Casey Hayward 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

Green Bay Packers Report Cards, Player Grades

1) Introduction: From defensive rookie of the year candidate to IR candidate the next, Casey Hayward has shown all the ability in the world coupled by an even bigger injury risk.  Would 2014 see Hayward on the field or on the trainers table?



2) Profile:

Casey Hayward Jr.

  • Age: 25
  • Born: September 9, 1989 in Perry, GA
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 192
  • College: Vanderbilt
  • Rookie Year: 2012
  • NFL Experience: 3 

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Hayward is an interesting case where Hayward almost won the defensive rookie of the year in 2012, was hobbled by a signifiant hamstring injury that ultimately sent him to IR and then came into the 2014 season as an injury concern.  The Packers were likely hoping for a decent season where Hayward didn’t re-injure himself (which unfortunately he did).

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Hayward’s best game has to be against Chicago (I sense this is going to be a re-occurring theme this year as the Bears basically died on the field) where he returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown, plus two tackles and 2 run stops.  As for lowlights, being inactive due to his hamstring injury for week 2 against the Jets just affirmed that while Hayward is talented, he will likely be hobbled sometimes like Clay Matthews.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Stellar.  While Hayward didn’t play many snaps (about 40% of defensive snaps), he ranked as the highest graded defensive back in 2014 and was the 2nd highest graded defensive player on the Packers, only behind Mike Daniels.  It’s interesting to see, however, that Hayward played very well at the beginning of the season but played worse and worse as the year went on.  This falls right in line with the amount of snaps Micah Hyde saw at nickel corner, which could mean the reason why Hyde was forced to play so much nickel at the end of the year was because Hayward was injured.  Would Hayward have graded poorly at the end of the year and was Hyde the fall guy for having to play out of position (then again what is Hyde’s true position)?  Perhaps but the chips fell the way that they did and Hayward played better when he was on the field.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Hayward played sparingly during the playoffs, only seeing 35 snaps and played average.  Again this falls in line with the idea that Hayward was injured and the Packers were basically using him only in spots (such as in dime packages)

7) Intangibles: Hayward is one of the hidden gems on the Packers roster that, should he stay healthy, should become one of the better players in the league.  While he might not have the ability to play on the boundary, with the league continually shifting to more slot players, slot cornerbacks will become increasingly important.

Season Report Card (Player Grades):

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


23 thoughts on “Casey Hayward 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

    1. Hayward has been on and off the injury report for a large portion of the season. The question is really how much; early on in the season Hayward was getting about 25-40 snaps per game and grading well but in the second half of the season he was getting 10-20 and grading a lot worse. Either he’s injured or he fell off a cliff in terms of production and I’m leaning more towards injury.

    1. Almost a pound, a 9mm and $190K in cash.

      Not going to have to worry about this guy for a while.

      1. I want to feel for the guy, but, really. Just another stupid guy who missed the greatest opportunity of his life. What a bloody shame!

    2. Dobber – sadly this is the current state of the NFL. No team can rely on their players to stay out of trouble. 5 players from around the league were arrested today for various crimes. Guion has truly wasted a golden opportunity. If he is in fact guilty and convicted he could be done for a while if not for his career. The Packers can’t seem to catch a break at the NT position. Unfortunately, if Goodell doesn’t find a way to reign in the behavior of the players the situation will only get worse. Just in the last 2 weeks the league has had deflate gate, the Atlanta Falcons admitting to pumping noise into their stadium when their opponents were on offense and 5 players arrested today. This doesn’t even include the domestic abuse cases from earlier in the season. The shield now represents money, scandals and criminals. Sad times for the NFL. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Some comment on how much bad behavior there is in the NFL but, in reality, my thought is that if the NBA or MLB had 32 teams of 53 men, they’d be in the news just as often for bad acts.

        1. Dobber – the same is true for the NBA, that’s for sure. MLB has had enough of their own issues with PEDs as well. Too much money is resulting in bad choices for too many players. Thanks, Since ’61

      2. Updated reports indicate that the gun was in a box along with Guion’s Minnesota-issued carrying permit, and the gun was unloaded. The 190K in cash can be directly traced to NFL paychecks (i.e. it is not due to being a drug dealer). Guion apparently has a history of doling out cash to his relatives who live in Florida. The 357 grams equates to 12.75 ounces. Still a lot. Depending on the quality, it’s retail value is probably less than $4,000.

        If Guion has no criminal history, even with the two felonies, his legal problems should not include lengthy jail time, and maybe very little to none.

        Even though it may not be as severe as first thought, the NFL certainly will take notice with some kind of a suspension, and who knows how TT will view it. But I think that there is no way TT signs Guion anytime soon, and maybe never, meaning TT will have to find plan B for the NT position.

        1. Oops, if this is a 1st offense, and it is for possession and not intent to distribute, i.e. a misdemeanor not a felony, Guion would not be subject to suspension for the weed. He would enter the NFL substance abuse program. Might be subject to suspension for the gun, which was registered I think in Minnesota (not required in Fla.). It is not a gun possession per se, it is possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, namely the possessing of over 20 (way over!) grams of marijuana.

        2. Apparently the possession of a gun AND possession of marijuana makes it a more serious felony than the two separately. Not sure how that works from a legal perspective.

          1. Yes. But possessing the marijuana in that quantity is the predicate for making the gun a felony. That is, separately, if Guion hadn’t possessed the marijuana, the gun is not even a crime at all. Agree though that it might mean TT takes a pass on Guion and we have issues at NT, even if Raji comes back (I would think maybe he’d get $1.5 million – certainly way less than $4 million.

            1. Apparently Guion’s gun possession was a felony; apparently it’s legally registered in Minnesota (which makes sense considering he played for the Vikings) and apparently having a gun registered from an outside state is a felony in Florida. I’m not sure that makes any sense, but that’s what I’ve heard.

      3. Unfortunately, the NFL has no control over players in the outside world. If you gave Goodell powers to enact curfews or have a personal attendant for every player, then everyone would revolt as it’s a limitation on their freedom. Hell, the NFL can’t even control a GM in a NFL stadium during game day from cheating.

    1. You can probably get Raji for less, he will have no market value after tanking his contract year and then sitting out this year on IR.

  1. My expectations were higher than yours, but since the hamstring injury sidelined him for most of his 2nd season, perhaps your view is more realistic. Certainly his production was indeed stellar. 7 passes defended, with 3 ints, in 426 defensive snaps, and 43 tackles in 540 total snaps (some of his tackles may have been while playing STs. [Compare Tramon: 13 PD, 3 ints in 1012 snaps; Shields: 9 PDs, 2 INTs, in 820 snaps.] PFF raved about Hayward’s low opposing QB rating and low completion rates against him. He got injured in week 2, playing only 11 snaps that game. Maybe his hamstring got worse as the season progressed. Hard to know.

    What is clear is that GB used Hayward situationally. Hyde started out starting at S (but Clinton Dix played 57%, 79%, 40%, 74%, 86%, 64% and then close to all of defensive snaps at S) , and then Hyde moved to nickel/slot. Hayward’s decreased playing time also coincides with Clinton Dix taking over full time at safety, thus releasing Hyde for other duty. Hayward as the dime back isn’t defending Dez Bryant and the like. To my eye, GB played Hayward in zone coverages, at which he excelled, but I thought he was less effective when he was in man. And he can’t play boundary CB if he isn’t average or better in man coverage.

    Still, he is a potential gem and a player who could make a jump in his 3rd year and change the complexion of the secondary, especially with his ball hawking abilities and big play potential.

    1. “GB played Hayward in zone coverages, at which he excelled, but I thought he was less effective when he was in man. And he can’t play boundary CB if he isn’t average or better in man coverage.”

      Part of good coaching is knowing your players and putting them in a position to be successful. I think Hayward would be mis-cast as an outside cover corner as well, and that his moving out there would require a shift to primarily zone looks.

      1. I think that really depends on the scheme; its not like Williams and Shields play exclusively in man since they are on the outside. If Hayward can cover in zone on the boundary, I’m sure the Packers will figure a way to make it work.

    2. True, he might be a “one trick pony” like Alteran Verner but in reality we haven’t seen enough of Hayward in the boundary to really make much of a call on how good he would be covering say Dez Bryant.

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