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A Look at the "2nd Tier" Cornerbacks of the 2014 Draft Class

In part 1 of this series I previewed guys who I thought could be options at pick 28. The purpose of this post is to shed light on a few guys who might be available at pick 60(plus a few special requests.) I'm sure all of you guys put your collective live's on hold until I evaluated these other 6 corners, so thank you for the patience.

Kyle Fuller-Virginia Tech

6-0/194

What a surprise, another year, another Fuller to evaluate. At the risk of sounding overly vague, Kyle just strikes me as a ball player. He is as aggressive a corner that I can remember. Before I started researching him I had held the belief that he was exclusively a zone type of guy. After reviewing his game against Alabama and seeing him in man against Cooper, I was wrong. FWIW, I still think a zone heavy scheme will suit him best at the next level. He is the best tackling corner I think I have ever scouted. Fuller possesses good instincts with the ball in the air and is very adept at swatting the ball away or breaking up passes. It's unfortunate his season was derailed by injuries otherwise I think he would have had a more statistically productive year.

Strengths:

  • Ball Skills
  • Run support and tackling
  • Length
  • Pedigree
  • Fluid hips

Weaknesses:

  • Top end speed and quickness
  • Sometimes overly aggressive vs run and pass
  • Overly reliant on instinct and skill
  • Freelancing leads to big plays

Fuller vs Alabama

Loucheiz Purifoy-Florida

6-1/190

Let's get it out of the way, awesome name. A potential red flag of his is he was suspended for a game due to "violating team rules." He has the length, speed, and athleticism to be a productive man corner in the NFL. Purifoy is skilled at both using his hands and the sideline to his advantage. I like Purifoy a lot, but I am not 100% sure he could step onto the field immediately and be a contributor considering how raw some of his technique still is(he played offense in HS and even some in college.)

Strengths:

  • Speed
  • Blitzing
  • Recovery
  • Awareness

Weaknesses:

  • Run support
  • Raw/weak in press coverage
  • Strength

Purifoy vs Arkansas

Antone Exum-Virginia Tech

6-1/220

While IMO Exum is the less athletic of the two VT CBs in this years class, he might be the more versatile. To be completely honest, I'm not even sure if his best NFL position is actually going to be cornerback. I am of the opinion he could be a very solid safety or even OLB. Unfortunately, I was not able to fully and accurately evaluate him as much as I would have liked due to him only playing in 2 games this past season. Most of the analysis is based on his junior season prior to his ACL tear.

Strengths:

  • Hard hitter
  • Versatility(played both S and CB while at VT)
  • Zone defense
  • Size
  • Route understanding and anticipation

Weaknesses:

  • Nagging injury concerns
  • Speed and acceleration
  • Slow feet and somewhat rigid hips
  • Shows occasional tendency to "Godfrey"

2012 Exum vs Miami

Marcus Roberson-Florida

6-0/185

Of the 3 Florida corners entering the draft this year, Roberson is my favorite and the most NFL ready. Although he's still honing his craft, he just looks very natural in man coverage, both press and off. He was a 3 year starter at Florida before deciding to enter the draft after his junior season. During his time at UF, he proved capable both as a slot and boundary corner. My biggest concern with him is at times he seemed lost, which in conjunction with him not being particularly athletic causes problems.

Strengths:

  • Run defense
  • Press coverage
  • Use of hands
  • Motor
  • Short area quickness
  • Length

Weaknesses:

  • Weak for his size
  • Questionable hips
  • Athleticism
  • Ball skills(gets lost at times)

Roberson vs UGA

Andre Hal-Vanderbilt

5-11/190

I didn't know much about Hal until I started watching his film for this piece. After review, he could be a mid-round gem. Hal has gone up against top-flight competition in the SEC as a starting corner the past 2 seasons. Andre was used in multiple roles at Vandy, lining up as a slot and boundary corner, and even returning kicks his sophomore season. My biggest critique of him is that I would like to see more awareness/savvy from a senior.

Strengths:

  • Versatility(inside & outside)
  • Fluid hips/backpedal
  • Scheme diverse(played man and zone at vandy)

Weaknesses:

  • Tackling
  • Double moves
  • Awareness/reaction
  • Untested ball skills due to lax off-man coverage

Hal vs Ole Miss

Jaylen Watkins-Florida

6-0/194

For the most part, Jaylen stayed under the radar during his career in Gainsville. Don't let that be an indictment on his skill level though, it's not hard to be forgotten about when your brother is regarded as a potential top 5 pick. Jaylen Watkins spent the 2013 season at safety for the gators, although his NFL position will probably be boundary corner due to his length and build. Watkins is raw in his technique due to lack of playing time on the outside, but as a 4th or 5th round developmental man coverage prospect he has everything teams will be looking for.

Strengths:

  • Length
  • Fluid and smooth hips
  • Positional versatility
  • Above average ball skills
  • Speed

Weaknesses:

  • Shedding blocks
  • Upper body strength(needed for jamming WR's)
  • Tackling technique
  • Positional experience(jack of all trades, master of none)

Watkins at CB in 2012 vs Kentucky
I hope this was at least somewhat helpful in shedding some light on more cornerbacks in this year's class. If anyone has any questions or requests please don't hesitate to do so in the comments.

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