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Can Packers Draft a Ready-to-Start Cornerback?

The obvious answer is of course that’s a possibility. The more pertinent question for the Green Bay Packers is: what are the probabilities of drafting a cornerback who can significantly aid the team this year?

I went back to 2010, and looked at rookie cornerbacks who were named to the All-Rookie team by Gil Brandt of NFL.com or, when they did not coincide, by the Pro Football Writers Association. Here’s the list (draft = overall draft selection, honors include second-team All-Pro selections):

[table id=3 /]


The list consists of nine first-rounders, four second-rounders, one third-rounder and three others. Bear in mind that in a typical year, four to five cornerbacks are drafted in the first round.

I would therefore say that the probability is low that a first-round cornerback will be able to hold his own on the field in 2017 – as a rookie. Worse for the Packers, all nine of the above first-round picks were chosen prior to when the Packers get to choose this year, at overall pick number 29.

If the Packers don’t pick a cornerback in the first round and instead wait until the second round, the prospects for help from a rookie all but disappear. The Packers did once defy those odds though, when they selected Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward in 2012.

This is not to say you can’t get a quality cornerback in round one or even round two, but I’m confining myself here to someone who can help right away, not as he develops. For example, Xavier Rhodes (25th pick in 2013) has developed into a fine cornerback for the Vikings. Stephon Gilmore (10th pick in 2012) just signed with the Patriots at $13 million per year. Dre Kirkpatrick (17th pick in 2012) just re-signed with the Bengals at $52.5 million for five years.

To wait until after the first round for the kind of cornerback the Packers desperately need is to be hoping to get lucky.

What this adds up to is that the odds are poor the Packers will fill their foremost need in the upcoming draft. An exception would be if the Packers could move up in the draft to the middle of the first round, which they should attempt to do.

There’s an even better option: acquiring a proven NFL cornerback via a free agent signing or a trade. The Packers missed out on most of these opportunities, but not all. The pickings are slim, but it only takes one player.

Rob Born

I’m with Matt: “You gotta make those chunk plays!”



  1. Kato April 10, 2017

    Nope. They may not even draft a CB in round 1, which is amazing given how bad that position group was last year. It speaks volumes to the other gaping holes this team has at pass rusher, RB, G, and even DL.

  2. MarkHansen April 10, 2017

    Yes, let’s pay a “proven veteran” who is mediocre or worse(because that’s all that’s available)way too much money. Oh, and NOT get better! The sky is always falling with this crowd. You’re like the lady that comes in after the first day of a remodel project and asks “is this how it’s going to look? I don’t like it!” Stop making judgements before our team is complete!

    1. Savage57 April 10, 2017

      “OK, boys, here’s the plan. Let’s do more of what’s not working, harder!”

    2. MMTTDCSUCK April 11, 2017

      We are not the “Sky is always falling” crowd. We expect more from this team with a QB1 like Rodgers. Which is something that most homers do not understand. If you do not push or expect greatness you welcome mediocrity and become part of the machine willingly . . .

      1. icebowl April 11, 2017

        Ed Zachary

  3. Howard April 10, 2017

    If TT drafted a corner in the first round that would show Randall and Rollins were mistakes. TT will not admit the 2015 mistake(s). TT will not draft a CB in the first round and maybe even the second. There will be no ready to start corners available at pick 29. I would guess maybe Witherspoon in the second. He can cover but is shit in run support, so his run support will fit right in with the other corners.

    Pass rusher in the first round unless someone really drops at another position.

    1. Packers fan April 10, 2017

      We need a corner to replace Shields. That’s why GB needs a corner.

      1. Howard April 10, 2017

        I know GB needs a corner or two. They just aren’t going to get a ready to start corner at pick 29. Isn’t Sydney Jones out this year with an Achilles tear? How would he help this year to replace Shields?

  4. Big B April 10, 2017

    Nice research- looks like the odds are 2-3 starters per draft, which aren’t very good odds. Particularly since I suspect TT will not go CB in the first round, believing Randall and Rollins will “develop.” # of roster holes >>
    # of expected starters from the draft.

    1. Kato April 10, 2017

      How do you figure? This simply lists the guys that got all rookie honors. Doesn’t mean that there weren’t other rookies that didn’t start and play well

      1. icebowl April 11, 2017

        Good point Kato, Certainly not worse than Rollins and Randall….

  5. Packers fan April 10, 2017

    Humphrey or Sydney Jones.

  6. Cheese April 10, 2017

    Watch the Packers let Randall walk after his rookie contract and have another team pick him up to play his natural position, safety. Then make the pro bowl like Hayward.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK April 11, 2017

      This ^^^^

    2. Empacador April 11, 2017

      Wonder which genius decided he was a better fit at CB, McCarthy, Thompson or Capers?

      1. icebowl April 11, 2017

        Good question. However, Which one didnt realize early on it was a mistake and needed to be fixed ?