March 29, 2011

Safety Prospects

Is the predator coming to the Broncos? Maybe, I really hope so, find out more below about the predator. On to this article now, last week we took a look at the Corner Back prospects. This week let’s have a look at the rest of the defensive backfield and analyse the Safeties that make up this draft class. Remember last week I mentioned Josh Barrett, man I miss that guy, wishing you the best. Moving on let’s take a look at the prospects that we could be in play for. Also like to note I think the value for safeties will be in the thrid round. A lot of these guys will go then, which is good for us.

In other news though, prospect pro days are finishing up and teams begin to bring in players for private workouts. Denver has a number of the QBs coming in as well as a few linebackers too. Peterson has a private workout scheduled with us. It is interesting to see what sort of vibe these guys get from the workouts and who we will pick in the draft.

Time for the prospects...

Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
Height: 6-0. Weight: 202.
Hand Size: 9 5/8 in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.53 unofficial, 4.62 official
Bench: 11. Vertical: 35. Arm: 30 1/4.
Projected Round (2011): Top 40 Pick.
Date of birth: February 11, 1990 (age 21)

Moore is a true difference maker at the safety position, and he projects to be an immediate starter at the next level. He is extremely rangy with the deep speed to hold up in cover-3, and he has a great closing burst when the ball is in the air. His high cut frame gives him the look of a wide receiver and he has the playmaking abilities to be a ball hawk. He also has great instincts and always seems to be in the right position in coverage. Moore might be the top safety in the class and will likely go before the end of the first round.

Moore is long with a muscular build. Has excellent range to be a true centerfielder and cover the deep middle. Shows great awareness in zone coverage and the ability to recognize and jump routes. Possesses terrific hand-eye coordination and comes down with interceptions in traffic. Reads quickly, fills fast and does not shy away from contact in run support.

Plays a bit high and will not always be able to stick with shiftier slot receivers in man coverage. Very aggressive player that can get beat on occasion with ball fakes. Lacks ideal bulk and struggles to disengage from blockers in run support. Leaves his feet too often when tackling.

Read & React: Good instincts for the position. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has good feet, balance and straight-line speed, aiding him in being in consistently good position in coverage. Reads run quickly and is aggressive in downhill pursuit. Prone to overrunning the play and leaving potential cutback lanes for backs to exploit.

Man Coverage: Not often asked to drop down and cover the slot receiver, but shows quick feet, a low, tight backpedal and the straight-line speed to potentially handle this role in limited duty. Is a high-cut athlete and is a bit stiff in the hips, so he loses a step in his transition.

Zone Coverage: Good instincts and overall athleticism for zone coverage. Gains good depth due to his backpedal and can plant his foot in the ground and drive downhill on the ball. Good lateral agility and balance, despite his high-cut build and average hip flexibility to turn and run. Good acceleration and top-end speed to provide a safety net in deep coverage.

Closing/Recovery: Classic ball hawk. Reads the quarterback's eyes and breaks quickly when he reads target location. Good acceleration and straight-line speed. Very good ball skills. Times his leaps well and has good hand-eye coordination to make the difficult grab. Good vision and natural running skills with the football.

Run Support: Quickly reads run and shows the burst and aggression to beat blockers to the punch. Only average bulk and strength to fight through receiver blocks and can be held up. Can get out of control and overrun the play, giving the runner cutback opportunities. Takes questionable angles to the football, though he provides good effort.

Tackling: Isn't always a reliable open-field tackler, a negative as the team's last line of defense. Generally breaks down well, but will alternately take on ballcarriers too high and try to wrestle them to the ground or drop his head and resort to duck-and-swipe tackling leading to ugly missed tackles. Is willing to lower his shoulder into the receiver crossing the middle, but is not an intimidating presence.

Intangibles: A respected team leader who was voted a captain as a junior. Started all three seasons at UCLA, including as a true freshman -- the first Bruin to do so since Matt Ware (now with the Arizona Cardinals) did back in 2001. Wrote a 2,058-word statement thanking everyone from his mother, high school and college coaches, teammates and fans to NFL standouts Kenny Easley and Ed Reed for their help in his development.

My Take:
Carbon copy of McBath, smaller safety that excels in zone coverage. Problem is this is the type of Safety that Fox likes so he may be very interested in him early in the 2nd. I still like McBath if he can be healthy.

Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma
Height: 6-1. Weight: 208.
Hand Size: 9 ¼ in
Combine 40 Time: 4.62 unofficial, ran slower than this at the combine.
Bench: 23. Vertical: 34.5. Arm: 31 1/2.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
Date of birth: July 20, 1988 (age 22)

Carter is quality safety that can contribute in sub packages at the next level, but lacks the speed to line up against big-play receivers. He is a smart football player that understands his responsibilities in zone coverage and he has the smooth hips and lateral agility to mirror slot receivers in and out of their breaks. He is a fierce competitor that is strong in press coverage and looks to make tackles in run support. Carter has plenty of savvy and the right attitude to make up for less than ideal speed and will likely be a middle round pick.

Carter is a tall corner with good range. Fluid athlete that maintains speed in transition to stick with shifty slot receivers in man coverage. Well prepared kid that is always in sound position and anticipates routes in zone coverage. Takes good angles to the ball carrier and is a willing tackler.

Does not have the explosion to quickly close gaps and lacks the deep speed to stick with burners on go routes. Not a great leaper that loses jump balls against bigger receivers and tight ends. Struggles to disengage from blocks in run support and hits too high at times when tackling.

Read & React: Heady defender against the run and pass. Very quick to close on bubble screens whether lined up in man or coming down the hash. Capable of moving to the sideline quickly from the two-deep look, though he is sometimes a step late to recognize when the corner needs help. Comes off his coverage to close on the ball while it's in the air, often gets to the receiver as the ball arrives or a split second later.

Man Coverage: Athletic safety who can step up to play outside or in the slot, if needed. Asked to jump out on receivers on corner blitzes, can stay with them down the sideline or on the hot route over the middle. Needs work staying low and over his feet in his backpedal, as well as using his hands to prevent separation and knock receivers off their routes at the line.

Zone Coverage: Has the speed and playmaking ability to be an effective two-deep centerfielder. Closes to the ball in a hurry to make bone-jarring hits, forcing fumbles or incompletions. Owns good hands for the interception whether the ball is thrown at his numbers or in a jump-ball situation. Adjusts well to balls thrown behind him. Noses up against the run and when the quarterback scrambles, leaving his corner on an island if his man heads downfield. Late to get to the sideline at times, even when there is no threat of a run.

Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed to attack receivers and running backs in space. Plants and drives forward with a nice burst to the ball. Effective blitzer because of his speed and timing. Fair recovery speed and change-of-direction ability for a safety; can catch up to receivers if beaten on a quick initial move. Takes aggressive angles because of his speed, elusive NFL runners may take advantage of that.

Run Support: Headhunter in run support, attacking plays whether playing near the line or well off. Chases down ballcarriers from sideline to sideline. Willing to lower shoulder into lead blocks so others can make the play, but lacks great strength to take on linemen and disengage to make plays.

Tackling: Solid tackler who is a reliable last line of defense because of his athleticism and aggressive style. Is an intimidating presence, loves to lay the wood on the sideline and over the middle (will get penalized for big shots late, was actually thrown out of practices for being too jacked up). Will be the second or third man into the pile, forcing it backwards on most occasions by bringing his hips and keeping his feet moving. Comes in high on some tackles, grabbing shoulder pads and allowing shorter or stronger players to slip away.

Intangibles: Exceptional leader on the field and in the locker room. Receiving degree in sociology with a non-profit organization studies, but already has started has own non-profit called SOUL (Serving Others with Unity and Leadership) to help kids in the Las Vegas area. Redshirted the 2007 season with a severely pulled hamstring, also missed the beginning of the 2008 season with surgery on a slightly torn knee ligament.

My Take:
I like Carter, he is a baller that brings the wood, but he lacks elite athleticism. I like him in the 3rd as I do many of the safeties.

Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
Height: 6-0. Weight: 211.
Hand Size: 9 3/8 in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.62.
Bench: 11. Vertical: 33. Arm: 30.
Projected Round (2012): 2-3.
Date of birth: May 27, 1988 (age 22)

Sash brings impressive football intelligence and excellent effort in run support to the table but probably lacks the range and athleticism in coverage to become a full-time starter. However, he'll likely provide excellent depth and contribute on special teams coverage units. Can play the deep half but is a liability in centerfield or when asked to matchup with tight ends or slots in man coverage. Does possess hands when he limits separation and is around the football. Flies to the ball in run support and is a sound tackler. Coachable player who will learn your system quickly. Sash carries a mid-round grade.

Sash has nice size. Displays good awareness and football smarts. Stays in solid position. Comes up hard and fast in run support. Doesn't over pursue and is a reliable tackler. Comfortable in deep half zone coverage. Flashes impressive ball skills and comes down with interceptions. Good intangibles, hard-worker.

Struggles in coverage, especially man coverage. Ability to play the point is below average. Does not appear fluid when shadowing in man or flipping his hips to turn and run. Can be boxed out by taller tight ends with ball skills. Susceptible to the double-move.

Read & React: Reads his keys to sniff out running plays and quick screens. Instinctive, flies through traffic to get to stretch plays or plug holes inside. Good range but at times can be a step slow to find a receiver coming into his zone. Overaggressive and will overrun plays.

Man Coverage: Good athleticism for his size, can trail most tight ends into the flat or on crossing routes. Gets his hands on tight ends in coverage, but could draw contact flags in the NFL. Fair backpedal for a safety, can handle slot responsibility for short periods of time against four-receiver sets.

Zone Coverage: Played in a lot of two-deep coverage. Quick enough to reach the sideline on long throws, has the coordination to high-point the ball or knock it away. Good hands to take advantage of overthrows over the middle. Gets pulled out of his area at times, leaving space for the trailing receiver. Bites hard on good play-action.

Closing/Recovery: Underrated speed and good angles allow him to track down backs from behind. Will be an effective blitzer playing around the line. Adequate recovery speed for a safety if beaten by receivers but will not catch many NFL receivers from behind.

Run Support: Always looking for run keys from two-deep position. Closes to the ball quickly, bringing bad intentions in flying to the ball on stretch plays. Fails to break down at times, overrunning the play and opening cutback lanes in the process. Fails to shed blocks to make plays, but has good strength to get off receiver blocks.

Tackling: Well-built upper body gives him excellent strength for the position. Goes for the big shoulder or forearm slam over the middle but still makes a grab for jersey to minimize yards after catch. Extends arms or lays strong shoulder hit to back heading out of bounds instead of merely escorting them. Can rip the ball out while wrapping. Effective cutting ballcarriers and making ankle tackles in the open field, though he should leave his feet less and keep his head up more often against NFL ballcarriers.

Intangibles: Vocal leader in the locker room. Puts in the time to prepare for next week's opponent. Demonstrative and talkative on the field. No known character concerns.

My Take:
Sash fits the mold of a deep zone safety. And he has been known to make plays from back there. Not the fastest but shows good ability and makes up for his lack of speed with his great instincts. Again Sash in the 3rd is an option.

DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
Height: 6-0. Weight: 217.
Hand Size: 10 1/8 in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.65.
Bench: N/A Vertical: 35. Arm: 32 1/2.
Projected Round (2011): 3-4.
Date of birth: November 26, 1987 (age 23)

McDaniel is a physically impressive safety prospect who makes a lot of plays roaming the middle in zone coverage and filling against the run. Would be a good fit for a team that likes to walk a safety down into the box for run support or to cut loose on blitzes. Will bring a tough, intimidating, explosive presence to the middle of an NFL defense. Some deficiencies in man coverage and an off-the-field issue are the two main areas of concern. But in a relatively weak safety class, McDaniel should hear his named called in the first few rounds of the draft.

McDaniel is an outstanding blend of height, length, bulk and speed. Looks the part. Very productive player, with a flair for making the big play. Appears to be a well-prepared. Has good range in zone, can lay the wood or make a plays on the ball. Loves to play the run, fills in a hurry.

Is a bit high-cut and lacks some fluidity when attempting to mirror quicker receivers in coverage. Can get caught looking in the backfield at play fakes on occasion. Must watch his tackling technique at times. Was arrested in 2008 but is not a locker room personality problem.

Read & React: Very good diagnosis skills. Is allowed some flexibility to roam in this defense and shows very good diagnosis skills. Flies up to support the run, showing the ability to shoot the gap and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Can be initially fooled by play-action, but shows very good brakes, as well as the agility to turn and quick acceleration to recover quickly. Shows very good route-recognition due to his time in the film-room. Is seemingly always around the ball.

Man Coverage: Asked to drop down and cover the slot receiver, at times, in this defense. Quick feet, good balance and surprising acceleration for the safety position. Doesn't change directions fluidly due to stiff hips, but accelerates quickly out his breaks and has good straight-line speed. As a result he is able to generate a late burst to close as the ball is in flight. Quick, active hands to bat away or intercept the pass.

Zone Coverage: A bit high in his backpedal, but generates good depth on his initial drop. Good lateral agility and gains speed quickly when changing directions. Does a nice job of recognizing routes and drifting laterally to remain in between the quarterback and his assignment. Reacts quickly to the thrown pass. Looks to help out his teammates.

Closing/Recovery: Good instincts, speed and a late burst as the ball is in flight make this one of his stronger areas. Locates the ball quickly and will abandon his prior assignment quickly once he sees the ball is headed elsewhere. Puts himself in position to be the fortunate teammate for a fumble recovery or tipped interception. High-points the ball, showing an impressive vertical jump and good timing.

Run Support: His experience as a linebacker/safety hybrid shows in his comfort near the line of scrimmage. Shows very good vision to locate the football when in traffic, as well as the balance and agility to keep his feet through the trash. Good speed and pursuit angles when shooting gaps downhill or in pursuit. Plays good team defense - is willing to break outside to the sideline to keep contain, funneling the ball-carrier back towards the rest of the defense.

Tackling: A reliable open-field tackler, who demonstrates shows some creativity in how he gets the ball-carrier to the ground. Likes to supply the big hit to intimidate his opponent. Willing to drop his shoulder and explode into the ball-carrier, creating some big hits. Generates some explosiveness as a wrap-up hitter, as well, opting to throw the ball-carrier to the ground, at times. Shows no hesitancy in taking on bigger ball-carriers.

Intangibles: Had a rough childhood and had to do some real maturing while at Clemson … Was raised by his grandmother and godmother … Has little contact with his biological parents. His mother, reportedly, has been arrested over 50 times … Was charged with high and aggravated assault on his former girlfriend in 2008. Accepted a pre-trial intervention and community service … Has since matured into an Honor Roll student and team captain. In 2009, he won a Vickery Hall award for academic improvement, earning a 3.25 GPA in the first semester and 3.0 in the second, and was named to the 2009-10 ACC Academic Honor Roll. Majoring in Sociology and will graduate in the winter of 2010 … Routinely spends extra hours on his own in the film-room during the season.

My Take:
McD is a guy that has really turned it around. Solid player that is good in coverage and solid against the run. Not the fastest but gets to the ball and makes the tackle. Solid Special Teamer. McD is a Safety to watch in the future but for us I don’t think so, just doesn’t seem to fit. Plus his last name will probably have him removed off our draft board.

Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 217.
Hand Size: 9 ¾ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.53 unofficial, 4.57 official.
Pro Day 40 Time: .
Bench: 12. Vertical: 35. Arm: 33 3/8.
Projected Round (2011): 3-5.
Date of birth: November 3, 1989 (age 21)

Sands is a well-rounded safety prospect with rare size, good speed, and a physical mentality and could become an excellent starter in the NFL. Can erase the deep half and hold up in centerfield. Makes a lot of plays on the ball with his range, large frame and good hands. On-field awareness is solid but still developing. Tough player who fills quickly in run support, will take on blockers, and supplies an intimidating presence over the middle in coverage. Main flaw is a lack of short-area quickness and fluidity in man coverage. Sands could hear his name called early on Day 2.

Sands is a tall, rangy, high-cut safety. Speed is better-than-average. Covers a lot of ground after reaching top speed. Can play the point or deep half. Huge catch radius and good hands to pull down the tough interception. Willing, aggressive and productive in run support and coverage over the middle. Sure-tackler. Displays solid awareness.

Like most high-cut athletes, suffers from some hip stiffness. Struggles a bit in transition. Not a good matchup against shifty slot receivers in man coverage. Instincts and ability to jump routes are adequate but still improving. Struggles to break down and make tackles in space at times.

Strengths: Tall, wiry but strong. Has speed to reach either sideline to prevent big plays. Length affects passing lanes on the blitz and running down the seam. Plays with attitude on every snap. Likes to make the big shoulder-first hit and churn his legs to stop ballcarriers' forward progress. Covers running backs on wheel routes and can handle tight ends in man coverage. Aggressive filling to stop the run, attacks plays behind the line when playing the box. Long arms allow him to wrap up most ballcarriers when technique is good. Fair ball skills and straight-line speed to intercept jump balls and late throws over the middle.

Weaknesses: Height and aggressive style put him at a disadvantage when breaking down to tackle in space. Slides off the target because he leaves his feet or bends at the waist making tackles. Slow, high backpedal. Takes time to transition from pedal to attack. Long-striding running style does not allow him to change direction quickly; must throttle down more quickly. Overaggressive, gets moved by quarterbacks' eyes too easily. Instincts and ability to diagnose play are questionable. Makes easy picks but struggles to catch balls outside his frame.

My Take:
We need the Predator on our defense. I really like this guy as a safety in our system. He is tall and rangy allowing him to effect passing lanes. Is really good in the deep and playing zone which is what Fox asks of his DBs. He does have stiffer hips and struggles in man which has some saying LB would be better for him. But like I said Sands in our system and with work I think he can be one of the better safeties in the league. I like Sands late in the 2nd but if there in the 3rd then jump all over him. Plus look at him, he is a badass mofo. PREDATOR!

Deunta Williams, FS, North Carolina
Height: 6-2. Weight: 205.
Hand Size: 10 in.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Combine 40 Time: DNP.
Pro Day 40 Time: .
Bench: N/A. Vertical: N/A. Arm: 33 1/4.
Projected Round (2011): 3-5.
Date of birth: November 21, 1987 (age 23)

Williams is a supremely confident safety who has the speed and cover skills to eventually develop into a starter at the next level. He puts in time in the film room and always appears to be in position to make a play in coverage. He has the speed to be a true center fielder and the terrific hands to make acrobatic interceptions. He must become more physical in run support, but he takes proper angles to the ball and makes tackles despite not delivering big shots on impact. Williams has a chance to sneak into the second round if he runs really well.

Williams has ideal size and good speed. Smart kid that is always in position and shows a knack for anticipating routes. Fluid athlete that sticks with receivers in and out of their breaks in man coverage. Possesses reliable hands and the body control to make difficult interceptions. Takes precise angles in run support and is a sound tackler.

Over-aggressive at times and can be burned by double moves. Lacks physicality in run support and struggles to disengage from blockers. Does not deliver violent shots when tackling and will sometimes resort to arm tackles. Will not make plays in jump ball situations.

Read & React: Good instincts for the free safety position but will bite on play-action fakes. Reads the eyes of the quarterback and gets a good breaks on the ball due to his route recognition. Has good lateral agility, though his overall fluidity and straight-line speed are good but not great. Doesn't have elite speed for the position and lacks true makeup speed. Generally takes reliable angles in pursuit, though he's willing to gamble, which put teammates in some tough situations in 2009.

Man Coverage: Doesn't appear to have the man-to-man skills to effectively drop down and cover the slot receiver. Loses a step in his transition despite loose hips. Normal acceleration, though he appears to have good speed overall for the position. Uses his hands to ride the receiver and prevent separation. Competitive defender who believes the ball is his. Has excellent ball skills.

Zone Coverage: Has typical footwork for the position, showing a high, choppy backpedal. Gains good depth on his initial drop, and breaks quickly downhill on underneath throws. Possesses enough flexibility in the hips to turn and run downfield, but must do a better job of maintaining cushion. Was protected, especially early in his career, by the pass rush and talented cornerback play.

Closing/Recovery: Good route recognition, as well as at least moderate agility and straight-line speed to close on the ball. Can get himself in trouble when he freelances, as doesn't possess a second gear to recover if beaten initially. Competes for the ball, showing good timing on his vertical leap to go along with good size and impressive ball skills.

Run Support: Good lateral agility to elude blocks. Fights through receiver blocks efficiently and isn't afraid to come up to the line of scrimmage and play with the big boys. Understands his role as the last line of defense and generally does a good job with his pursuit angles.

Tackling: Generally a reliable open-field tackler, though it's not always pretty. Consistently breaks down in space to make the secure stop. Wraps his arm around the ballcarrier to bring him to a complete stop, but doesn't provide much pop as a hitter and can be dragged by bigger ballcarriers. Flashes some explosiveness, but isn't the intimidating headhunter across the middle that his star status might imply.

Intangibles: Was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for his part in the UNC agent scandal and suffered a broken lower leg in his final career game. Originally signed with UNC as a wide receiver. Has started all 46 games he's played of his career.

My Take:
Williams has fallen off the map since injuring his leg at the end of last year. Therefore Williams could end up being a steal late in the draft if he keeps falling, but I still like him in the 3rd. Has good speed and makes ints. Not the biggest hitter. Puts in a lot of off field work. Not a fan of his build, seems to have a smaller lower half, his weight is stretched over his frame. I don’t know something about it doesn’t appeal to me. Will be interesting to see how he progresses.

Shiloh Keo, SS/PR, Idaho
Height: 5-11. Weight: 219.
Hand Size: 9 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.72.
Bench: 24. Vertical: 32.5. Arm: 30.
Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

Keo will likely make his living as a backup safety and special teams contributor. Has some of the physical traits of an in-the-box safety but doesn't appear to possess the natural ability of polish to become a starter. Will attack the line of scrimmage in run support, put his stout body on the line taking on blocks and make some plays but is out of control on occasion. Can play the deep half in zone coverage and match up in man against some targets but isn't fluid or fast enough to cover playmakers or be a big factor against the pass. Keo could sneak into the middle rounds.

Keo has good bulk and plays with good physicality for a safety. Quickly diagnoses running plays. Not afraid to come up and fill hard in run support. Very capable and comfortable playing the deep half in cover-2. Can stick with tight ends, H-backs and fullbacks in man coverage. Good, strong tackler.

Will lose his disciple in zone coverage at times. Doesn't have the anticipation to jump routes in man coverage. Not capable of covering slot receivers man-to-man. Not a big-time playmaker who will consistently come down with interceptions. Pursuit angles to the football aren't always sound. Could use his hands more effectively.

Idaho Pro day: Defensive back Shiloh Keo (5-11 3/8, 216) clocked the 40 in 4.66 and 4.68, had a 34-inch vertical leap, 9-9 broad jump, and stood on his short shuttle and bench press results from last month's NFL Scouting Combine. He was a top performer in both events. - Gil Brandt,

Positives: Good bulk and strength for the position. Physical defender who isn't afraid to stick in his nose in the pile. Good team defender. Willing to take out the legs of charging offensive linemen and trust his teammates to make the easy tackle. Can be a physical tone-setter across the middle, providing heavy hits to unsuspecting receivers and backs. Enough athleticism to stick with most backs and tight ends in coverage. Versatile, gutty performer whose leadership on and off the field is respected by his teammates. Two-time team captain (2009, 2010) and served as the Special Teams captain in 2008. Strong special teams performer.

Negatives: Might lack the athleticism to handle coverage responsibilities in the NFL. Is a tough defender, but isn't particularly instinctive and doesn't possess the fluidity and straight-line speed to mask his lack of awareness. Can lay the big hit on an unsuspecting ballcarrier, but to do so generally has to leave his feet and has a tendency to duck his head and rely on the collision to knock the ballcarrier to the ground, rather than wrapping his arms securely.

My Take:
Keo has been getting love from all over the place. But I don’t see it. Has decent size and decent athleticism but nothing special. To me I see him as a rotational player, a back up and special teamer, no more. He doesn’t have the upside of the others.

That is it for the Safety prospects and it for the defense. Next week we will take a look at RBs and TEs that we may target, followed up by RTs. Then I will post up my mock draft and then it will be draft competition time. Once that is all done it will be draft time! ~ Aussie.

March 22, 2011

Corner Back Prospects

After looking at the linebackers last week it is now time to have a look at the defensive backs. Now there were more of these than LBs before them so I decided to split the DBs up into 2 articles. One with the corners and one with the safeties. Also I want to point out something that I found very interesting as I was researching the safeties. I now realize what McDs worst move is, (wouldn't surprise me if X-man was the one that signed off on this, but for now lets blame McD), it wasn't Hillis, Smith or any of that. The worst move was waviering Josh Barrett, Barrett was one of my favourite safeties that I thought really had the talent to be great, I miss Barrett and I hope if he ever gets cut we jump all over him. The record for the 40 yard dash for Safeties is 4.35 secs and that is held by Barrett. I just want to shout out to Barrett, that I hope he gets better and that he will always have a fan in me. Now onto the prospects.

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Height: 6-0. Weight: 218.
Hand size: 9 ¼ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.32 unofficial, 4.34 official
Bench: 15. Vertical: 38. Arm: 32.
Projected Round (2011): Top 4 Pick.
Date of birth: July 11, 1990 (age 20)

Peterson is built like a safety, has the speed of a corner and is an elite playmaker. He has the explosion and range to play on an island and the instincts to be effective in zone heavy schemes. He has elite ball skills and is a shifty runner that is nightmare to take down in the open field. He is a supremely confident kid that always looks to make plays, but at times can get burned by ball fakes and double moves. Peterson is a freakishly talented football player and should be a Top-10 pick.

Peterson is a monster corner with good speed. Possesses terrific footwork and the hip fluidity to mirror in man coverage. Displays a strong press and uses his hands to effectively reroute receivers. Smooth athlete that tracks the ball well in the air and has the body control and hands to make interceptions. Willing tackler with sound technique.

Does not have elite recovery speed and will not always close the gap when the ball is in the air. Over aggressive player that can be beat by play action and double moves. Struggles at times anticipating routes. Lacks the ability to consistently shed blocks in run support.

Read - React: Possesses good instincts for the position. Reads his man and will sneak a peek at the quarterback, showing the anticipation necessary to make the big play. Can get over-aggressive and bite on double-moves, though he shows good straight-line speed to recover and possesses excellent ball skills. Could come up more aggressively when he reads run, as he's content with allowing teammates to make the tackle, but isn't afraid to come up in run support when he has to.

Man Coverage: Rare fluidity and straight-line speed for a defender of his size. Quick feet and balance when backpedaling and when he switches to a side shuffle technique. Rarely uses his hands to jam the receiver, opting instead simply to turn and run with his opponent. Will occasionally misjudge the speed of his opponent when in off-man coverage, allowing the receiver to eat up too much of the cushion. Easily flips his hips and shows very good burst out of his breaks (especially considering his size) to mirror the receiver. Good acceleration and has a burst to close. Good route-recognition. Good body lean and use of the sideline to ride wideouts out of bounds. Excellent size, overall physicality and competitiveness for jump-ball situations. Times his leaps well and can high-point the ball due to excellent hand-eye coordination.

Zone Coverage: Good recognition for zone coverage, but will drift out of position when he's reading the eyes of quarterbacks, resulting in some big-play interceptions, but also in allowing receptions when savvy passers bait him. Quick feet and balance to change directions. Good route anticipation. Switches off his target quickly when he sees the quarterback throwing elsewhere. Closes on the ball quickly.

Closing/Recovery: Some concern over what his time in the 40-yard dash will be, but shows very good field speed and possesses a second gear of acceleration to close on the ball. Locates the ball quickly and has the long arms to break up passes (or even make the interception) when it appears that he is beaten. Has good, but not elite burst to break downhill out of his cuts, making him susceptible to comeback routes against bigger receivers who challenge him vertically (see Alabama, Texas AM). Among best attributes is his size, leaping ability and ball skills on fade and go-routes against bigger receivers. Matches up well in jump-ball situations. Isn't afraid to get physical in these confrontations, but because he's going for the ball, doesn't draw the flag. Very good ball skills. Times his leap well, showing a good vertical and possesses the long arms and soft, strong hands to pluck the ball out of the air. Excellent return skills once he has the ball in his hands.

Run Support: When not in press coverage, reads run quickly and either provides the contain to push the runner back inside or makes the tackle himself. Focuses on his primary target - the receiver - when he's in press coverage and can be a step slower to recognize run. Trusts his teammates to make the play, showing good strength and toughness to fight through blocks, but not always the sense of urgency scouts would prefer. Good effort in pursuit. Takes good angles to the ball and has the speed to run down the ballcarrier.

Tackling: Reliable open-field tackler. Breaks down well in space to make the stop against elusive athletes. Willing to take on the bigger ballcarrier and does a nice of wrapping his arms securely around the legs to make the effective stop. Good effort in pursuit. Not an explosive hitter, but plays his size, strength and long arms help him knock down ballcarriers quickly.

Intangibles: Confident, almost cocky demeanor on the field. Possesses the short memory of all great cornerbacks. Extremely competitive. Seems to relish the battles against top receivers in man coverage. Campaigned to be used on special teams and even offense while at LSU due to his natural playmaking skills. Good bloodlines. Cousins of NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden and wide receivers Santana and Sinorice Moss. Characterized as "freak" athlete.

My Take:
I have read a lot recently that people don’t think that Peterson is elite, and doesn’t distinguish himself from the other top picks. The thing is he is elite, the reason being I believe he played most of his college career on purer talent and athletic ability. Reading this and what I have seen it seems that he plays with little technique, in the sense using his hands and reading through his keys correctly. The cocky demeanour that he displays further demonstrates this as he knows he is a better athlete than most WR and likes to challenge himself when he goes up against good WRs. He does remind me a lot of Woodson, in his size, return ability and that he made a lot of ints. Remember he got 4 his last year when teams supposedly were not throwing in his direction. I think it further emphasises the point when he gets 9 on the wonderlic (though this could be wrong, remember Gabbert was meant to have gotten 40+ but only got 30 something), but if it is true it further proves my point. He knows how to play corner and uses his talent and not much else. The question will be how he takes to coaching as he is a bit of a project as his technique will need to be developed and redefined. I do think he can become a dominate corner than move to safety later in his career (like Woodson). And who better to learn all this from the most technically sound CB in the game Champ Bailey. Only turn off I have is he wore diamond studded ear rings to the combine.

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Height: 6-0. Weight: 206.
Hand size: 8 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.37 unofficial, 4.43 official.
Bench: 16. Vertical: 38. Arm: 30 1/2.
Projected Round (2011): Top 11 Pick.
Date of birth: June 6, 1989 (age 21)

Amukamara has the size, speed and awareness to start from day one and turn into one of the league's finer players at the cornerback position. Takes advantage of his instincts and smarts in zone coverage but also has the ability to hold up when asked to cover on an island. Possesses good overall ball skills and hands. Will help out and support the run. Durable, aggressive, competitive and hard-working. No major weaknesses in his game, but isn't an elite, quick-twitched athlete or a true burner in terms of straight-line speed. Amukamara will likely be selected early in the first round.

Amukamara is an exceptional blend of height, strength and speed. Very sound positioning and instincts in zone coverage and diagnoses quickly. Can play on an island in man. Uses size to press and re-route at the line, can turn and run and recover, and tracks the ball well. Willing and productive in run support.

Not too many holes in his game. Does not possess elite fluidity and idles down a bit in and out of his breaks and when turning to recover. Can struggle at times to get off blocks near the line. Not a big hitter. Only has two-plus years of starting experience.

Read - React: Strong instincts with very quick reactions. Reads the quarterback's eyes and anticipates routes, closing quickly to jump underneath routes. Gets into the flat in a hurry to attack screen plays and outside runs. Inconsistent biting on double moves and pump fakes, will get overly aggressive during the course of a game and give up the deep ball.

Man Coverage: Perfect NFL press-cover corner with his combination of size, strength and speed. Is patient in man coverage, reading the receiver's move and reacting quickly. Quick feet and smooth hips to turn and run, maintains contact with most any receiver down the sideline. Closes well when playing off the line, attacks midsection and wraps to tackle. Capable of playing very physically, especially in the five-yard area. Has the lateral movement to shadow jerk routes. Maintains cushion in his backpedal.

Zone Coverage: Owns the prototypical man-press build but has the closing speed and physicality to excel in zone coverage. Excellent anticipation of underneath throws, cuts under receivers to make a play on the ball with exceptional hand-eye coordination. Comes off deep routes to support shorter patterns to his side. Secure tackler who rarely gives up yards after the catch. Has dropped interceptions not thrown in his breadbasket. Fair foot speed in his backpedal, but needs to stay over his feet instead of leaning backward.

Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed for his size. Changes from pedal to forward motion quickly, plants hard and has a burst to the ball. Inconsistent recovery speed if frozen by double move, can get back into the play (and make a play on the ball) but quicker receivers seem to maintain separation.

Run Support: Has the size and aggressive nature to excel in run support. Willing cut tackler, gets into the thigh of the running back. Good strength to rip off receiver blocks, could be more consistent using his hands to disengage. Sticks his nose into piles and can stand up running backs coming with a head of steam.

Tackling: Excellent strength for the position, effective wrapping up receivers after the catch or cutting down backs in run support. Breaks down in space to avoid missed tackles. Will attack the shoulder pads of running backs to bring them down or force them out of bounds. Very effective cut tackler whether attacking the thighs of running backs or violently taking out the legs of receivers in the open field. Even when he does not bring down the ballcarrier, he gets enough to slow him down giving help time to arrive. Helps teammates finish off tackles in space. Could be more consistent getting off receiver blocks.

Intangibles: Spiritual man, involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Has matured greatly since arriving on campus, applying himself on the practice field and the film room more diligently since 2009. Parents are from Nigeria

My Take:
Prince will be a good corner, I think he could be even better than Peterson, but it will take work. Prince is still learning the position and I think he can only get better. If he ran the same as Peterson he could have been taken before him. Prince has the best lower half of all the corners, has real solid legs. Prince is a guy I would keep an eye on into the future.

Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Height: 6-2. Weight: 211.
Hand Size: 9 ¾ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.38 unofficial, 4.46 official
Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
Bench: 24. Vertical: 37. Arm: 32 1/4.
Projected Round (2011): Top 25 Pick.
Date of birth: July 26, 1988 (age 22)

Corners with Smith's size, speed and confidence in press coverage don't grow on trees. He'll likely serve as reserve/nickel early in his career but has the skill set to eventually become a starter. Very effective playing man coverage close to the line of scrimmage where he can use his size and length to disrupt timing patterns. Can recover after initial bump and compete for the football. Isn't as comfortable in off-man or zone but could improve over time. Has the mentality and physical tools to be very productive in run support, just needs some more polish. Smith's tools and upside will likely land him in the second round if not earlier.

Smith has outstanding height for a corner coupled with good speed. Very effective in press-man using his length and size to jam and re-route. Can turn and run, recover when beat, and break up passes with his great leaping ability and ball skills. Likes to mix it up in run support and is also very physical here.

Hip stiffness in his angular, long build shows when playing off-man and breaking on underneath routes. Not as comfortable in zone as in press-man. Needs to be more consistent getting his head turned around to avoid interference calls. Must take better angles when tackling in the open field.

Read - React: Reads the body language of receivers and keeps his eyes in the backfield to detect what's coming. Reacts quickly to throws in his area to his assignment or another receiver. Likes to attack the run but gets overaggressive, biting hard on play-action fakes. Some of his quick reactions are negated by his inability to get off blocks.

Man Coverage: Physical press corner. Not afraid to extend his hand (usually his left) at the line of scrimmage to keep receivers from getting into his route. Maintains contact throughout the five-yard area. Lined up against opponents' biggest receiver, playing outside and in the slot. Flashes good feet in his pedal, but could be lower and more balanced. Must keep his feet moving as receivers approach when playing off; they eat up his cushion quickly. Flips open to trail even if he plays outside leverage and the receiver runs inside. Uses long arms to reach in front of receivers to knock away passes without interfering. Uses strength and good timing to dislodge the ball from his man while he tries to secure the catch. Fast enough to stop quick screens behind the line when playing off. His hands for the interception are improving, but work needs to be done. Needs to tighten up his footwork when transitioning from pedal to plant-and-drive.

Zone Coverage: Good awareness in zone coverage. Comes off receivers leaving his area to pick up underneath routes. Stays between two receivers on the outside if he sees his safety help has been taken away by seam routes, but will end up in no man's land occasionally not trusting over-the-top help. Attacks receivers in front of him. Size makes him difficult to for receivers to avoid after the catch. His height and vertical make throwing over him and in front of safeties perilous.

Closing/Recovery: Combines speed with length to close on the ball. Good recovery speed for his size, can flip his hips and wrap up receivers in trail coverage. His height and ability to find the ball in the air prevent quarterbacks from challenging over the top. Undercuts crossing routes by closing hard and extending; also takes chances NFL quarterbacks can exploit.

Run Support: Owns prototypical size to be a run stopper on the edge. Effective as a wrap-up or cut tackler. Knows to chase at a deep angle to prevent touchdowns on runs to the opposite side of the field. Usually gets outside position to force plays to linebackers, showing quickness to move around his man, but needs to be more violent with his hands to disengage from the blocks of larger receivers to make tackles.

Tackling: Physical tackler with NFL size and excellent length to wrap, but must get more consistent in the open field. Able to knock away passes and force fumbles while he wraps up receivers. Must drop his hips and break down more quickly attacking ballcarriers on the run, as they can elude him with a quick move or slip off when he tries to tackle shoulder pads.

Intangibles: Maturing player taking over as a leader on the field, directing teammates. Began studying film before his junior season. Missed first two games in 2008 due to injury. Suffered concussion against Baylor in 2010.

My Take:
Smith is the biggest corner in the draft and to me is a badass. He has character concerns and maturity problems, but I like defenders that are badasses and have a bit of nasty to them, so I can over look some of the concerns of Smith. He needs to stay focused, could be great if he buckles down and trains hard, but I don’t see it happening.

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Height: 5-10. Weight: 191.
Hand Size: 8 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.43 unofficial, also ran much slower than this at the combine.
Bench: 13. Vertical: 35.5. Arm: 30 5/8.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Harris is a true gamer that is at his best when the lights are on and he has the tools to become a starting cornerback at the next level. He excels in man coverage, as he is explosive with an elite closing burst and he has very fluid hips to maintain speed in transition. He also shows very good instincts when lined up one-on-one, but he seems confused at times in zone coverage and can get caught out of position. His press skills are still raw, but he is a strong kid with a tireless work ethic and he should be a mid-to-late first round pick.

Harris is tall enough with good bulk. Quick-footed athlete that transitions smoothly to mirror in man coverage. Possesses excellent closing speed when the ball is in the air. Shows great timing on jump balls and has reliable hands. Takes proper angles in run support and does not shy away from contact. Fierce competitor and hard worker.

Lacks the instincts in zone coverage to jump routes and can be caught out of position at times. Struggles to consistently reroute bigger receivers in press coverage. Will not always break down the ball carrier in the open field and tends to launch himself when tackling.

Read - React: Quick to recognize run and does a nice job of coming up in support. Reads the body language of the receiver and is typically in good position to a make a play on the ball due to his instincts and standout athleticism. Rarely out of position, especially when playing man to man. Does a nice job of focusing on his receiver rather than peeking into the backfield, though this leads to fewer interceptions than he'd have if he "cheated" more.

Man Coverage: Better in man to man coverage than zone due to his pure athleticism. Quick feet, loose hips, good balance and outstanding speed to remain in the hip pocket of his opponent. Doesn't back down from the challenge of playing bigger receivers. Keys on the receiver and gets his head around late. Quick hands to knock passes away, but doesn't have the time to locate the football, leading to more PBUs than INTs.

Zone Coverage: Improved his overall recognition as a junior, but remains a better man to man corner than zone defender. Good feel for where receivers are around him, but can get flat-footed and savvy QBs can "push" him laterally, opening up holes for receivers to expose. Generally a reliable open-field tackler, but isn't a punisher.

Closing/Recovery: Possesses outstanding game speed, including a late burst to recover if beaten initially. Can plant and drive downhill on the ball. Good recognition to know when he's beat and to make the tackle and when he has a chance to break up the pass or go for the interception. Times his collisions well so he doesn't draw the flag. Times his leaps well to compete for jump passes and shows good hand-eye coordination to slap away the ball as the receiver is attempting to secure it. Doesn't turn enough PBU's into interceptions, however, only securing four despite 26 passes defensed over his career.

Run Support: Recognizes run quickly and isn't afraid to come up in support. Good agility and flashes physicality to break free from receiver blocks. Maintains his containment responsibility and will force the back inside. Isn't a physical tackler, too often resorting to duck and swipe techniques, but gets the man on the ground.

Tackling: A reliable open-field tackler, but isn't always pretty doing it. Has a tendency to lead with his shoulder and/or lunge at the defender, resulting in some precarious tackles. Flashes the ability to deliver a pop, but relies too much on arm tackles. Has to do a better job of wrapping up the ballcarrier, though important to note that he did not miss a tackle on the games reviewed. Occasionally asked to blitz off the edge. Times the blitz well, shows good closing speed and the wherewithal to strip the football. Did take a terrible angle on a big play by Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl.

Intangibles: Passionate and accountable. Quoted as saying that he and his classmates (2008 signing class) should dedicate their 2010 season to head coach Randy Shannon and that they were largely to blame for Miami's inconsistency. (Despite Harris' words, Shannon was ultimately fired.) Ran track for Miami as a freshman in the 60 meter (indoor), 400 meter (outdoor) and 4x400 meter (both). Good bloodlines. Coached in high school by his father, Tim Harris, USA Today's National Coach of the Year (2007). His brother, Tim, Jr. was a four-time All-American in track for Miami. Only needs to serve a two-month internship to earn his bachelor's degree in Business

My Take:
Too small and too slow, has great footwork and did really well in drills. To me that says slot corner, or the nickel or dime corner. Which we all ready have in Squid, I say no.

Aaron Williams, CB/FS, Texas
Height: 6-0. Weight: 204.
Hand Size: 9 ¼ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.52.
Bench: 18. Vertical: 37.5. Arm: 31 1/2.
Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

Williams is a confident corner that should be able to contribute immediately as a nickel back. He lacks the hip fluidity to play on an island at the next level, but he has experience lining up over the slot and maintains proper position to take away the easy crossing routes. When the ball is in the air, he has a great closing burst and the superb hands to make plays even on errant throws. He is aggressive in run support, but lacks the fundamentals to make tackles in the open field. Williams is good football player and should be an early second day pick.

Williams is a long corner with great closing speed. Well-prepared player that is always in sound position and quickly recognizes routes. Possesses excellent ball skills and has the hands to pluck the ball away from bigger receivers. Has quick feet to mirror slot receivers in man coverage. Willing tackler that consistently wraps.

Over aggressive at times making him vulnerable to play action and double moves. A bit stiff in the hips and will lose speed in transition in man coverage. Does not show a strong press at the line. Can take poor angles in run support and struggles breaking down ball carriers in the open field.

Read - React: Reads routes well and starts to close when receivers throttle down to catch curl or hitch. Sniffs out bubble screens. Gets fooled on double moves and misdirection when receivers and backs sell their routes. Recognizes run immediately in man or zone coverage and gets around the receiver to make the play.

Man Coverage: His size makes him a prototypical outside corner, able to stay with NFL pass-catchers down the sideline. Usually matches up with opponent's biggest receiver. Shows relatively quick feet when in the slot. Mirrors receivers on most straight-line routes but struggles to stop and return on throws behind him. Stays too high in his pedal, however, lets receivers eat up cushion too quickly. Needs to play more physically; usually plays well off the receiver, fails to land his hands when on the line. Gets pushed around too easily, allowing separation outside.

Zone Coverage: Practiced as a zone defender. Comes off of initial target a bit late, but gets to the ball in a hurry once he picks up the quarterback's read. Adjusts to jerk routes and can change his angle on the fly. Gets a hand on passes thrown over his head when underneath. Lacks great suddenness to change direction with quick slot receivers over the middle.

Closing/Recovery: A bit slow transitioning forward to plant and drive, but likes to make big hits and is tough for receivers to escape when he closes. Owns only adequate hands for the interception; picks off some easy passes but drops high and wide throws when in position to make the play. Able to knock away passes by swiping his long arm in front of receivers and winning jump balls. Lacks recovery speed if beaten off the line and does not gain ground running down the field.

Run Support: Solid run defender on the edge. Not afraid to take on large outside receivers and reacts quickly to get around potential blockers to make the tackle on running plays to his side of the field. Gets outside of the blocker to funnel plays back inside, but could do a better job shedding blocks when he's not able to elude them. Takes deep angles to be a last line of defense.

Tackling: Inconsistent tackler who displays the length and aggressiveness to wrap up ballcarriers but lacks great strength. Like to hit running backs on the edge and usually leads with a shoulder. Gives good effort, coming off his man to help teammates and laying out to make ankle tackles. Blitzes effectively due to his straight-line speed and size. Height can be a detriment against smaller, quicker ballcarriers; will leave his feet instead of dropping his hips to wrap and tackle. Gets dragged for extra yardage by stronger receivers.

Intangibles: Showed great maturity working though disappointing dropped punt against Oklahoma last fall. Missed UCF game in 2009 with a right knee injury. Uncle, Ken Taylor, played defensive back at Oregon State (1981-84) and Super Bowl XX champion Chicago Bears.

My Take:
Is too slow to be a corner unluckily for him. Could find work as a nickel or dime corner but I think he may be better served putting on 10 pounds and becoming a safety, but for us I say no.

Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 200.
Hand Size: 9 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.43 unofficial, 4.50 official
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.35.
Bench: 14. Vertical: 33.5. Arm: 31 7/8.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
Date of birth: c. 1989 (age 21–22)

House is a physical corner that excels in press coverage, and could develop into a starter in a Cover-2 scheme. He uses his big strong hands to jar receivers on the line of scrimmage and he can flip his hips and run. He also shows the ability to anticipate routes in zone and has enough speed to close with the ball in the air. However, he is a bit stiff in transition and will struggle to mirror receivers on double moves. His ultra-aggressive style of play makes him vulnerable to ball fakes and he will probably be flagged often. House looks like a middle round pick.

House is a big physical corner. Delivers a good press at the line to reroute receivers. Reads quarterback's eyes in zone coverage and shows the ability to anticipate routes. Possesses big hands and good timing to knock away passes. Flashes a mean streak and is a willing tackler in run support.

Lacks elite recovery speed and the hip fluidity to consistently stick with shiftier wide receivers in man coverage. Over confident at times and can get burned by play action. A step slow reacting to the play and struggles to disengage from blockers. Physical play could result in a lot of flags at the next level.

Read - React: Has adequate reaction time and instincts on the outside. Explodes into ballcarriers on outside runs but can also be a step late supporting against the run or stopping his pedal to get to receivers on stop routes. Maintains contact with his man on misdirection plays; can recover from double moves quickly. Very good hand-eye reaction time to pick off bobbled passes and knock away passes at the last second.

Man Coverage: His best asset, as he uses his size, speed and length to adeptly handle outside responsibilities in man coverage. Good backpedal and quick feet to wait until his man makes a move inside or outside. Runs with any receiver down the sideline and maintains contact to prevent separation. Tight coverage forces quarterbacks to often go in another direction or take a sack. Good ball skills; times his jumps well if quarterbacks test him deep and looks to return the ball as far as possible after making a pick.

Zone Coverage: Plays a lot of man coverage but shows promise as a productive NFL zone corner. Solid tackler who can plant and drive to stop receivers after the catch and support the run when playing off the line. Stays cognizant of the quarterback in the end zone, will come off his man to make a play on the ball. Must prove he has the discipline to come off receivers leaving his area so quarterbacks don't throw behind him into the vacated area.

Closing/Recovery: Closes on the ball very well whether it is in the air or he's bringing down receivers to prevent yards after catch. Is sometimes turned around by double moves or outside-in head fakes, but recovers quickly to get back into the play. Time his jumps well when going up for the ball. Needs to tighten up his steps when transitioning forward from his pedal.

Run Support: Looks the part of a physical corner who will get the job done in run support. Flashes the ability to stay low and square to wrap up elusive ballcarriers in the flat. Gets outside angle on receiver to force plays inside, and can rip off blocks with his long arms, but must have more consistent urgency to get to the ball. Will stand around piles instead of inserting himself.

Tackling: Effective as a wrap and cut tackler against receivers and running backs. Generally gets the thighs of ballcarriers on cut tackles to bring him them down. Willing to lower a shoulder to hit a back, even if it's a bit late. Impressive chasing to the opposite side of the field, using his speed and the angle to track them down before they reach the end zone. Also capable of chasing down running backs from behind if they get outside him to the sideline.

Intangibles: Coaches have no issues with his work ethic. Has gained bulk in the weight room during his time at NMSU. Did not play football until his junior year of high school, focused on baseball before that. Hasn't missed a game in his Aggies career.

My Take:
House interests me (plus he has a cool last name). The question I have is his speed, why the big difference from the combine to the pro day? To find the answer it means going back to the tape. Which isn’t great, House will be a good backup and rotational player, but I just don’t see him as a starter.

Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Height: 6-1. Weight: 198.
Hand Size: 9 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 4.40 unofficial, 4.46 official.
Bench: 19. Vertical: N/A Arm: 31.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
Date of birth: May 9, 1988 (age 22)

Dowling entered the 2010 season as one of the nation's top cornerbacks, but after playing in only five games due to injury, his draft stock may have taken a hit. He is a monster of a cornerback who seeks out contact in run support and is a sound tackler. He really excels in zone coverage with terrific instincts and has the ball skills to make plays on underneath routes. He does not have the recovery speed to play in a man-heavy scheme at the next level, but he should be a good fit in a Tampa 2 system. A potential first-round pick before the season, Dowling still likely will be a second-round pick.

Dowling has safety size and adequate speed. Very confident kid that reads quickly and shows the ability to jump routes in zone coverage. Presses effectively at the line and displays very good footwork. Big hitter that likes to mix it up in run support and consistently wraps the ball carrier.

Lacks elite recovery speed and will struggle against real burners in the NFL. A bit stiff in the hips and does not show the ability to stick with receivers in and out of their breaks. Rarely looks back at the ball in man coverage which limits his more than adequate balls skills. Missed most of his senior season with an ankle injury.

Read - React: Experienced corner who has seen all the tricks. Rarely out of position, even against double-moves, due to his instincts and vision. Keeps an eye on the quarterback and breaks on the ball quickly. Height and long arms make it very difficult to beat him over the top.

Man Coverage: Has the long arms and good upper-body strength for an effective jam at the line of scrimmage. Is often able to disrupt route timing. Good balance and opens up his hips smoothly. Can lose a step in transition but has surprisingly good acceleration and at least fair straight-line speed. Rides the receiver downfield, keeping good contact throughout the route. Faster on the field than he'll be on the stopwatch.

Zone Coverage: Savvy zone coverage defender. High in his backpedal, but is surprisingly fluid. Keeps his eyes on the quarterback, but has a good sense of where his receiver is. Will bait the passer into making the throw. Reacts quickly because of his vision and acceleration.
Closing/Recovery: Lacks elite recovery speed, making him susceptible to double-moves by NFL route-runners. Shows good instincts, however, and his rare height and arm length make throwing over the top of him dangerous. Locates the football quickly and is an explosive leaper with good timing and good ball skills.

Run Support: Reads run quickly and fights through receiver blocks efficiently through lateral agility and good upper-body strength. Willing to take on bigger ballcarriers with no hesitation. Uses the sideline to help defend the run. Understands his role in keeping contain and pushes the action back inside when he can't make the play. Willing to take on blocks to free up teammates for the easy stop.

Tackling: Good balance and lateral agility to handle tackling smaller, quicker players in the open field. Breaks down well and makes strong, secure tackles. Likes to intimidate his opponent with big hits. Will hit-lift-drive the ballcarrier into the ground when he can, resulting in impressive stops. Good pursuit and takes good angles to the ball, masking a lack of elite straight-line speed.

Intangibles: Played a postgrad season for coach Robert Prunty at Hargrave Military Academy following his senior year at Deep Creek High School. Had appeared in 35 of a possible 37 games for the Cavaliers prior to his senior season. Only started twice in five games played in 2010 due to injuries. Fractured his left ankle Nov. 13 against Maryland. Well respected teammate. Hard worker. Team captain in 2010. Nominee for the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

My Take:
Dowling I like, has great size and above average speed, has a long history of getting intercepts. With work could be a starting corner, reminds me of Cox a little but with less problems. And in the second is good value, but if he falls to the third I would look long and hard at him there.