6’2” – 205 lbs. – 4.47
Played sparingly as a freshman, then rotated into the defense more frequently as a sophomore, intercepting one pass and returning it for a touchdown. Has been a starter over the past two years, during which time he’s intercepted another seven balls and broken up a combined eighteen throws. Tall, well-built cornerback who takes snaps both press-man and off coverage (shuffle and zone); as is common with bigger players at the position, tended to line up on the short side of the field. Backpedaling is mostly a lost art at the college level by now, but it’s still an important part of playing cornerback at Penn St.; has pretty form, with good balance and fast, clean footwork to get depth. Was even asked to backpedal out of press looks, which is even rarer. Has pretty good hips to turn and run with receivers, and is able to use his length to create disruption at the stem or when targeted down the sidelines; capable of pinning receivers to the boundary and getting his head around to locate and make plays on the ball. Does tend to rely on his physicality to prevent targets, as teams were able to complete passes in his direction when their receivers got a good release, or on timing-based throws. Handles route combinations well when working in zones against formations with multiple receivers to the short side. Very impressive burst when planting and driving on a spot, allowing him to diagnose from off-coverage, break on a spot, and bat down passes or make quick tackles after the catch; almost no lag between mental processing and driving. Would like to see that burst carry over into the run game a little bit, where he tends to wait for running backs to come to him instead of functioning as the hammer. However, doesn’t shy away from contact, attacking blocks and using his length both to keep receivers out of his pads and to make tackles on ballcarriers. When presented with a formation which does not feature any receivers on his side of the field, typically shuffles out into zone coverage toward the boundary but will occasionally rush the passer as well. One of the more physically, mentally, and technically advanced cornerbacks in this year’s draft class; tested very well at the Combine and could be ready to contribute sooner than many of those players. Consequently, looks like a solid bet to be off the board on the second day.