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The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kevin King is as good as gone. Will Rasul Douglas get a new deal to bring him back to Green Bay? Or did he price himself out of Green Bay’s price range with his play this past season? Will Chandon Sullivan get a new deal?
What the depth chart will look like behind that duo when next season kicks off is a question mark.
If Douglas is not re-signed, it would not be shocking to see Brian Gutekunst use multiple picks on the cornerback position.
A player that the Packers general manager could target is Mario Goodrich. The Clemson cornerback checks in at No. 86 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
Goodrich sat behind the likes of Trayvon Mullen and A.J. Terrell early in his career. While biding his time, Goodrich was a special teams mainstay.
In 2019, Goodrich recorded one interception He started our games in 2020 and recorded two interceptions.
This past season Goodrich earned first-team All-ACC honors after recording two interceptions and nine pass deflections. He earned the Cheez-It Bowl MVP honors against Iowa State after recording two pass deflections and a pick-six.
“With Andrew Booth covering the other side of the field (and a first-round draft pick) teams elected to throw at Goodrich a little more,” David Hood, a senior writer for TigerNet.com, said. “They really got nowhere. He has been a little hot and cold at times during his career, but this season was when he put it all together. It was a fantastic year by any measurable.”
The first thing that stands out about Goodrich is the tenacity he plays within all phases of the game.
He’s a physical press corner that has quick feet to mirror. He’s able to stay attached to wide receivers vertically. He smothers slants with his length and physicality.
As a run defender, Goodrich is wired right. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in and he’s a reliable open-field tackler.
“He is an excellent tackler who takes great angles to the ball and simply doesn’t miss a tackle,” Hood said. “Back in the day we watched elite corners like Deion Sanders who didn’t like to hit or be hit and could be run on, but Goodrich looks like he loves contact. Late in the season, he was even more valuable in the run game because the Tigers had to play a defensive end who didn’t always set the edge. Goodrich cleaned up a lot of mistakes on his side of the field.”
Goodrich didn’t become a full-time starter until this season. Yet, he still ended his career with five interceptions. He has natural hands and does a great job of challenging wide receivers at the catch point.
“He’s scrappy,” Hood said. “Sometimes he isn’t always strong at the point of contact from bigger receivers but he will fight for the ball. He is extremely fluid and shows the ability to pivot when he has to. His length is very evident and he can jump up and knock down passes or for the pick.”
Fit with the Packers
Goodrich is a scheme versatile cornerback. He has experience playing press and zone coverage.
On top of that scheme versatility, Goodrich has experience playing on special teams. That’s where Goodrich could make his living early in his career while providing quality depth in the secondary for the Packers.
Here is what Dabo Swinney, the Clemson head coach had to say about Goodrich after earning the Cheez-It Bowl MVP honors:
“Really proud of Mario Goodrich. I was talking to the team about Mario a week or so ago, because he didn’t get off to a good start…And now, here he is. First-team All-Conference. 3.46 GPA in the fall. Voted team captain. This is a winner. He’s equipped. He’s a grown man because of what he’s been through and because he hung in there.”
By all accounts, Goodrich is a high-character prospect with a strong work ethic. On top of that, he checks all the boxes that you want an NFL cornerback. He’s athletic, with god length, he’s scheme versatile and he has special teams experience. If the Packers wait until the third round or early on day three to take a cornerback, Goodrich could be one of the prospects they target.