Vanderbilt's Hayward drafted by Green Bay in second round

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:30pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward was taken by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.

Hayward, who tied the school record with 15 career interceptions, was selected 62nd overall. It is the highest a Commodore has been taken since the Chicago Bears picked offensive tackle Chris Williams 14th overall in 2008.

“He’s extremely smart,” Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. said. "One thing I really liked about him when I talked to him at the combine, he understood what he was doing. He communicates at a high level on the field. He understands what the offense is trying to do to him at all times.”

Hayward, a native of Perry, Ga., ranked fourth in the nation with seven interceptions in 2011. He also broke up 10 passes and was third on the team in tackles with 62 en route to third team All-American honors.

Green Bay traded its third- and fifth-round picks to move up into the second round and draft Hayward, a three-year starter. The Packers last drafted a Commodore when they took linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer in 2003.

“I think I’m going to bring a lot of instincts and a lot of playmaking ability,” Hayward said. “Green Bay has that with their team.”

Hayward was the first Vanderbilt player taken since the 2010 draft, when cornerback Myron Lewis (Tampa Bay) and offensive tackle Thomas Welch (New England) were both selected.

"He has a complete game," Whitt said. "There were not many holes I really found when I was evaluating.”