The Green Bay Packers made a concerted effort in the 2012 NFL Draft to upgrade the porous defense that cost them a second consecutive Super Bowl championship, and after the first few days of training camp, at least one of their six defensive selections is beginning to make waves.
Casey Hayward, the Packers' second-round pick out of Vanderbilt, is starting to make a name for himself at Packers' training camp after making impressive interceptions in practice on both Friday and Saturday according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
McGinn notes that the 5'11" cornerback has shown an impressive understanding of the game and has the look of a veteran in team drills, while also turning heads in one-on-one drills against the Packers' talented group of wide receivers.
In the article, McGinn quotes wide receiver James Jones, who had this to say about Hayward, "Probably the best thing about him right now as a rookie is he understands the schemes and what people are trying to do to him. As a rookie, he's smart. He's going to be good."
Hayward, who intercepted 15 passes in his college career to go along with 46 passes defensed, 18 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown, could be just the type of ball-hawking defensive back needed to help revitalize a secondary that gave up more passing yards than any unit in NFL history.
The Packers currently have Tramon Williams and Jarrett Bush as their two starting corners in the base 3-4 defense, with Sam Shields and Davon House also in the mix.
Williams is the only cornerback who can be considered a lock to start, and if Hayward continues to turn heads on the practice field, it may not be long before he passes Bush, Shields and House on his way to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.