Tall Tale at Cornerback

The Packers do not draft short cornerbacks. However, they don't draft tall ones, either. Grab your tape measures as we look at the Cornerback Class of 2015.

With their first-round pick, the Green Bay Packers had their choice of three cornerbacks.

One was LSU’s Jalen Collins, who is 6-foot-1 1/2. Another was Utah’s Eric Rowe, who is 6-foot 3/4. Either of those players would have provided a different look to the returning trio of Sam Shields (5-foot-10 3/4), Casey Hayward (5-foot-11 3/8) and Micah Hyde (5-foot-11 3/4).

Instead, they chose Arizona State’s Damarious Randall, who checks in at 5-foot-10 7/8.

Coach Mike McCarthy, however, wasn’t concerned on Saturday evening. Then again, he’s got more than four months until he has to throw his 5-foot-11 corners out there against the Bears’ receiving duo of Alshon Jeffrey (6-foot-2 7/8) and first-rounder Kevin White (6-foot-2 5/8).

“They can jump,” McCarthy said of his corners. “Sometimes you have to look at the whole picture. To me, it’s time to throw the measurables out the window. Especially the young men we drafted. It’s time to go play football. I don’t buy into the fact that because you have a bunch of 6-5 receivers in your division that you have to get a bunch of 6-2 corners. Our opponents, especially our division opponents, will not dictate the way we build our football team.”

While every team is looking for the next Richard Sherman, the Seattle star who is 6-foot-2 5/8, those corners are as rare as a $3 bill. Of the 15 cornerbacks selected in the first three rounds, Collins and Rowe were the tallest.

In fact, the tallest cornerback in the entire draft class — drafted or undrafted — was Texas Southern’s Tray Walker. Walker, who had a predraft visit to Green Bay, was a fourth-round pick by Baltimore. Without rounding, Oklahoma’s Julian Wilson was the only other corner to even get to 6-foot-2. Wilson, at 6-foot-2 right on the nose, went undrafted and signed with Baltimore.

One of other tall corners in the draft, Miami’s Ladarius Gunter (6-foot-1 1/2), signed with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie. Tay Glover-Wright, who joined Green Bay’s practice squad in October, is 6-foot on the nose — making him the tallest corner on the roster.

Other than Mike Sherman’s tenure as general manager, the Packers have had a long-standing policy against drafting short cornerbacks. Randall is the shortest drafted by general manager Ted Thompson. Before him, the shotest was Hayward. But, it seems, the Packers aren’t fond of tall corners, either.

“We’re tall enough,” Thompson said.

The chart below shows the heights of the 15 cornerbacks taken in the first three rounds. They averaged 5-foot-11 3/8. Ten of the 15 corners were taller than Randall; nine were taller than second-round pick Quinten Rollins.

DraftedPlayerTeamPickHeight40
1Trae WaynesVikings1160014.31
2Kevin JohnsonTexans1660024.52
3Marcus PetersChiefs1851154.53
4Byron JonesCowboys2760054.43*
5Damarious RandallPackers3051074.46
6Jalen CollinsFalcons3360144.48
7Eric Rowe Eagles 4260064.45
8Ronald DarbyBills5051054.38
9Senquez GolsonSteelers5650854.46
10Quinten RollinsPackers6251114.57
11D’Joun SmithColts6551004.45
12P.J. WilliamsSaints7860004.57
13Alex Carter Lions8060014.51
14Craig MagerChargers8351144.44
15Steven NelsonChiefs9851014.49
Note 1: Heights are listed by the eighth of an inch. For example, for Waynes, 6001 is 6-foot 1/8. Randall is 5-foot-10 7/8.

Note 2: Jones’ 40 time is from his pro day. All others from Scouting Combine.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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