Green Bay Packers: Damarious Randall film study

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Nov 22, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Damarious Randall (3) looks on during the game against the Washington State Cougars at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian -USA TODAY Sports

Randall’s Ability Near the Line

To see if Randall can effectively make the transition to nickel corner, we’ll have to take a close look at other parts of his game.

The previous clips demonstrated his ability in coverage, but to play up at the line in the nickel spot, which is more of a safety/corner hybrid position in the Packers defense, he’ll also need to show he can be physical and a factor in run support.

Randall had a few games in college where his tackling came under some scrutiny, the Oregon State game in particular didn’t look good from this standpoint. However, a majority of the film shows Randall is a consistent, reliable tackler who shows little hesitation in taking on ball carriers.

Randall isn’t the lights out heavy hitter some teams look for in a safety, but he is a solid wrap up tackler, which should serve him well when playing up in the box as a nickel corner.

Take this first clip for instance. This play comes against USC, and Randall moves up from his safety spot to cover the slot. When he sees that the pass is going to Nelson Agholor in the flat, he flies straight to the receiver and takes down the wideout for a five-yard loss.

This was a huge fourth-quarter stop on a critical third-and-two, and it really showcases Randall’s ability to tackle in the open field.

Let’s take another look at Randall’s ability to make stops up near the line of scrimmage.

In this next clip, Randall sneaks up into the box to provide additional run support. When the back bounces the run to the outside, Randall chases him down to make a big stop on third and short.

The thing I love about this clip is Randall really sells out to bring the back down to the turf. The play ends up getting called back because of a holding call, but nonetheless, it demonstrates Randall’s ability to make plays in pursuit.

Randall is not afraid to stick his nose in the action, and this will really serve him well playing up near the line in the nickel.

Watch on this next play how he moves up into the action, fills the hole the back is trying to run through, and makes the easy stop.

The Packers could use another physical presence in their secondary, and Randall’s ability to make stops like these should help in this department.

This part of his game reminds me of Micah Hyde. It’s never a bad thing to have two defensive backs who can do this on the field.

When you also factor in Randall’s ability to play man coverage and blitz off the edge, he seems like he can do it all at the position. There will still be a learning curve for him going into the NFL, but his potential as an impact player at nickel is exciting.

Next: Open Field Tackling