There were 27 defensive players selected in April’s draft before the Packers made cornerback Casey Hayward the 62nd overall pick, but those in charge of selecting the league’s defensive rookie of the month decided that none of them had a better October.
Hayward recorded four interceptions in the first three games the Packers played during October, including two in the 42-24 victory over the Texans. He’s the first Packers rookie with four picks in a three-game span since Tom Flynn in 1984 and the four picks are the most by any rookie so far this season. Hayward didn’t have a pick in the Week Eight win over the Jaguars, but he did record eight tackles to help the Pack to their third straight victory.
Last year’s Packers team was undone in large part by the play of their pass defense. Selecting Hayward was part of the team’s approach to turning around that performance and the results have been fairly good up to this point. He’s the third Packer to win the award and the first since Nick Barnett in 2003.
Buccaneers safety Mark Barron, Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon and Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who won the award in September, were also nominated for the October honors.