A former Green Bay Packers top draft pick has been taken off the market.
Damarious Randall, who the Packers selected at No. 30 overall in the 2015 NFL draft, officially re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday afternoon, securing him a second chance with the team that employed him for most of the 2020 season. The team also announced he would move from safety to cornerback in 2021.
The 28-year-old Randall appeared in 10 games for the Seahawks last year but played just 35 of his 104 total snaps on defense. His shift to a thinner cornerback position in 2021 should afford him a better opportunity to earn a roster spot with the depth behind Tre Flowers, Ahkello Witherspoon and D.J. Reed Jr. currently undefined.
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Randall Remains Draft Mistake for Packers
There was a time before Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos or Darnell Savage Jr. when Randall was believed to be the next big defensive star for the Packers’ secondary. Instead, six years after his first-round selection, Randall is now viewed as one of the Packers’ biggest draft mistakes of the last decade.
Randall began his Green Bay career with promise in 2015 when he recorded three interceptions and 14 pass deflections over 15 games as a rookie despite playing out of position — at corner instead of at safety, where he played in college. He struggled in his next two seasons, however, as injuries cost him eight games overall and frustrations began to turn into locker-room problems for the 2015 first-rounder.
A low point in Randall’s relationship with the Packers came during the 2017 season during their Week 4 matchup with the Chicago Bears. He was benched late in the first half after allowing Bears wideout Kendall Wright to caught an 8-yard touchdown pass and was later kicked off the sideline for arguing with a coach.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, a “committee of veteran players” had suggested to then-coach Mike McCarthy that Randall be cut from the team after that incident, but he remained with the Packers until the 2018 offseason when they traded him to the Cleveland Browns for some small-time draft stock and backup quarterback DeShone Kizer.
In Randall’s defense, McCarthy admitted after the trade that the Packers had been playing him out of his “natural position.” The Packers also might have been better off keeping Randall for another season given how poorly the trade worked out for them. Kizer only lasted one season before Tim Boyle took his job in 2019, while neither of the draft picks they received went toward adding a significant talent.
Then again, would the Packers have still drafted Alexander in the first round of 2018 without first trading Randall? They might have settled for simply taking Josh Jackson in the second round rather than doubling up on the cornerback position.
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