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)