have traded back. If someone else takes him, then I’ll live with it.

    1. Listened to Ted tonight. Ted said he had a few calls wanting to trade up but all the calls were deals that didn’t favor Green Bay so he didn’t serioiusly consider any.
      Ted

      1. That’s a lot of words, but I don’t know what they mean. No one does. Does it mean trading back 20 spots or just a handful, and for what compensation? I don’t hate the pick because Randall has talent and Whitt seems like a good coach. I guess I’ll be watching primarily to see what kind of career Brown has, who in my opinion was BPA by a fairly wide margin.

        1. Reynoldo, as much as I hate to say it but you need to trust in Ted. You know he’s not going to get into specifics of what those calls were. All I know is Ted never makes a deal that favors the other side. He has destroyed New England for years now in deals. Now Mike Sherman was the opposite giving up valuable draft picks for such greats as R-Cal Truluck.
          Ted

  9. I love how everyone’s little world has falling in because no foresaw the pick. Lets just talk on what positives Randall brings to the Pack.

    Like everyone else here, I had the “what the f…” reaction, but I’m liking the pick as this game is generally decided on what happens on third downs. I think Randall will be an upgrade athletically on Micah Hyde as the nickle DB.

    1. Finally!! someone with a positive post. I swear I went back in time tonight and Dan Devine, Tom Braatz or Judge Parins were calling the shots.
      Ted

  10. Aggressive, ball skills, instinctual, plays multiple positions, great angles to QB, return skills…

    The Packers KNOW they got a good football player who, at worst, has versatility and talent.

    Thompson is secretly HOPING that if he blossoms, he just got Dom a new Woodson-esque playing piece to trot out onto the chessboard.

    1. I think this is the key notion: this guy is a good football player and he makes good things happen on the field.

      They just need to figure out how he fits best…

  11. I’m stunned. First, the “Choke” in Seattle; now this! Stephone Anthony is the next selection, followed by Malcom Brown. I don’t know what to say. The ways of “the Merry Albino” are foreign to most men.

  12. I’m recovering from my initial disappointment. Maybe this is a better pick that I initially thought.All we can do is wait and watch to see how he turns out and also compare him to the others that got drafted after him. To me Randell had 2nd round talent, but, Ted has a good track record with 2nd round talent, so, who knows? Let’s hope Randell can cover like a NFL CB and that he has a high ceiling.

  13. I apologize to come into this discussion… Because I know I lack of football knowledge when compare to most of you…

    But! There is so many negative comments on what Ted Thompson did with first round pick. I was not watching draft as draft was/is during deep night for me. But, first thing I did in the morning I wake up, I looked to see who was the pick Packers get. And, my reaction was: wtf!?

    What I did. I take the name of the guy and go to some highlights. I saw what they see.They see another potential Charles Woodson in that guy. Guy who can play corner and safety. Guy who has speed to play well to excellent for special teams immediately…

    Than I read some of the statements… Ted Thompson and some others… And I start to read comments on Packers.com and here…

    There is the reason why Ted Thompson is on his position. Because, on that position he is doing at least 12 hours per day what you are trying to do occasionally, maybe some of you in postseason, and some of you one month prior the draft… But he is doing that whole year. And he has stuff (number of them) who is doing the same – evaluating players. Tracking players. Following them… Making their records/dossiers… Knowing almost everything about them… And they have several crystal balls… For future (fortune) telling…

    You do not have nothing of that. But, you have enough arrogance to judge on what player he picked up and who is better player than player who was picked by Ted Thompson…

    Everybody has or should have the right to think and speak freely… That is not in question. But with all kinds of freedom comes responsibility… You may not like his choice. You have right to feel / think like that. You have the right to say that… But nobody has rights to spit on man because he is doing his job the way he thinks it is the best for the organization he is working for… More, because he is running SUCCESSFUL organization… He has his mistakes, but everybody do mistakes while performing his/her job…

    At the end, I will apologize you again. My intention was not to teach you basics, because I know you know them. Just to remind you on them. Because, people when they are emotionally involved in subject very often forget basics…

    I learned from you in the past a lot of football. And I’m thankful for that. Because I can enjoy the game even more with that knowledge… But, as somebody from side, I can tell you one thing: I will be glad to have that successful manager in my company as Ted Thompson is, as well I would like to work for one, too…

    At the end, I think Ted Thompson got wonderful player for Packers… And the future will show that!

    1. Critiquing coaches and general managers is a god given american right since time in memorial. If it is not in the bill of rights, it is implied. And this website is designed for that very purpose. I do think fans should refrain from ad hominem attacks, name calling, etc. If you want to call that arrogance (which is borderline ad hominem), so be it. Randall can play in the NFL, just think 2 others at least were obviously better prospects.

      1. I think I may write wrong some lines. I really did not want to say all of critiquing are arrogant, but some of them are… Of course that we can question some decision, but pretending to know better is arrogant way… Sorry, but this is how I see. And I do not think that you are among that arrogant critiques…

        1. No worries. We are good. I was pretty much joking about critiquing coaches being a god given right that has been exercised probably almost since the beginning of organized sports. I have my share of hubris or arrogance.

          You can use Ethos – an argument based on an authority figure or expert – to try to persuade people. That is the “In Ted I Trust,” line, and it just ends the discussion, depending on how solid the credentials are of said expert. The King say so. The pope says so, etc. There is little reason to participate in this kind of comment section other than to tell us what you know about Randall.

          For those whose mantra is we have to wait 3 or 4 years to evaluate (which is of course true), that is called hindsight, and the logical thing to do is wait those 2, 3 or 4 years to comment on the decision. I’d have taken Brown. If Brown is a bust and Randall (who I like perfectly well is a pro bowler, I’ll eat my internet crow.

            1. Yep. Once in a while I mention the picks I liked like Bradford. IIRC you or someone just wrote (discussion of the Rollins pick) how much he liked the 2011 draft right after it was done. That’s what I call eating internet crow, but I like the phrase digital crow too.

    2. I think one of the biggest reasons the NFL is so successful is because fans feel like a part of the game (Packers fans perhaps even more so because they can actually be “owners”). Part of the fan base will always be opposed to Thompson and he doesn’t do himself any favors from a PR perspective by being reserved and quiet. I think it’s funny that so many people have issues with Thompson even though he’s consistently fielded an entertaining product (and a successful one to boot).

  14. This is a curious pick for me. My initial thinking is that the Packers are going to use him as the slot CB and move Hayward to the outside to replace T. Williams. I think that he can be a good player but I’m not sure that he should have been a 1st round pick. Like many others have already posted I would have preferred ED Goldman or Malcolm Brown as our 1st round pick. We’ll see how TT’s plan comes together as we go through the remaining 6 rounds. Then we can evaluate the overall draft more effectively. Not what I was expecting but I’m sure TT has his reasons for this pick. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. I’m not sure slot cornerback is that valued to warrant a 1st round pick. My feeling is perimeter corner is definitely more valued than slot and the Packers have more depth at slot than perimeter so I’d guess that Hayward and Randall will first compete for Tramon Williams’ old spot and who ever loses that will compete with Hyde as the primary slot corner.

  15. I hate it when we draft guys with 4.4 speed, good footwork and excellent ball skills who are aggressive and good tacklers……. DAMN YOU TT!…….I believe most of the sky is falling posts are due to us being unfamiliar with him because we all got ILB- fatigue. Guy looks like he can play and they appear to want to use him at CB which over half the teams feel he can play. Bottom line is we won’t really know until we see him on the field, just like every other draft pick so can everyone please RELAX! –GoPack!

    1. I think the biggest problem is the phrase “Damarious Randall, SAFETY, Arizona State”. If instead Godell had said “Damarious Randall, CORNERBACK, Arizona State”, people would be a lot more at ease. At least now, most people on this site at least are aware that he’s going to be a corner first.

  16. I find myself liking this pick…but at #30? When I saw Kevin Johnson go earlier, I was hoping for Kendricks. I think the depth at ILB demanded drafting an ILB before a CB, much less a conversion project.

    1. Kendricks is still there, as is Perryman, Dawson and McKinney, so don’t lose out on hope.

      1. Bleacher Report has mocked McKinney to the Packers in its updated round 2. Nothing wrong with McKinney for who he is, but I hope they can do better than that…

  17. While I predicted a defensive back (a CB), this pick shocked me. It seems that in every TT draft, our GM picks someone that makes me ask, “What!!! Who’s that? Why didn’t he pick….?” Hopefully, TT has picked up another gem that will work out, but I was sure hoping we’d plug one of our big needs. I’m hoping this was BAP.

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