CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

6’0” – 202 lbs. – 4.43

Was a seven-game starter as a freshman, then started nine games the following season before suffering a season-ending kidney injury. Was the team’s starting nickel defender as a junior and a starter outside as a senior. Offers the size and bulk to play on the outside at the pro level, albeit with length which is just average. Played predominantly on the field side of the team’s defense, with both man and zone-coverage responsibilities. Will also come down into the slot on occasion, again working in either man or zone. Can press at the line of scrimmage, backpedal, or work off the ball as a zone defender. Able to match opposing releases at the line of scrimmage. Has a very good feel for route developments, which allows him to plant and drive on spots in time to make plays on the ball; might be a little bit too eager at times and make contact with an opposing receiver too soon. Doesn’t give up much separation downfield or when he’s allowed to work near the sidelines; rarely targeted downfield, with teams primarily testing him over the middle of the field. Tends to trail when defending against shallow crosses; probably more patient and instinctive than he is an explosive or quick-twitch player. Sometimes crashes down on route combinations and lets a defender slip behind him. A technician who plays at one of the few schools which still ask their cornerbacks to backpedal on a consistent basis; also offers solid speed and some explosiveness. Not one of the most physical players at the line of scrimmage, but will use his arms to guide and steer opponents. Good at slipping blocks and defending screens; has a good sense for screen development and attacks blocks well. Willing to get physical in the running back, with wrap tackling technique. Often asked to rush the passer from the slot and did a good job of disguising his intentions pre-snap. Was also a significant special-teams contributor, serving as a gunner on punt units and appearing on kick coverage and kick block units as well. One of the most instinctive, technically-sound defenders in the draft, and who ended up testing better than anticipated at the Combine. Doesn’t always play as big or fast as his pre-draft testing would suggest, but his experience, polish, and versatility should allow him to work his way onto the field sooner rather than later, which should allow him to come off the board within the first two rounds of the draft.

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