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It's early in training camp, but CB Casey Hayward has stood out with his play as a defensive back for the Green Bay Packers. Hayward isn't starting yet, but that all could change if his development continues.
Ted Thompson knew what he was getting when he drafted Hayward in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Hayward was a ball hawk who had a great senior year, picking off seven passes. The former Vanderbilt Commodore had 15 career interceptions as a matter of fact.
Right now, the Packers are starting Jarrett Bush and Tramon Williams at CB in their base defense, as Charles Woodson has moved over to S, along with Morgan Burnett.
When the Packers line up in their nickel look, Woodson slides down to the slot and the Packers bring in S M.D. Jennings.
When the Packers utilized their 4-1 dime defense Saturday, it was Williams and either Sam Shields or Davon House outside, with Woodson and Bush in the slot and Burnett and Jennings at safety.
But Hayward has opened some eyes when he has had his opportunity.
During Friday's practice, QB Graham Harrell threw outside during an end-of-game situation, and Hayward picked him off.
"I was in the slot in nickel," Hayward told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We were in some man concept. They either run vertical, the in or the out. I guessed the out because they were running 2-minute and was able to get a pick."
Hayward then picked off Harrell again on Saturday and stood out in the one-on-one coverage drill.
That led to the coaching staff putting Hayward in the dime scheme later on Saturday, as he moved into one of the slot positions and Bush moved outside with Williams.
When it's all said and done, I expect Hayward to become a starter at CB when training camp ends, both in the base opposite Williams and also in the nickel and dime looks.
Hayward has been there and done that.
"Playing in the SEC, I played against A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, all those guys," Hayward said in the aforementioned article. "I pressed those guys. Like today, I was pressing in the slot, especially in the one on ones, and I held my own.
"I've been holding my own since I've been playing this game."