Packers 2018 offseason position review: Cornerbacks

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Kevin King /

Cornerback is one of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest needs this offseason.

Green Bay’s secondary has been a mess ever since Sam Shields got injured in the first game of the 2016 season.

The Packers have lost a ton of talent in the defensive backfield in recent years. A unit that once featured Shields, Casey Hayward, Tramon Williams and Micah Hyde, the secondary is in need of further additions this offseason.

But defensive coordinator Mike Pettine does have talent to work with, particularly at safety. And while the cornerback position needs work, the play of Kevin King and Damarious Randall offers hope for 2018.

King, Randall offer signs of encouragement

King, the Packers’ top choice in last year’s draft, impressed before he got hurt. The second-round pick played in just nine games before an ongoing shoulder injury ended his season.

But from what we saw in that span, King flashed potential and made some key plays. The Packers are hoping he can be a reliable starter on the boundary. When healthy, he was easily the team’s top corner.

King offers length at 6-foot-3 and played with physicality. Staying healthy is the biggest key for the second-year corner moving forward.

Randall, too, came on strong in the second half of 2017.

Like King, the 2015 first-round pick needs to stay healthy. He’s yet to complete all 16 games in a season. But if Randall can avoid injury, the Packers’ 2017 interception leader can have a positive impact on defense.

Cornerback in the first round?

Despite that, cornerback remains one of the team’s biggest needs entering the offseason. Pettine needs plenty of talent at the position, and it’s one of Brian Gutekunst’s top priorities in his first year has general manager.

The Packers could go in a number of different directions when they hit the clock at No. 14 in the first round this April. Taking a cornerback is absolutely in play.

Iowa’s Josh Jackson and Ohio State’s Denzel Ward are two names that could interest the Packers at No. 14. Both would have the potential to become the Packers’ best corner under Pettine.

Jackson is the No. 1 ranked cornerback by CBS Sports, and is the No. 18 overall prospect. He could have a huge impact on the Packers’ secondary. Ward is their No. 2 corner and No. 23 overall prospect.

Next: Packers: 12 players that need to go this offseason

Gutekunst will look to add pass-rushing talent at some point in the draft, but his search for a No. 1 corner could lead to a first-round selection.