CB VERNON HARGREAVES III, FLORIDA*

CB #1 Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida*

5’11” – 199 lbs. – 4.40e

Has started for the Gators ever since his true freshman season. Tall with long limbs and a thin build; probably listed above his actual weight and may be asked to add some additional bulk at the pro level, as opponents can overpower him. Lines up on both sides of the field, typically shadowing opposing receivers; will also move into the slot on occasion. Often plays shuffle coverage, whether in zone or man shells; hardly ever backpedals, but exhibited quick footwork and good balance on the few plays in which he was asked to do so. Very natural change-of-direction skills, body control, and flexibility. Has active feet and looks very fast when he plants and drives on the ball; despite the generous cushions he gives opposing receivers (often plays ten yards or more off the line), can often take down targets after just a few yards in the screen game. Generally capable of carrying receivers down the field on fly and post routes with ease; can stick with opponents on the shallow cross. Has soft hands to make the interception and is a threat to score with the ball in his hands. That said, is not exactly a shutdown cornerback; overall positioning leaves something to be desired. Can be a little bit late to react to quick cuts and run himself out of position. Must be more disciplined with his eyes when playing zone coverage; can get caught peeking into the backfield and allow receivers to get behind him. Also struggles to locate the ball in the air down the sidelines on “bucket” throws. Despite his lack of bulk, is a physical player who’s willing in run support; plays off of blocks well, closes quickly on the ballcarrier, and will put his head in and make a tackle. However, tackling technique is lackluster at best; more likely to dive low than to wrap opponents, missing multiple tackles per game and costing his team a lot of yards by whiffing on attempts. Returns punts and will take some snaps on offense. From a purely athletic standpoint, it’s easy to imagine a player with Hargreaves’ blazing speed, quick feet, and loose hips becoming a shutdown cornerback. However, he ends up out of position more often than he should be and will frustrate coaches if his run support doesn’t improve. Playing well off the line and rarely having been asked to line up in press-man coverage, backpedal, or disrupt routes with his hands, he’ll have to show teams a few things in the pre-draft process but remains likely to go within the first ten picks.

Games watched: Alabama (’14), Kentucky (’15), Mississippi (’15), New Mexico St. (’15)

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