Scouting Report written by: Eric Stoner
A lockdown corner who started on opening day as a true freshman for a National Championship team. One of the premier defensive players in this draft, his stock remains somewhat of an enigma, as he has had multiple transgressions with the law and was forced to transfer from Florida to North Alabama for his senior season. A cocky and aggressive cover corner. By his junior year, he was shadowing and shutting down premier SEC wideouts like AJ Green, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffrey, and Denarius Moore. A better and more talented cornerback prospect than former teammate Joe Haden, who went 5th overall in the 2010 draft. Has the potential to be a shutdown corner in the NFL.
Incredible speed while changing direction – stays so low in and out of cuts his body gets parallel to the ground. Changes directions and jumps routes in the blink of an eye. Plays receivers with a quarterback’s anticipation, jumping routes and getting to the wide receiver’s “spot” as the receiver is still coming out of his route. Stays low in his backpedal and clicks and closes with excellent quickness. Aggressive in press coverage, showing the ability to hold up bigger receivers at the line of scrimmage, as well as a quick jab and bail. Shadowed premier receivers and lined up at every corner position on the field. Blitzes and plays the run aggressively from nickel (came up aggressively and solo tackled Trent Richardson in run support from the nickel spot). A willing tackler capable of wrapping up men much larger than him. Excelled running a variety of both man and zone coverage at Florida. Returned 3 punts for touchdowns on only 18 returns as a Gator.
Can get over-aggressive competing for position, looking for the ball a split-second too late in man coverage. Could fight through blocks better on receiver screens, but his effort is good and he plays them aggressively. Is not very big, but size has not been a limitation for him up to this point.