(Photo Credits: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)
Aaron Rodgers said the Green Bay Packers were going to “Run The Table” and that’s what they did, they ran the table all the way to a Wild Card game vs. the New York Giants. The one thing will keep the Packers from advancing in the playoffs is the Cornerback position.
Right now this is how the Packers sit at CB position:
- Ladarius Gunter (Healthy)
- Damarious Randall (Knee Injury/Limited Prac. Part)
- Quinten Rollins (Head/Neck Injury/Did Not Part.)
- Josh Hawkins (Healthy)
- Herb Waters (Healthy)
Lets start with Gunter, Gunter like others on this list is an undrafted free agent. Gunter has been criticized by Packer fans but since the Atlanta game it appears Gunter has improved and as hard it is to say, is the best corner the Packers have this year. In Week 14 Gunter had allowed the 16th highest opponent passer rating out of cornerbacks. Gunter looks to lead the group on Sunday and will draw either Odell Beckham or Sterling Shepard which will be another elite WR Gunter has had to deal with (Julio Jones vs Atlanta).
Damarious Randall was a spark plug all season last season and made the defense better but the injury to Sam Shields has cut down big to Randall’s season. Randall has been ranked fourth worst in points allowed per snap in coverage according to (Pro Football Focus) which speaks volume to how much Sam Shields was a help to his stock. A former first round pick who was a high ranked safety then switched to corner has a slight explanation for his struggles at cornerback but out of the draft he was said to have corner back skills so he should be able to play the position well enough.
Quinten Rollins was one of those once in a lifetime players that you see come to the NFL, a guy who played college basketball during the majority of his time in college and only played one year of football at Miami of Ohio. Rollins seems to be digressing much like Randall for some reason, maybe because its the sudden upshift in roles that Rollins and Randall have struggled. Coming out of the draft Rollins was said to be a 2nd round safety but a 4th round corner, which is where the Packers have Rollins playing.
Hawkins won his way on the roster out of the preseason and has played in a total of 11 games with the Packers this season. Like Gunter, Hawkins is another undrafted free agent who has kind of sputtered since having a really good preseason. Hawkins has recorded 5 tackles this season and has been more of a special teams guy this season.
Waters is one of the most intriguing cases on this list. Like Hawkins and Gunter, Waters is another undrafted free agent and what is even more intriguing is he was a WR when he was cut from the active roster to start the season then signed back to the practice squad. The packers defensive backs coach convinced Waters to switch from WR to CB because the Packers had injury issues. The Packers brought Waters back up to the active roster this week after having to put Makinton Dorleant on the IR after yet another injury to a CB.
The Packers have to go up against arguably one of the better WR trios in the NFL this weekend with Beckham, Sheppard and Cruz. Right now it looks like those 3 Giants receivers will be flanked by Gunter (UDFA), Josh Hawkins (UDFA), Herb Waters (Converted WR, UDFA) and possibly Damrious Randall. Hopefully this shakes out the Packers way this weekend and they can advance in the playoffs.