We’ve long liked Green Bay Packers cornerback Josh Hawkins. He first caught our attention during the 2016 preseason, when he made more plays than any corner. He also flashed the type of speed an athleticism that was largely lacking from the group.
Hawkins made the team as an undrafted free agent, but then after giving up a disastrous touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half in week 3 against Detroit, Hawkins disappeared.
Disappeared as in, into someone’s doghouse. We rarely saw him on the field again, even as injuries mounted and other players struggled.
Why not give the guy another shot, we asked? The guys that are out there now aren’t playing any good. What’s going to be the difference?
But Hawkins never got it. Until, perhaps, now.
Hawkins was one of the only Packers’ cornerbacks to look good last week against Philadelphia. When practice opened on Tuesday, Hawkins was somewhere he hasn’t been in the NFL — with the No. 1 defense.
Joe Whitt Jr. said the #Packers plan to give CB Josh Hawkins more reps this week to see if he can cover top receivers.
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) August 15, 2017
Part of that is due to injury. Starters Davon House and Damarious Randall are both sidelined.
However, the Packers could have easily gone back to last year’s No. 1 corner, LaDarius Gunter. Or they could have put Quinten Rollins on the outside, which is where he started against Philadelphia. Instead, they decided to see what Hawkins can do.
What can Hawkins do against top receivers? We’ll likely get a better idea when the Packers face Washington this week. Randall isn’t playing and there’s no word on House, who has a hamstring injury.
It will be interesting to see what develops.