Casey Hayward played at Vanderbilt, where he got plenty of opportunities to shine on the defensive side of the ball, since he played in the SEC. Hayward proved that he could run with the big dogs primary receiver week in and week out of his time with the Commodores. During his senior season at Vandy in 2011, Casey recorded 62 tackles and 7 picks, pushing his career total to 14 interceptions at the school. A very instinctive player, he reads and diagnoses plays quickly, and has a good jam off the line of scrimmage for physical receivers. Hayward is good in coverage, and not afraid to lay down a hit. His strength lies in man to man coverage, but Casey needs to refine his reaction technique and timing in zone coverage.
After running a 4.53 40, the Packers nabbed Hayward in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL draft. It was an impressive debut for Casey last year as he nabbed 6 interceptions, defended 21 passes, forced a fumble, and recorded 40 tackles for the Pack all while platooning cornerback with Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. He earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors in October 2012, and was named to the All-Rookie team after the season. Casey finished the year 3rd in voting for NFL Rookie of the Year honors.