CB JUSTIN GILBERT, OKLAHOMA ST.

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6’0” – 200 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 18 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 FF, 1 PD, 2 KR TD
2011: 59 – 1.0 – 0.0, 10 PD, 5 INT, 2 KR TD
2012: 63 – 2.5 – 0.0, 1 FF, 9 PD, 1 KR TD

OVERVIEW:

Was recruited as a quarterback, but functioned as a reserve cornerback and kick returner as a freshman in 2010, then assumed a starting role in 2011, a role he has maintained since. One of the top kick returners in college football.

STRENGTHS:

•    Will graduate with three years of starting experience at a major program.
•    Rebounded, made his senior season unquestionably his best campaign.
•    Tall with long limbs, certainly looks the part of a boundary cornerback.
•    Fast enough to turn and run with any receiver down the sidelines.
•    Quality ball skills, has soft hands and does a nice job high-pointing.
•    Capable of sticking with his man, preventing separation on crosses.
•    Doubles as one of the most dangerous kick returners in college football.
•    Has contributed as a gunner on special teams, could translate to pros.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Has had an inconsistent career, notably struggling throughout 2012.
•    Gets a little bit lazy in his backpedal, ends up too high in more of a jog.
•    Much more natural lining up in press-man coverage than in off-man.
•    Not as instinctive in zone coverage as he is in man, looks tentative.
•    Generally a willing run supporter, but struggles to shed blockers.
•    Bites on some misdirection and double moves, needs to be more patient.
•    How much can his technique be fixed after starting for three years?

SUMMARY:

Gilbert’s pro future remains a bit obscured because he’s got all of the physical tools to be a standout boundary cornerback, but has had a highly inconsistent collegiate career, partially because of his focus and awareness and partially because of his lazy technique at times, especially when backpedaling; because of his extensive starting experience, it’s unclear if those issues can ever be fixed. However, he made his senior season his best, locking down receivers in press-man coverage and displaying impressive ball skills. He won’t amaze anyone with his zone coverage, but should appeal to teams seeking a man-coverage corner and/or dangerous return option. RD 2-3

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