CB Martin Emerson, Mississippi St.*

6’2” – 200 lbs.

Background:

Started five of thirteen games as a true freshman, picking up 31 tackles and adding one pick and one breakup. Racked up a whopping 72 tackles and eleven breakups as a sophomore starter, then added 49 tackles and three breakups this past season before declaring.

Positives:

Has over two seasons of starting experience for a major program, as well as ideal size and length for a boundary corner. Plays both man and zone, as well as some different techniques, but is usually in off coverage. A mentally and technically sound defender whose experience comes through on tape; teams really respected him during the games reviewed, rarely looking his way. Snap-to-snap consistency looks good. Backpedal balance and footwork look nice and clean, and was asked to backpedal more often than most other college corners. Gets good depth to keep the play in front of him. Recognizes routes well and reacts quickly from off coverage; clean transitions from backpedal to drive. Does a nice job of using his hands to feel routes developing or to stay in the hip pocket across the field. Uses his length well to pin receivers to the sideline. Flashed the ability to time and deliver hits to force incompletions. Limits yards after catch by making quick tackles after the catch. Plays off of blocks well in the run game and is a very physical tackler.

Negatives:

Not one of the most explosive athletes at the position in this year’s class; burst when planting and driving is just average, as is recovery speed, creating some situations where he was forced to make a quick tackle instead of breaking up a throw. Jameson Williams ran by him easily for a long touchdown this season. Given his size, would have liked to see him doing more press/bump-and-run to get a better feel for how he would handle those, and for how well he matches releases at the line, but looked pretty comfortable over limited snaps during the games reviewed. Can be a little bit grabby at the stem from time to time. Just one career interception, although he doesn’t look like he was targeted too much.

Summary:

A very impressive prospect, combining excellent size, length, physicality, and discipline with polished technique and advanced route recognition skills; was rarely out of position during the games reviewed, limiting big plays and only being targeted a few times a game. Lack of elite speed, quickness, and burst might relegate him to the second day, but looks like he might be ready to step into a starting role sooner rather than later, especially in a defense which calls for a conservative approach.

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