2014 NFL Draft – Prospects scouting – CB


 

Name Position College Experience Height Weight General Projection My Broncos Grade General scouting notes My Broncos scouting perspective
Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State Sr 5’11” 197 1st 1st Looks smaller than what he is. Plays very well the run and although I saw more snap played in zone defense he has all the trait of the cover corner: speed, agility and acceleration. He’s glued to the receiver when in man coverage. Now He needs to make a better job at tackling and being a quite thin CB is never a good thing for NFL perspective. This is the reason why he would need to develop his body and adjust his speed to his new weight and the NFL too. He’s aggressive corner and with some more pounds and hard work on tackling angles, he has the mindset to succeed in the Pros. His tackling problem, due because of bad angles and size will just grow bigger as a rookie in the NFL. Is it wise to use a 1st round pick on a CB that you don’t plan to use for one year? I don’t know; in Dennard case is not worth, for the Broncos to trade up to get him, but if he’d slide to 31st? Maybe yes because he will be terrific after the steep curve. I like a lot this player I just think that he will have a lot of trouble in the NFL if he cannot get bigger because of his aggressive style of play, that is actually exactly what the Broncos are looking for.
Bradley Roby CB Ohio State rJr 5’11” 194 1st – 2nd 1st Looks smaller than what he measures. Has great speed and acceleration and tackles well. As well as the rest of this corner class looks to be a little undersized for the power and strength of the NFL. Still he’s very aggressive and plays the run very well. Played in a lot of zone scheme and some man to man too. He’s really good and IMO he’s there in the top tier of CB for this draft. If Denver pulls the trigger on him at 31st, I understand, it won’t be a trendy pick but he’s a really good player that will anyhow have a steep curve to learn in his first year as a pro but he has all the tools to be outstanding on Denver scheme.
Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech Sr 6’0” 190 1st – 2nd 1st He takes really good tackling angles and plays really aggressive. Will need to add weight and muscles. He has a lot of speed and just little less acceleration than the two top prospects. He could contribute some in his rookie season and could develop in a really good number 2 at least in the right situation where he is not forced to be the starter from day one. He’s the kind of corner Denver would look for, an aggressive player that has the speed and agility to play man to man and has great tackling technique. He has all what Denver look for, Still he won’t be a starter for Denver, thought he’ll contribute and this is his best case scenario to develop and be a really successful NFL player.
Marcus Roberson CB Florida Jr 6’0” 195 2nd 2nd Good solid player that play really physical and is not afraid to stop the ball carrier. Sometimes he overruns the play but all in all he’s really instinctive and looks to be a good cover corner. Lacks, anyhow, elite speed but has quickness that allows him to change direction well. An interesting player for the Broncos that could eventually be still there at the end of the second round because the lack of elite speed. He’s ply the kind of play Del Rio wants, man coverage and physicality.
Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State Sr 5’8” 184 2nd 3rd Smaller type of CB that played mixed zone man coverage in 2013 mainly on the slot WR. He plays physical and is really aggressive. He’s a playmaker and causes a lot of turnover, always knowing where the ball is because his knowledge of the game. Does not have elite speed but run smoothly and can turn the corner and change direction quickly. I like a lot what I see in his videos only his size concern me together with the fact that I didn’t see him playing outside that much. His ability to cover the slot receiver is really interesting and being a turnover machine will help him a lot on draft day but personnel wise I would like the Broncos having a 3rd round grade on him, Webster could play the nickel and Carter too, the Broncos look deep there meanwhile I guess is more the case to find a cover corner to develop for a year or two.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska Sr 6’2” 220 2nd – 3rd 3rd – 4th Stout against the run, quite fluid in his movement has great size and cover really well in the short mod throw range. Will have Trouble covering deep in the NFL because at least in his videos, does not showcase the speed and acceleration to stay with NFL fast deep threat WRs. Has to get a better tackling technique, he relied a bit on his size in college. Again a big and athletic CB that lack the elite speed to be able to cover speedy NFL WRs. He could be a great pick for the Broncos because he could end up the best option to cover Tight Ends.
Jaylen Watkins CB – FS Florida Sr 6’0” 194 3rd 3rd – 4th He’s more a FS than a pure CB. He has great awareness and great anticipation. He’s quick at the point of attack and makes the best out of hit, being able to deliver some serious hits. Still has to get better tackling technique, use too much the shoulder to help himself. Lack elite game speed and looks smaller than his measurement. Will need to adapt to the speed and the power of the NFL, after one year of development he could battle Moore for the starting position at FS. I believe the Broncos will go after a potentially good FS in the draft and Watkins has the potential to become a great ball hawk in the deep backfield.
Louchiez Purifoy CB Florida Jr 6’0” 190 3rd – 4th 4th Lack top speed. Run smoothly has sense for the ball. Looks smaller than his measurement. Has some cover skills but could struggle with NFL top speed. Have to be more patient and tackle with better angles. This is a prospect that has some man to man cover skills but I guess could translate better to a zone scheme defense. Still in Denver scheme he could be a really good nickel CB if he’d be able to bulk up and face TEs.
E.J. Gaines CB Missouri Sr 5’10” 190 4th 4th Has a good size for a CB, does not has top speed but plays really smart and makes a lot of big plays. Does not look overly athletic but is always able to stay with his assignment and can cover deep fast WR. Really intelligent player that knows where to position himself to make a play in the passing game. In the running game is not the most aggressive defender but here too at least is occupying lanes and tackling well the ball carrier. I guess the Broncos are looking for more aggressive CB to draft in the first 3 rounds. If he’d be more aggressive there I certainly would like the Broncos to draft him in the second day of the Draft, I think he could develop in a really good cover corner, by studying and getting used to the speed, anyhow he lacks top speed and aggressiveness in the running game.
Victor Hampton CB South Carolina rJr 5’10” 202 3rd – 4th 4th Interesting smaller cover corner that has game speed and a lot of acceleration. He run really smoothly and can be glued to his man. Makes up to his lack of ideal size with an elite athleticism. Could and will have problem with bigger WR but will provide at least really good depth. Plays aggressive the run. UPDATE: Got in some law problem on Easter week. If confirmed he’ll slide a lot in this deep draft. I like what I see in his videos, I think he’s a thicker and more aggressive version of very own Denver CB Tony Carter and could be really on Denver radar in the third day of the Draft. UPDATE: if the law problem are confirmed, I bet the Broncos will erase his name from the board, if you cannot get out of trouble 3 weeks out of the biggest employment moment of your life, knowing that it’s coming, you’re just not accountable
Antone Exum CB Virginia Tech rSr 6’0” 213 5th – 6th 4th Boy my boy. He has history of injuries the past year, probably a bad knee. Still in 2012 he was dominant at times, he has the quickness and seed to cover Watkins and has really good strength and power. Needs to do a better job in open field tackling but has the looks to be a very effective man to man corner if he can get back at the player he was prior his baseball injury. He could be really worth a deep look and thought come the end of 4th or also the 5th. How much risk he carries with him? The Broncos doctors could become crucial here because previous to his injury he had all the traits of the good cover corner.
Keith McGill CB Utah rSr 6’3” 211 2nd – 3rd 4th – 5th Has a great size for a DB and exceptional speed for his size. Still he could face problems with big and superfast NFL WR, because although fluid in the run and quite quick in changing directions he has still more problems that some of the less tall guys. Still do a heck of a job covering WRs deep. Will have to get a little bit better in his tackle angles. An interesting prospect that has tremendous size and very good cover skills. I would have wanted to see more aggressiveness and be more overwhelming in the running game.
Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood rSr 6’1” 198 3rd 4th – 5th Looks fast and stout in his video, has really good awareness and uses good tackling angles. Has big size and he’s really athletic, being really fluid in his movements. Looks not afraid to use his body in the running game. He played for a small college and didn’t play against top competition in a real football matches. He did a great job in the E/W Shrine and at the Senior Bowl. Somehow I was expecting more weight lifting from a 6’1” almost 200 lbs. CB and 11 is a little bit underwhelming IMO. Still the Broncos will be in the market to add CBs in the Draft and during CFA. I’m not so high on Desir, for the reason I explained, a late 4th round for a developmental player.
Nevin Lawson CB Utah State Sr 5’10” 190 4th 4th – 5th Little bit undersized but aggressive and with man cover skills. Lack elite speed but read really good the play and stay with his assignment. Will need to bulk up, likes to hit the opponent and has nose for big plays. His size lower his ranking, he is a good football player that always play with high motor. Lacks elite measurement and elite speed but does have good quickness and looks explosive especially against the run. The Broncos could use him as depth for a couple of years and see then if he has enough instinct to become a good number 2 CB.
Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson rJr 5’11” 197 2nd – 3rd 5th Big corner that could also adapt to play S because of his size. Has really good speed for his size but could and should play more physical. Has good fluidity and is quick in changing direction. Has to do a better job with his tackles angles in open fields. I think he’ll drop a bit in the draft because of his time in the 40 yards dash, an unimpressive combine time in 4.62 followed by more of the same 4.57 at his pro – day. I think he has a lot of potential but he looks inconsistent in some plays. Because of his speed and inconsistency I think the Broncos could target him only in the 5th round.
Phillip Gaines CB Rice rSr 6’0” 185 2nd 5th I understand the 40 yard dash speed, but game speed is different. He is not a prototypical cover corner and I think in the NFL he’d be better suited for playing zone scheme. He lacks elite fluidity in movements and when turning the corner. Play physical and is able to deliver big hits to receiver but I didn’t watch enough of him against the run. Make great plays but most of them looks to be great safe, where he’s little late and with great athleticism he’s able to break up passes, anyhow this ability will be matched u a lot in the NFL by WRs athleticism. Needs to become a student of the game and understand where to position himself to make plays. What I like most on him is the physicality. He could be developed and could take example from Harris and become a reliable all around CB. He lacks quickness and fluidity to be a stellar man to men corner.
Ricardo Allen CB Purdue Sr 5’9” 187 4th 5th – 6th He plays aggressive against the run and is not afraid to hit ball carrier or WR. Does not have elite athleticism, has really good awareness, is not the most explosive CB in the draft but is really fluid while running and dropping in coverage, lack elite speed. A smaller CB that plays really aggressive and is not afraid of contact and likes to hit. He’s still undersized at 5’9” but definitely plays bigger that his measurement. Need to learn to position himself better on the field to make up to some of the size issue and use his aggressiveness in full advantage.
Dexter McDougle CB Maryland rSr 5’10” 196 CFA 6th Injured shoulder at the beginning of 2013. He’s an energetic player that has speed and fluidity to cover man to man in the NFL. Has great quickness and looks to have good tackling technique. A little bit undersized still play physically and help in run support. Has experience as kick returner To me he’s underrated, I understand there is the injury concern and he didn’t play football almost at all in 2013 but even if I find few minutes of football of his in internet, he looks quite good, actually better than many other prospects that professional analyst list ahead of him. From a Broncos point of view he could provide good depth at corner meanwhile he could also compete for the returning gig. It makes a lot of sense because the way he plays, with energy and being fearless in tackling, is exactly what the Broncos have decided to have this offseason.
Chris Davis CB – ST Auburn Sr 5’10” 202 4th 6th – 7th Not enough videos on him as DB but quite some as punt and kick returner. The Broncos are for sure looking for a new ST returner since they let go Holliday. Davis is one of them. He has really good vision and run really fluid through holes. He has some ball fielding problems that scare me.
Deion Belue CB – ST Alabama Sr 5’11” 182 5th 6th – 7th Needs to bulk up to be ready to play in the NFL. Has good cover skills and is fluid while running. Has played well in his two years at Alabama after transferring from JUCO College where he also was a star in the returning game. He has some speed, though not elite and is usually using good tackling angles. What interest me most in him is his potential at special team returns and being a capable backup at cover corner. I don’t think he has great potential, as the most of the player coming out Alabama, but he could be a reliable backup cover corner (he does not have elite athleticism and speed).
Ross Cockrell CB Duke rSr 6’0” 191 4th – 5th 7th He has some speed and some toughness. Athletic skills are off the roof. He really need to get better positioning himself to make the play and come out with something more than a broke u pass at times. Has not elite quickness but has really good acceleration and awareness. I think he should also bulk up and he’s better suited, because of lack of visible lateral movements, to play in the zone scheme. Anyhow in the 7th round he would be really a great bargain and a layer to develop to see if he could become a good nº 2.
Marcus Williams CB North Dakota State rSr 5’11” 196 7th – CFA 7th – CFA He competed against lower level of competition in college but did a lot a plays. The level of competition will lower down his stock but he looks to have the tools to surprise. Cover corner that have enough quickness, though not elite and speed to stay with fast receivers. Likes to hit hard and to support the running game Another late pick or big CFA signing that the Broncos should think about and develop maybe for a couple of years while he’s playing ST.
Terrance Mitchell CB Oregon rJr 5’11” 192 6th CFA More of a zone guy that has great awareness and can create turnovers. He does not look to have elite speed and either looks to have elite agility. Still plays really well and could become a really good nickel or dime corner in the NFL. His lack of speed is a concern for a defense like the Broncos that plays man coverage and wants to have speed. He has the physicality that Denver is looking to upgrade and could become a good nickel for the Broncos, but will need time to adapt to the NFL speed.
Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma Sr 6’0” 192 7th CFA He sadly injured his knee on senior bowl. He’s recovering and should run in these days (20 – 27 April). Still need to do a far better job against the run and his tackling angles are quite atrocious at times. Has really good fluidity and uses to cover well in the short and mid-range throws, could have problems with fast receivers and deep balls. Looks stout and has really good size for a CB together with great awareness. He has to develop his game a lot but has potential to be a good NFL player if he works hard. Would have to play ST for a couple of years behind good and experienced DB. This is the reason I think he could be a nice CFA addition for the Broncos.
Rashaad Reynolds CB Oregon State rSr 5’10” 189 3rd – 4th CFA Played opposite to Jordan Poyer in 2012 and show sing of quickness and fluidity while covering man to man but also serious problem on tackling on open field and with strength. Improved in 2013 his tackling technique but still looks to be undersized, even he shouldn’t be. He did a good job in the zone scheme, always be positioned well, does not have the game speed to stay with outside receivers. I think Denver need help at CB and should look for it everywhere. I think Reynolds does not fit Denver scheme and could provide, provided the time a secure backup role due to his ability to stay with his assignment and his awareness.
Bene Benwikere CB San Jose State Sr 5’11” 195 7th – CFA CFA He has concussion history. Aside that he looks to be a solid corner really good in run support that has better game speed than his 40 yard dashes indicate. He is fluid running and plays bigger than his measurements. An Interesting prospect that has concussion history. Could be dangerous for him to keep on playing and teams will shy away because of that. If the Broncos considers him in their board they will anyhow have him lower than what his skills alone would bring him. He could be a really nice gem as priority FA.
Carrington Byndom CB Texas Sr 5’11” 180 7th – CFA CFA Has really good quickness and acceleration, lacks weight and strength. It’s a big question mark for him because he was pushed around too much in college and could really get worse in the NFL. This said, if he can gain strength he has the tools to develop in a nice cover corner. He could be another CB gem late in the draft if only he could bulk up without losing the speed and the quickness.
Andre Hal CB – ST Vanderbilt Sr 5’10” 188 6th – 7th CFA Has some quickness, like to hit hard and has some speed, thought I didn’t see elite agility. Has returning skills as kick returner. The Broncos could most probably be interested in his returning skills and his nastiness.
Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame Sr 6’0” 195 7th CFA Has to get better in run support, lack elite quickness at the snap. Has really good game speed and plays aggressive in coverage. Could be more fluid. A good corner that has some tackling issue in run support. Does a really good job in coverage and the Broncos could be interested to bring him in for depth and try to teach him to play more confident in run support.
Brandon Dixon CB Northwest Missouri State Sr 6’0” 203 7th – CFA CFA Not enough videos on him playing just DB drills Has good size and looks good in drills. The level of competition could be a concern. Worth a training camp call for a full evaluation, could surprise.
Charles Sawyer CB Ole Miss rSr 5’10” 178 7th – CFA CFA Versatile DB that can play CB or also S. Struggled with back injuries in 2013. In 2012 has really good tape. Has great coverage skills and can play man cover at CB. Has great athletic skill with which makes up to be a little undersized. Fearless in run support is capable of big plays. The question with him is durability and injury. I would have put a 4th – 5th round for the Broncos on him because of his 2012 videos, he could bring the versatility and depth to the DB position that suffered the loss of various players in FAs. Still, I really would like the Broncos to get him in training camp because I think he could really make the 53 men roster in Denver.
Keon Lyn CB Syracuse Sr 6’1” 201 CFA CFA Injured (Knee-lower leg) in 2013. In 2012 he looked explosive and fearless in tackling. Not enough videos anyhow He looked good in 2012 as cover corner; he could also be tested as S in training camp.
Jemea Thomas CB – FS Georgia Tech rSr 5’9” 192 6th – 7th CFA Smaller type of corner, rangy with some speed. Seems to be near the play but rarely making the play. Has some explosion but need to analyze better the play to bot be caught off. IMO he will need time to develop and to get used to the speed and power of the NFL. Is undersized and could end up being the same type of player Tony Carter is but maybe at FS since he looks to have more lateral speed.
Damante Horton CB Washington State Sr 5’9” 185 CFA CFA Not that many videos on him. Looks bigger than his measurements and has speed and good cover skills. Another smaller CB prospect that in a normal draft class would have a better round grade. He certainly deserves a good look in training camp.
Zachary McMillian CB Houston Sr 5’10” 175 CFA CFA Undersized, will need to add weight. Able to positioning himself well in coverage and has enough speed and fluidity to stay with the receiver. His lack of strength will be a concern since his tackling skills is affected by his size. He reminds me a little of Tony Carter for his ability to glue himself to bigger receiver and then trying to make a play on the ball. Like Carter, it will be fundamental that he could add some weight and bulk up to be effective in tackling. It took Carter 2 years.
Shaquille Richardson CB Arizona Sr 6’0” 194 5th CFA Has good size and good speed, lack quickness and could be more suited for zone coverage schemes. Lack some strength for a CB of his size and needs to get better tackling technique. I like the size but I don’t think he could be a really great fit for the man coverage the Broncos use.
Travis Carrie CB Ohio rSr 6’0” 206 7th CFA CB with good returning skills. Not enough videos on him. The Broncos will be on the market for a new returner. I think he could get a look by the Broncos because of that.
Walt Aikens
CB – FS Liberty Sr 6’1” 203 4th – 5th CFA Raw big DB that has versatility and could play both CB and FS. Level of competition could raise some question mark, has good awareness, good speed and likes to make big plays. Has to get better at tackling and has to take better tackling angles, needs to polish his footwork. Played some kickoff return but look not fluid and explosive enough to be a reliable option in that department in the NFL. He has all the tools to become a good nº 2 CB in the NFL but need a lot of development. In the later rounds on this draft there will be more polished players for the Broncos to look on, he could be a great CFA pick-up if he slides over the draft.
Shaq Bell CB – SS Colorado State Sr 5’11” 198 CFA Really good in run support. Fearless tackler. Physical player that played both CB and S in college. Has good game speed, though not great and good athleticism. Colorado State prospect that does not have elite measurements but has really good size and plays nasty and hard. Could be better to move him to S in the NFL but definitely a player that could create his own role on the team as swing DB and ST player.
Dontae Johnson
CB – FS North Carolina State Sr 6’2” 195 6th CFA Big physical corner that lack elite athleticism and need to lift up his awareness in the passing game. Has really good straight speed but lack elite explosion. Hit hard the ball carrier, need to take better tackling angles.  A good prospect that has great size but lack other elite measurement and has to learn better tackling technique and use more awareness. Will need to adapt to NFL speed, this is the main reason why I lower his grade for the Broncos, still could be a really nice addition in CFA.
Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State Sr 6’0” 202 1st NO He’s a top prospect at the position, has great game speed and agility, whatever his pro-day numbers would indicate. He’s a cover corner and played man coverage very well plus he has a quite good ball hawk attitude that makes him even more interesting. He’s explosive and also played special teams as kick returner getting some points on board there too. All in all a great prospect, though not elite, that would bring great versatility for the top 20 team that will select him Denver will be in the market for a good corner. Although he certainly is, all indications bring to Denver to have a more nasty and aggressive defense. This means that Denver would want, to trade up, an aggressive mentality also in tackling and in the running defense that to me is not always there in Gilbert. This is the reason why I don’t see Denver trading up for him if, per say, he’s become available after the 22nd pick, trading up higher than that would be a crime in this draft.
Jason Verrett CB TCU Sr 5’10” 189 1st – 2nd NO He looks smaller and thinner that what his measurement says. Smart player that makes up with his football smarts to his lack in size. He’s fast and really quick. He uses well his lower body balance to change direction quickly and is really able to make big plays. Now His height limitations are covered, his weight limitations not yet. Another good looking cover corner that played a lot of man to man and look to be glue. Still and even more that Dennard, his size is a concern with bigger and powerful NFL receiver. He could need time to adapt to the game and I think Denver is really looking for more physical corners to add depth.

 

Prospects that I think could fit perfectly on Denver schemes:

Bradley Roby –> competing for starting CB spot;

Antone Exum –> 1 year development at CB or S;

Dexter McDougle –> special team contributor / 2 years development at CB;

 

Prospects I like:

Marcus Roberson –> depth at CB / 1 year development at CB;

Jaylen Watkins –> depth at nickel CB / 1 year development at CB;

Carrington Byndom –> 2 years development at CB;

Charles Sawyer –> 2 years development at CB or S;

Shaq Bell –> special team contributor / 2 years development at S.

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