Green Bay Packers: 5 Things to Know About Isaac Yiadom

CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 29: Isaac Yiadom #27 of the New York Giants on the field in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 29: Isaac Yiadom #27 of the New York Giants on the field in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

On Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers moved on from Josh Jackson in a cornerback swap with the New York Giants that landed them former third-round pick, Isaac Yiadom.

For a closer look at Yiadom and his game, here are five things to know about the newest member of the Green Bay Packers.

Yiadom was a third-round pick in the 2018 draft by Denver

Seeing that Yiadom was an early-round selection can give the new fan base hope that they are getting a contributor at the bare minimum, but like Jackson, Yiadom has not lived up to his draft stock.

He will now be on his third team in just four seasons, and while Yiadom has appeared in 45 games, only 19 of them have been starts—10 of which came in 2020 with the Giants.

To put it simply, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters last summer before Yiadom was traded that he needs to “improve in all facets.”

"“Just to improve in all facets of the game,” Fangio said via the Mile High Report. “Obviously, job number one of a corner is the ability to cover. We want to see improvement there. Corners have to tackle in this league in the run game. He has to improve there and just overall awareness of what we’re doing on defense and understanding his position and how it relates to what we’re doing.”"

Yiadom is far from a roster lock and will have to likely beat out Kabion Ento for that sixth cornerback spot on the depth chart, which certainly won’t be easy with how well Ento has been playing. The Green Bay Packers had the opportunity to get something in return for Jackson, who they were likely going to cut anyways, and will hope a change of scenery can help Yiadom.

Yiadom posted a RAS score of 6.14

For those unfamiliar with the Relative Athletic Scoring table, it’s a useful tool that takes into account a player’s combine testing and provides us with a score ranging from 0 to 10, with 10 being elite and 5 being average. Each player’s score is based on the position that they play, which is why we see centers and receivers posting the same scores—it’s all relative.

Yiadom’s score of 6.14 is just slightly above average among cornerbacks. He didn’t test particularly well in any one area but did struggle in the vertical jump, on the bench press, and his 20-yard split in the 40-yard dash was below average as well.

His 40 time of 4.52 is only slightly quicker than Jackson’s 4.56, and we saw how that lack of speed was perhaps the root cause of many of Jackson’s issues. Now, that isn’t to say that’s the case for Yiadom, but it’s worth noting.

"“Yiadom lacks the twitch, fluidity, or short-area quickness to react and close on a dime and thus was often susceptible to the double-moves he’d encounter from receivers,” said Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated."

Quarterbacks have been efficient when targeting him

When on the field, once again like Jackson, Yiadom has been a favorite target of opposing quarterbacks. Over his three seasons, he has been targeted 142 times, allowing a catch rate of almost 67 percent and 13.3 yards per catch.

Yiadom has given up nine touchdowns while coming away with only one interception and has forced nine pass breakups with eight penalties, according to PFF ($$).

"As Richard Silva of GMEN HQ told me, “I wouldn’t put him (Yiadom) on an island.”"

For some context, over the same three-year span but with almost 300 fewer snaps, Jackson has allowed a completion rate of nearly 69 percent and 11.3 yards per catch with six touchdowns. Jackson has no career interceptions, 12 pass breakups, and 13 penalties.

"“One of the reasons the Broncos are thought to have soured on Yiadom was that he wasn’t the ideal fit for their complex zone scheme installed under new head coach Vic Fangio,” said Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated. “Yiadom ended up getting burned for big chunks of yardage in coverage within that scheme, his game slowly unraveling.”"

As we all know, this Joe Barry defensive scheme stems from the Vic Fangio system.

Potential special teams help?

We know that upgrading and improving the special teams unit is a high priority for the Green Bay Packers this offseason, and if Yiadom is going to have any chance at making this roster, that’s really where he is going to have to shine.

Yiadom has been on the field for 489 special teams snaps over his career and tallied eight total tackles. By PFF’s grading scale, he has been okay, and that is how Richard would sum up his special teams play as well—nothing spectacular but not a liability either.

"“Being honest, however, I don’t really remember him that much on special teams. Whether that be good or bad, I just don’t recall many plays where I was like “I can’t believe he missed that tackle” or “I can’t believe he made that tackle.” Obviously it’s hard to see everything from the TV broadcast, but from what I saw I would describe him yet again as solid in that phase of the game.”"

Solid against the run

While Yiadom has had his share of issues in coverage, to his credit, he has been a solid run defender at the cornerback position. His overall run defense grade from PFF last season was the 28th best out of 100 eligible cornerbacks.

As Traina points out, Yiadom was the second-best defensive back in run support last season among New York Giants defenders—a part of his game that many have taken notice of since his days at Boston College.

"Traina would add that Yiadom is “physical, aggressive, and has good tackling mechanics (his open-field tackling was one of his top strengths last year).”"