I Said last week that DJ Hayden was a player to watch heading into week 1, now I feel that it is the other corner vying for the starting slot position that we should be keeping an eye on. If you had asked me heading into camp who I thought would be starting at the nickel spot, I would have, and have said, that it would be Carrie. However, through the end of training camp it seems that Hayden has been the one that is in place to start come the season opener.
Carrie is coming off of two seasons in which his playing time increased week by week. He has started at both corner spots, slot and safety, while also fielding punts for the special teams unit. For a former seventh-round draft pick, that is certainly a lot to digest for your first few years in the NFL.
But to be frank, that is the life for late round draft picks. He has gotten this far fighting his way through various obstacles at this stage in his career, and this position battle with Hayden should be no different. He should get plenty of opportunities to go against Packers No. 3 WR Devante Adams, and a solid outing against him would be a great start in gaining some traction in his competition with Hayden.
In any case, if Carrie finally does get to focus on playing only one position, then that will provide a true level of comfort that he did not have last season. Carrie has the skills, and a proven track record of being able to handle the nickel position, while Hayden’s unproven resume alone leaves the door open for Carrie to grab ahold of that starting reins.