Green Bay Packers Draft: Round 5 back to D

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson (16) is tackled by Iowa Hawkeyes cornerback Micah Hyde (18) at Michigan Stadium.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

While the Green Bay Packers went with picks on the offensive side of the ball in the fourth round, Ted Thompson and Company moved back to the defense with two selections in the fifth round – Iowa defensive back Micah Hyde and defensive lineman Josh Boyd out of Mississippi State.

Micah Hyde

With the 159th pick in the draft, the Packers selected Micah Hyde, a 6-0, 197-pound cornerback out of Iowa. I think this guy might be somewhat of a sleeper pick for the Packers – I think TT probably likes his versatility.

Here’s what Mike Mayock said:

“He reminds me of Glover Quin. He can play corner, safety, can return kicks and can be a special teams player. He fits Green Bay because he has great ball skills.”

With the Packers determined to get Randall Cobb off the special teams units, this might be a guy who could compete for that job.

An Northeast Ohio product, Hyde was a superstar in high school, as explained in this passage from NFL.com:

There wasn’t much Hyde couldn’t do as a high school player in northwest Ohio. He was first-team all-state as a quarterback as a senior, a three-time team captain who intercepted eight passes at safety and accounted for 111 touchdowns passing and rushing during his career.

After making four tackles while playing in every game of his true freshman season, Hyde became a playmaker as a full-time starting cornerback in 2010. League media gave him honorable mention notice due to his 82 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass breakups. He also scored twice that season, returning a pitch 66 yards for a touchdown after safety Tyler Sash intercepted a Michigan State pass, and providing the winning points in the team’s 27-24 Insight Bowl victory over Missouri by bringing back an interception 72 yards. Hyde worked at safety during spring 2011 practices, and started the first two games there in the fall before moving back to cornerback for the final 11 games. His three interceptions and eight pass break-ups helped him earn second-team All-Big Ten honors from league media (honorable mention by coaches). Hyde had a fantastic senior season as he finished with 78 tackles, 14 pass breakups, one interception, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He was named first-team All-Big Ten.

After making four tackles while playing in every game of his true freshman season, Hyde became a playmaker as a full-time starting cornerback in 2010. League media gave him honorable mention notice due to his 82 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass break-ups. He also scored twice that season, returning a pitch 66 yards for a touchdown after safety Tyler Sash intercepted a Michigan State pass, and providing the winning points in the team’s 27-24 Insight Bowl victory over Missouri by bringing back an interception 72 yards. Hyde worked at safety during spring 2011 practices, and started the first two games there in the fall before moving back to cornerback for the final 11 games. His three interceptions and eight pass breakups helped him earn second-team All-Big Ten honors from league media (honorable mention by coaches).

Here are his strengths and weaknesses:

STRENGTHS

Effective zone defender with the closing speed and length to knock away passes or make the interception. Height, vertical, and strong hands allow him to snatch jump balls away and knock away throws between levels of the defense. Uses his length to keep receivers off his body in the run game and prevent ballcarriers from stiff arming him in space, also uses his hands and upper-body strength to rip off blocks. Aggressive run defender. Comes downhill in a hurry to chop down running backs. Wraps up receivers after the catch. Special teams contributor.

WEAKNESSES

Teams might be split on his best NFL position. Average recovery speed at cornerback, must prove himself in man coverage as he will fail to stay with receivers downfield. Loses track of receivers in space, gets caught looking into the backfield or stops running while looking for the ball down the sideline. Looks tight in the hips, will struggle to consistently turn and run. Ducks his head at times trying to make open-field tackles and is not a physically imposing free safety.

Josh Boyd

Josh Boyd

With their second fifth round selection (a compensatory pick), the Packers selected a defensive end, Josh Boyd out of Mississippi State. At 6-3, 310 pounds, Boyd is a weight-lifing monster. He recorded 32 reps on the bench press at the combine.

Here’s what NFL.Com had to say:

While scouts flocked to Starkville to see burgeoning first-round defensive tackle Fletcher Cox attack quarterbacks last fall, they couldn’t help but notice the play of the Bulldogs’ high-motor starting nose tackle. Boyd decided not to leave for the NFL with his fellow junior after the season, in hopes of even bettering his draft stock as a senior.

The U.S. Army All-American racked up an astounding 266 tackles in his final two high school years before eschewing offers from just about every SEC school to attend MSU. Boyd was rewarded for buying into head coach Dan Mullen’s system, played in every game (with three starts) and making 17 tackles. He took over the full-time starter job as a sophomore, racking up 24 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks in 13 games, and then saw his production rise again in 2011 (51 tackles, eight for loss, 5.5 sacks). As a senior, Boyd’s numbers dropped off a bit as a senior, as he only nabbed 33 tackles (2.5 for loss) and 1.5 sacks.

Strengths and Weaknesses

STRENGTHS

Has ever-churning legs that continually keeps his feet moving while engaged to press the pocket and when chasing ballcarriers down the line. Flashes a burst off the line, keeps pad level low. Maintains leverage, holds up at the point. Displays a nice swim move to beat blockers. Flashes the quickness to attack gaps on zone runs and spin off blocks to get into plays when singled up.

WEAKNESSES

His average size can be an issue when facing stronger, longer interior offensive linemen (not to mention strong doubles) who can land their punches to send him backwards. Does move to his sides very well, lacks agility. Doesn’t display the speed to pursue. Scouts aren’t sure if Boyd can be a true three-technique, either, meaning he’ll be limited to a one-gap nose tackle role.

Topics: Green Bay Packers, Josh Boyd, Micah Hyde

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