Tagged: Cornerback

CB QUANDRE DIGGS, TEXAS

CB #6 QUANDRE DIGGS, TEXAS

5’10” – 200 lbs. – 4.55e

Started eleven of thirteen games as a freshman, then all thirteen as a sophomore. Started twelve of thirteen games played as a junior, playing primarily in the slot. Experience shows up on tape. Looks a bit shorter than a typical boundary cornerback, with a thick build. Typically plays shuffle or zone coverages; not often asked to press or backpedal. Top-end speed is adequate; was able to turn and run against burners such as Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton. Agile enough to flip his hips, so more press-man coverage could be a possibility. Overall play recognition is sound; understands his responsibilities. Confident, competitive player. Employs a very conservative brand of coverage; gives his opponents generous cushions and permits excessive separation on breaks. When in position, however, exhibits aggressive ball skills, albeit with mediocre hands to secure the interception. Looks comfortable when asked to play off of blocks when defending against screens or outside rushing attempts; not necessarily the stoutest player, but is nonetheless able to effectively position himself and locate the ball. Not afraid to mix it up against ballcarriers, but often forgets his tackling technique and simply dives low. Aggressiveness versus the run carries over into his pass defense, but fortunately does not extend to holding or committing defensive pass interference. Blitzes often, but pressure comes from open lanes to the passer rather than possessing the explosive movement skills necessary to blow by blockers; that said, is effective at batting down passes while rushing from the slot. Also contributed as Texas’ punt returner. An experienced, responsible, and physical cornerback with adequate physical tools, Diggs should be able to contribute to most teams in some capacity, whether as a boundary cornerback in a cover-two scheme or a slot cornerback in a man scheme. Prior exposure to a variety of roles should help him acclimate quickly to the pro game. While his coverage skills aren’t outstanding by any stretch, he should be able to endear himself to defensive coaches which favor conservative shells; playing in the slot in 2013 highlighted some of his strengths and masked some of his flaws. A relatively safe pick given his experience, mental tools, and on-field temperament, but who may lack considerable upside due to his physical limitations and extensive experience playing for a major program.

Games watched: Oklahoma St. (’12), Oregon St. (’12), Texas Tech (’13)

CB CARRINGTON BYNDOM, TEXAS

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6’0” – 180 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 20 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 FF, 1 PD, 1 BK
2011: 54 – 7.0 – 0.0, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 15 PD, 2 INT (1 TD)
2012: 50 – 3.0 – 0.0, 4 PD, 3 INT (1 TD), 2 BK
2013: 55 – 2.0 – 1.0, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 6 PD

OVERVIEW:

Played in all twelve games as a freshman, appearing in six defensively. Started all thirteen games as a sophomore, a role he did not relinquish for the rest of his career. Earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate having started for three of four years played at a major college program.
•    Possesses a tall, long frame with further growth potential; appears suited to the outside.
•    Fast enough to keep pace with opposing receivers on deeper routes down the field.
•    Despite his lack of bulk, is a willing run support who works hard vs. blocks, runners.
•    Adds value on special teams, having blocked three kicks during his college career.
•    Has received a few academic distinctions while in school, intelligent, high-character.

NEGATIVES:

•    Despite having been a three-year starter at Texas, technique is still surprisingly raw.
•    Thin frame, lack of strength mean he’ll need to spend some time adding strength/bulk.
•    Looks a little bit out-of-control when changing directions, not particularly loose/fluid.
•    Gives up a fairly generous cushion in zone or shuffle coverages, susceptible to curls.
•    Also allows far too much separation out of breaks, particularly on inside slants, etc.
•    Doesn’t play up to his height, frequently stays grounded when opponents go vertical.
•    Appears to have trouble locating the ball, more likely to try and disrupt his opponent.
•    Not a very aggressive or physical player, doesn’t seem to have the swagger desirable.

SUMMARY:

At this point, Byndom’s biggest strengths as a player are his height and length, which make him appear well-suited to an outside role at the next level. Combine those tools with above-average speed, willing run support, and intelligence, and his case is even stronger. However, the fact that he’s been starting at Texas for the past three years actually works against him: rather than being considered a developmental cornerback with a few tools to work with, he appears to be a player who has not made significant progress with his technique despite having had considerable opportunities to do so. Combined with the need to add more bulk and more strength in an NFL program, it’s unclear whether or not pro teams will decide to wait for the development of a player who still has a lot of work to do. May not be drafted.

CB MARCUS WILLIAMS, NORTH DAKOTA ST.

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5’11” – 192 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 47 – 1.0 – 0.0, 16 PD, 4 INT (1 TD)
2011: 53 – 1.0 – 0.0, 22 PD, 7 INT (3 TD), 1 KR TD
2012: 39 – 1.0 – 0.0, 11 PD, 7 INT (1 TD), 1 KR TD
2013: 31 – 0.5 – 0.0, 11 PD, 3 INT (2 TD)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then started twelve of fourteen games played in the following season. Started all fifteen games the next year en-route to All-MVFC first-team honors, then earned conference Defensive Player of the Year recognition in 2012 after starting all fourteen games. Played in thirteen games in 2013, earning first-team all-conference honors again.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate having been a highly-productive, decorated four-year starter in college.
•    Overall combination of height, bulk, and length are typical for an NFL boundary corner.
•    Has been asked to play both man and zone coverages, better positioning when in man.
•    Confident player who has often been asked to shadow an opposing number one guy.
•    Fluid and quick enough to stick with receivers on short and intermediate pass patterns.
•    When he’s in position, displays quality ball skills, both in terms of his timing and hands.
•    Dangerous with the ball in his hands, scoring nine touchdowns in the course of his career.
•    Scored two touchdowns on kick returns, offers teams a potential return option early.

NEGATIVES:

•    Will need to adjust to a major upgrade in the level of competition he’s playing against.
•    Gets high in his backpedal, feet are too close, doesn’t keep his weight over his feet.
•    When he does get burned, it’s usually deep; speed on long patterns is only average.
•    A gambler who often ends up creeping toward the line in zone as receivers run by him.
•    Tends to get caught with his eyes in the backfield, needs to keep track of his man.
•    Aggressiveness makes him susceptible to double-moves, tries to jump the routes.
•    Not a consistent tackler, misses lots of tackles in the open field by not breaking down.

SUMMARY:

One of the most productive small-school defenders in this year’s class, Williams enjoyed plenty of success over the past four years, combining the ability to compete with opposing number one receivers in man coverage with quality ball skills, intercepting twenty-one passes, one-third of which were run back for touchdowns. His combination of adequate physical tools and impressive ball skills should earn him interest on the draft’s third day, even if he has some work to do with his backpedal. He must also learn to play with more prudence in zone coverage, as well as when attempting tackles. Often his aggressiveness benefits his opponents more than his own team, whether he loses track of opposing receivers while peeking into the backfield or comes flying in to make a tackle and ends up grasping for air because he didn’t break down.

CB BENÉ BENWIKERE, SAN JOSÉ ST.

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6’0 – 192 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 74 – 1.5 – 0.0, 2 FF, 4 PD, 1 INT
2011: 18 – 0.5 – 0.0, 3 PD, 1 INT
2012: 67 – 7.5 – 0.0, 1 FF, 2 FR (1 TD), 4 PD, 7 INT (1 TD), 1 BK
2013: 55 – 2.0 – 1.0, 1 QBH, 11 PD, 5 INT

OVERVIEW:

Started nine of thirteen games played in 2010, then two of ten in 2011. Earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2012 after starting eight of thirteen games. Started all eleven games played as a senior, missing two due to a concussion.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate having started for three of the four seasons he played at San José St.
•    Has been asked to play both inside and outside, shifting to the slot for sub packages.
•    Possesses a quality combination of height and bulk consistent with boundary corners.
•    Overall speed and change-of-direction ability are adequate for a cornerback prospect.
•    Exhibits a physical on-field temperament which seems conducive to playing in the slot.
•    Willing to come up and support the run or make tackles, remembers wrap technique.
•    Does a nice job of playing off blocks, anchors well and makes tackles away from frame.
•    Ability to bend the edge suggests he could contribute as a blitzer from a slot position.
•    Leaping/ability to high-point the ball helps negate size advantages of taller opponents.
•    Possesses soft hands, the ability to secure interceptions when given the opportunity.
•    Also contributed on special-teams units, including both punt block and punt coverage.

NEGATIVES:

•    Something of a high-risk, high-reward player who gives up his fair share of big catches.
•    Wasn’t asked to do much backpedaling, usually zone/shuffle, gets high in backpedal.
•    Didn’t always match up against an opposing number one receiver, played in slot more.
•    Reacts quickly to breaks but often doesn’t plant and accelerate fast enough to disrupt.
•    Despite quality positioning, often appears a split-second late in making the deflection.
•    Missed time in two seasons, including sustaining a concussion during his senior year.

SUMMARY:

Benwikere seems to have been well-prepared for the next level in college, having worked outside in the Spartans’ base defense while sliding inside to the slot in sub packages; additionally, he has worked on both of the team’s punt units. While Benwikere possesses many of the tools and abilities valued in a pro cornerback, including size, competitiveness, physicality, agility, leaping ability, and soft hands, his successes as a player are tempered by his tendency to give up big plays from time to time. Nonetheless, even when surrendering longer completions, Benwikere generally appears to be in good position to make a play on the ball, with many of the bigger plays which occur against him in coverage representing an impressive individual effort by the opposing wide receiver. An intriguing developmental reserve.

CB CHRIS DAVIS, AUBURN

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5’11” – 200 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 19 – 0.0 – 0.0, 3 PD
2011: 60 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 FF, 4 PD
2012: 46 – 1.5 – 0.0, 3 PD
2013: 74 – 2.5 – 0.0, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 14 PD, 1 PR TD

OVERVIEW:

Played in all fourteen games as a true freshman, then became a starter in 2011, working with the first team in all eleven games he played in. Started seven of nine games played in 2012, then twelve of twelve as a senior in 2013.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate with nearly three years of starting experience for a major SEC program.
•    Combination of height, bulk, and speed are above-average for a cornerback prospect.
•    Also a great leaper, which allows him to cover taller receivers in jump-ball situations.
•    Has been asked to play both man and zone coverages, actually looks better in man.
•    Made some progress as a senior, getting his hands on far more passes than before.
•    When in position to disrupt passes, does a good job with his timing to avoid penalties.
•    Willing to come up and make a hit when the play comes his way, physical if not sound.
•    Confident; appears to recover quickly after he surrenders a completion in coverage.
•    Additional contributions as a punt returner give him a clear-cut role on special teams.

NEGATIVES:

•    Often seems a bit slow to react to breaks, especially susceptible on crossing routes.
•    Didn’t manage to intercept any passes in his career despite starting for three seasons.
•    Gets eyes caught in the backfield in zone coverage, susceptible to play-action passes.
•    Struggles to get off of blocks as a run defender, squandering his effective anchor there.
•    Despite his physicality, will forget his tackling technique at times and dive low to trip.
•    Got hurt in each of the past three seasons, playing style looks like a contributing factor.

SUMMARY:

A three-year SEC starter, Davis appears to have most of the physical attributes teams look for in a cornerback: his height is above average for the position, he possesses a muscular physique, and his movement skills are adequate for the outside. Additionally, his aggressiveness and physicality make him a decent tackler and potential press-man corner candidate. However, his awareness in zone coverage is a bit lacking, which should limit his value to those teams, while he is noticeably better at covering outside the hashes than he is at defending against crossing patterns. He may never develop into a quality starter, but he has some tools to work with, and his previous experience as a punt returner will help him.

CB AARON COLVIN, OKLAHOMA

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6’0” – 192 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 34 – 3.0 – 0.0, 1 FF, 3 PD
2011: 84 – 4.5 – 0.5, 2 FR, 6 PD
2012: 61 – 2.5 – 2.0, 11 PD, 4 INT
2013: 55 – 5.0 – 1.0, 1 FR, 3 PD, 1 INT

OVERVIEW:

Started one game at cornerback over fourteen appearances as a true freshman, also contributing on special teams. Started at strong safety over his twelve games played in 2011, leading the team in tackles. Shifted back to cornerback in 2012, starting all thirteen games and being named to the All-Big 12 First Team, recognition he received again in 2013 despite missing two games due to injury.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate having been a decorated three-year starter at a major college program.
•    Previous starting experience at strong safety in 2011 strengthens conversion possibility.
•    Possesses above-average height for a cornerback prospect, with a muscular physique.
•    Has been asked to backpedal at Oklahoma, looks pretty polished; also played shuffle.
•    Had solid timing and soft hands in 2012, intercepting four passes and deflecting eleven.
•    Capable of taking on blocks in run support, willing tackler with sound fundamentals.
•    Looks strong enough to press receivers at the line, although he didn’t do it too often.
•    Has been asked to blitz from the slot, with decent results; recorded 3.5 sacks in school.

NEGATIVES:

•    Against top competition, would generally play pretty well but get burned a few times.
•    Awareness in zone coverage is unimpressive, lots of miscommunications with safeties.
•    Top-end speed and agility are adequate but has struggled against true deep threats.
•    Physicality downfield may ultimately get flagged for pass interference in today’s NFL.
•    Probably not an effective slot option in the pros, an outside corner or possibly safety.

SUMMARY:

Physically, Aaron Colvin appears well-suited to playing on the outside at the pro level; he complements his size with a well-rounded skillset which includes adequate movement skills, familiarity with different types of coverage, effective timing, and a willingness to support the run; the fact that he also started at strong safety in 2011 will enhance his value for teams seeking a versatile defensive back reserve. However, Colvin’s generally-strong play is often offset by being victimized on important plays a few times over the course of a game; for example, against West Virginia last year, he intercepted a pass and almost got his hands on another, but was burned for three touchdowns deep touchdowns as well. Against Baylor in 2013, miscommunications with his safety resulted in another three touchdowns. That inconsistency makes him a developmental reserve on the outside at this point rather than someone teams can feel comfortable giving a starting role. His struggles in zone coverage will also concern teams which are considering him as a possible safety conversion candidate.

CB RASHAAD REYNOLDS, OREGON ST.

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5’11” – 187 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 14 – 0.0 – 0.0
2011: 68 – 1.0 – 0.0, 8 PD, 1 INT
2012: 75 – 1.5 – 0.0, 1 FF, 13 PD, 3 INT
2013: 61 – 3.5 – 1.0, 2 FF, 2 FR (2 TD), 4 PD, 6 INT

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then played in twelve games as a redshirt freshman, tying for the team lead in special-teams tackles. Started all twelve games as a sophomore in 2011, replacing the injured Brandon Hardin. Appeared in thirteen games as a junior, then did the same this past season, earning second-team all-conference honors.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate with three years of starting experience in a major college conference.
•    Possesses an above-average combination of height, bulk for a cornerback prospect.
•    Impressive mental tools; is a competitive, hard-working player with physical demeanor.
•    Overall backpedal technique looks controlled, if a bit leggy due to his long limbs.
•    Pattern recognition skills regularly put him in position to make a play on the ball.
•    Was able to get his hands on plenty of passes, culminating in a six-pick senior year.
•    Willing run supporter who displays solid wrap tackling fundamentals, decent power.
•    Quality goal-line defender who can prevent both the short slant and the fade route.
•    Does a good job against inside breaking routes in general: slants, posts, crosses, etc.
•    Versatile; has played some man, some zone, and some shuffle-technique in school.
•    Has also contributed as an effective special-teams player, covering kicks and punts.

NEGATIVES:

•    Lacks exceptional acceleration, isn’t one of the most explosive cornerback prospects.
•    Top-end speed is also merely adequate, relies much more on recognition/technique.
•    Can get out-of-control at times, creating too much contact, could cause interference.
•    Gives up a little bit too much separation on quick breaks, especially against curls.
•    In run support, tends to position himself a bit too wide, creating considerable holes.

SUMMARY:

A three-year starter, Reynolds plays with a physical, aggressive temperament, complementing his solid physical attributes with refined technique, impressive pattern-recognition, and quality ball skills. Having been asked to execute various different coverages, he should appeal to a wide range of teams, although he possesses only adequate acceleration and top-end speed, limitations which will be more difficult to mask vs. pro receivers. Possible starting RCB.

CB KEITH McGILL, UTAH

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6’3” – 205 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Cerritos Community College
2011: 12 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 PD (FS)
2012: N/A

OVERVIEW:

Spent his first season at Cerritos Community College before transferring to Utah. Played in five games in 2011, starting one at free safety versus Southern California; missed the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, as well as the following season while recovering from the subsequent surgery. Ended up transitioning from free safety to cornerback in 2013.

POSITIVES:

•    Possesses an outstanding combination of height, bulk, and length for a cornerback.
•    Was a free safety in high school; also played there through his 2011 campaign at Utah.
•    Movement skills are impressive given size, can stick with receivers down the sidelines.
•    Plays both man and zone coverage at Utah, could possibly do a bit of both in the pros.
•    Backpedal actually looks pretty good despite playing free safety until rather recently.
•    Decent tackler, generally limits a receiver’s yards-after-catch to a modest amount.
•    Works as a jammer on punts, although he may not be good enough to do it in the NFL.
•    Has also been asked to cover kicks, although gap responsibility has been inconsistent.
•    Managed to stay healthy throughout his senior year, earning some recognition for play.

NEGATIVES:

•    Hasn’t been on the field too much due to what was evidently a serious shoulder injury.
•    Long-limbed but isn’t able to effectively press receivers, whiffs far too often on jams.
•    Not targeted excessively, but allows a fairly high rate of completions when tested.
•    Even with tight coverage, doesn’t display consistent timing to make plays on the ball.
•    Is susceptible to quicker breaks, tends to give up too much separation on curls, etc.
•    Doesn’t have much of a presence in run defense, tends to defer to other players in area.
•    A bit older than your typical rookie, will be twenty-five by the time of the NFL Draft.

SUMMARY:

McGill, a four-star safety recruit, never quite had the college career he was anticipated to, suffering a shoulder injury which ended up sidelining him for most of 2011 and all of 2012, effectively limiting him to just over one season of playing experience, which ended up coming at cornerback rather than safety. A tall, long-limbed, and athletic defensive back, McGill’s physical tools could interest teams at either position he’s played, although he is not an outstanding cover man or run defender. Should he check out medically, teams seeking a developmental reserve with some upside may target him late, although he is a bit older than a typical prospect. His medical evaluation will also be important.

CB STANLEY JEAN-BAPTISTE, NEBRASKA

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6’3” – 220 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt (Fort Scott C.C.)
2010: N/A
2011: 9 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 PD, 1 INT
2012: 24 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 QBH, 9 PD, 2 INT (1 TD)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009 at Fort Scott Community College before transferring to Nebraska as a wide receiver, where he did not play as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Converted to safety during the 2011 season, appearing in nine games and starting one. Started in five of the fourteen games he appeared in as a junior in 2012. Started, earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors in 2013.

POSITIVES:

•    Massive for a cornerback prospect, would be one of the biggest in the entire league.
•    Enjoyed a productive season in what was really only his second full season at corner.
•    Manages to get his hands on quite a few passes, often works himself into the in-phase.
•    Runs better than expected given his size, fairly smooth with adequate top-end speed.
•    Has been asked to play both man and zone coverages during his time at Nebraska.
•    Combination of size and length make him pretty effective at taking on/shedding blocks.
•    May be someone who teams consider as having the potential to cover tight ends.
•    Potential appears considerable given early success, lack of experience at position.

NEGATIVES:

•    Will be entering the draft with less than two years of starting experience under his belt.
•    Not a consistent tackler, tends to swipe and comes away empty-handed too much.
•    Missed tackles may cause teams to shy away from him as a potential safety convert.
•    May have some trouble defending smaller, quicker receivers at the professional level.
•    As a cornerback, would be restricted to the outside, not someone to play in the slot.
•    More of a smooth accelerator than an explosive guy, also lacks great recovery speed.
•    When he’s beat, he tends to be beat deep due to speed or by sitting on shorter routes.

SUMMARY:

Jean-Baptiste hasn’t spent much time at cornerback, having converted there early in the 2011 season, but what progress he has made thus far suggests that he may be able to remain on the outside at the pro level, or at least warrants allowing more time to develop there. He moves better than anticipated given his size, although he tends to be beat deep too often, whether because of his lack of ideal speed or because he sits on shorter routes; however, when he is in position to make a play, he displays solid ball skills. Jean-Baptiste’s tackling is another area of his game which will require work, as he comes up short too often for a big corner.

CB VICTOR HAMPTON, SOUTH CAROLINA*

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5’10” – 202 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Redshirt
2011: 14 – 0.0 – 0.0, 3 PD, 1 INT
2012: 40 – 3.0 – 1.0, 6 PD, 1 INT

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2010, then was briefly dismissed from the team in 2011 before working his way onto the field as a part-time kick returner and reserve cornerback. Started twelve of thirteen games in 2012, with the lone non-start coming as a result of South Carolina’s goal-line formation. Won the team’s “Everyday Attitude and Hustle Award” in 2012 and 2013.

POSITIVES:

•    Overall height and speed are adequate for the position, with a muscular build.
•    Started for the Gamecocks for two years, with escalating production in each.
•    Plays with a certain swagger; exhibits a physical, aggressive on-field temperament.
•    Confident player with a short memory, recovers well after allowing a completion.
•    Has been asked to play man coverage, zone coverage, and shuffle technique.
•    Pattern-recognition skills are good, remembers routes from earlier in the game.
•    Willing run defender who remembers to wrap up rather than going for the big hit.
•    Does a good job of shedding blocks from receivers on screens and running plays.
•    Strength and physicality allows him to play against taller receivers despite height.
•    Typically plays cornerback but has also lined up as more of a safety on occasion.
•    Rebounded from previous character concerns to receive recognition from coaches.

NEGATIVES:

•    Attended four different high schools, was dismissed from the Gamecocks in 2011.
•    Reportedly has had academic problems which may have contributed to dismissal.
•    Has decent ball skills but doesn’t actually come down with too many interceptions.
•    A little bit more instinctive in man coverage than he is in zone, takes some false steps.
•    Tends to defend the sidelines, can be susceptible to slants and crossing patterns.
•    Benefited from playing on a team with an excellent group of pass rushers on the line.
•    Considered something of a freelancer who could play with more consistent discipline.

SUMMARY:

Hampton is somewhat difficult to analyze because, while he possesses adequate physical tools for a starting cornerback and seems to check out mentally in terms of his confidence, physicality, pattern-recognition, and ability to recover from mistakes, there are also some aspects of his past which will require further investigation. However, based exclusively on his film, he has the look for a potential starter, most likely as a team’s second option, who can do a little bit of everything on the field and doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game.