CB Iman Marshall, Southern California

6’1” – 205 lbs.

One of the most experienced secondary prospects in this year’s draft class, being a five-star recruit who’s been starting since his first season with the Trojans. Recorded three interceptions and broke up nine passes as a freshman, then posted three and eight as a sophomore. Didn’t pick off any passes as a junior or senior, but broke up a total of nineteen over that span. Tall and long-limbed, with good bulk for the position. Was asked to play a lot of press-man and off-man coverage at Southern California, typically from the left cornerback spot regardless of whether that was on the short side or the field side. Plays with a temperament that successfully blends conservatism and confidence. Uses his size and length to get physical with opponents at the line of scrimmage, placing his hands well and trying to disrupt releases; surprisingly, ended up being overpowered by opponents during some of the games reviewed despite his impressive size. Relies on that physicality because his fluidity and balance when turning and running with opponents leaves a little bit to be desired. Consequently, saw his fair share of targets down the sidelines. Has a controlled backpedal from off-coverage, exhibiting good balance; foot speed isn’t the fastest, but fundamentals look sound. Demonstrates effective use of hands to stick with opponents at the route stem, although he can be knocked off of his spot by physical opponents more easily than his size would suggest. Good reaction times when he’s able to keep his target in front of him, although his actual ability to plant and drive on the ball is lacking in explosiveness. Effective wrap tackler who does a good job of limiting yards after the catch and who likes to come up and support the run, playing off blocks effectively and putting himself in position to make tackles; defends screens well. A prospect who has some of the physical and mental characteristics teams look for, but who may lack the speed, fluidity, and balance to hold up in man coverage on the outside in the pro level. It’s possible that he would be better-suited to a defense which played more zone coverage, but without his having played that at the college level that requires some imagination. As a result, may end up being more of a third-day pick who will have to begin his career as a reserve.

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