Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner: Breaking Down Mid Round Defensive Backs
Mr.GM. Looks like we have hit the end of our pre-draft series this year. We are ending on the ever more crucial cornerback position. Michael Jackson said it best, “don’t stop till you get enough.” With more and more defensive snaps being played out of base personnel we know that corners who can play are in high demand. This year’s draft has a good amount of depth. Let’s take a look at the guys on the board that can make a difference.
Oregon 6’1 196 pounds. Jevon should walk into the league and be a day one starter. He is an absolute ballhawk, with 20 plus picks and PBU’s in his two years playing at Oregon. Javon is a greatly improved tackler, and his size will allow him to play all over the field. We have seen him get beat by double moves and fakes, his decision-making will need work. He opted out of last season so it has been a while since we’ve seen him. His ceiling in the NFL will depend on how disciplined he can be without limiting his instincts.
UCF 6’1 193 pounds. Aaron is a bit of a tweener, he may be too slight to line up in the slot at the next level. Quick to diagnose routes, he has great burst and is quick to the point of attack. Love the strong run defense grade he saw this last year. I for one will be interested to see if a team moves him to a box safety type role at the next level. He’s a little slow turning around and getting ahead of the vert routes that are getting more and more popular out of the slot.
Kentucky 6’1 192 pounds. If we had seen Kelvin continue to play at a high-level longer he could have gone top ten. He missed 2019 after a transfer from LSU. He possesses the tools needed to play with the best of them at the next level. His hips are oily, he switches directions in a way you can’t teach. He is a strong tackler that moves downhill to the point of attack. The Eli Apple comp on PFF is uncanny, they look eerily similar versus Eli’s OSU tape. The T step he used on the pick-six against Tennessee was incredible and pure instinct. That being said, he relies on his reflexes, he will need to work on his anticipation at the next level. If he can keep his nose clean in the league he will be there a long time.
Syracuse 6’3 213 pounds. Has the tools to be SPECIAL. His pairing of size and speed are as rare as a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. Great transitions, and the ability to switch directions with ease. Has shown great ability to defend the deep ball, constantly challenges at the catch point with his wingspan. Just a rare athlete at this position. He doesn’t play to his size, needs to be more physical. IF (and it is a big IF) a coach can get him to dig deep and challenge in press coverage he has a chance to have an exceptional career.
Alright, Mr.GM, it’s been great working with you through the deeper prospects this year. I wish you and the team the best. I trust that you and the prospects listed here all have a bright future.