CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson*

6’0” – 200 lbs.

Background:

Played sparingly as a true freshman, then started four games of eleven games played the following season, finishing with 27 tackles, two interceptions, and four breakups. Was a full-time starter this past year over eleven games, picking up 37 tackles, three interceptions, and five breakups.

Positives:

Developmental trajectory is favorable, having put himself on the map this past season as a first-year starter. Overall size and length are in line with pro requirements. Lined up in different techniques, including zone, off-man, shuffle, and, less frequently, press-man. Plays on both sides of the defense, not being a strictly field-side or short-side corner. Teams really respected and avoided him. Glides through his shuffle to get appropriate depth. Does a nice job of keeping things in front of him for teams which prefer a safer approach; reads routes very well for essentially a first-year starter. Has the speed to carry receivers deep, and looks fast when driving on a spot. Uses hands to feel routes in man. Located well with his back turned during the games reviewed (limited snaps). Confident and aggressive ball skills. Overall toughness looks very good. Willing to come up and take on blocks to support the run or defend against screens; good feel for when things are developing underneath. Able to sling down ballcarriers in the open field.

Negatives:

Wasn’t really asked to get physical at the line or play much press-man during the games reviewed; might require some imagination for teams that look to mix things up more aggressively. Didn’t squeeze underneath routes much. Was typically giving a bigger cushion, so it was difficult to get a feel for how well he can get his head around and locate (small sample size). Didn’t get to see him doing much backpedaling; looked clean at times, but with some gather on other snaps. Can be a little bit leggy and flat-footed at times, with a wider base than usual. Had a few awkward transitions in which he lost balance during the games reviewed; might find it harder to stick with smaller, quicker receivers. Missed pass-off cost Clemson a touchdown vs. NC St. Would like to see him get his body into tackles more consistently.

Summary:

One of the harder evaluations in this class, largely because of what he was (and wasn’t) asked to do in college. Comes with the sort of length, speed, confidence, toughness, and ball skills teams look for in a starting cornerback, but was often playing so far off receivers that it’s hard to get a feel for how twitchy he is, and there were a few clunky transitions during the games reviewed. Nonetheless, looks likely to come off the board in the first round, potentially as high as the top-ten.

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