It’s a different role in so many ways for the 2015 first-round draft pick.
In the literal sense, it’s a new position; the “star” is another name for the nickel or slot cornerback position in Dom Capers’ five defensive back package. In a figurative sense, it could put Randall in a position to become the defensive star the Packers thought he would be when they picked him at No. 30 overall two years ago.
The 24-year-old Randall flopped last season when the Packers needed him to take over as the team’s No. 1 cornerback on the outside after Sam Shields’ season – and Packers career – ended with a Week 1 concussion. Whether it was an injury – Randall underwent groin surgery midway through the season and missed six games – or just plain poor play, the Packers ultimately went with an undrafted free agent from the same draft class, LaDarius Gunter, as their No. 1 cornerback when it mattered most late in the season and in the playoffs.
For two years, the Packers tried to turn Randall from a safety at Arizona State into an outside cover man in the NFL. But it was in an offseason review of their defense that Capers, cornerbacks Joe Whitt and coach Mike McCarthy decided to move Randall inside into the role – the “star” – similar to the one previously played by the likes of Micah Hyde and Charles Woodson.
“It’s a lot of what he did in college, first off,” Whitt…
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