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Old 12-11-2013, 11:21 PM    (permalink
bigbuc
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Default Best CB in Class?

Seems like a lot of CB can be first rounders. But who's going to make the move to be a top 10 pick? Gilbert.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:32 AM    (permalink
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I don't know that any CB is going in the top 10 but I think there are a lot that will go in the first 2 rounds.

My top 3 guys are

Darqueze Dennard - He's not the best athlete in this class and he doesn't play the run game as well as the other top guys but to me he has the best technique and cover skills in the class. He is a great press corner and he just has a way of finding the ball and even knocking it out of a receiver's hands.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Size is obviously a concern but he makes up for that with great quickness and positioning. I love his enthusiasm in the run game and was surprised that someone his size would have no fear about busting up running plays. He's also great at getting his head around and locating the football and has pretty good ball skills to go along with that.

Justin Gilbert - Has the best size and athleticism of the top 3 but I also think he struggles the most in coverage. He just doesn't seem to have the same quickness out of his backpedal that the other guys have. I actually think he might be a better fit at FS as it plays more to his strengths. He has incredible ball skills and he probably plays the run better than any other CB in this draft.

I think all 3 of these guys are legitimate 1st rounders at this point.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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I would still go with Bradley Roby of Ohio St.

Had an up-and-down season but it's hard to ignore the physical tools and pedigree.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:44 PM    (permalink
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As a pure cover guy, in the pass happy NFL I would say Dennard all the way is the #1 guy, especially after such a great game against Ohio State.


Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has the most upside however I think.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:52 PM    (permalink
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I would still go with Bradley Roby of Ohio St.

Had an up-and-down season but it's hard to ignore the physical tools and pedigree.
What I've been saying. And he ended on the "up".
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:58 PM    (permalink
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Can someone explain to me this Dennard hype. I've seen him in the top 10, top 15 on a lot of boards now. I don't doubt he's a good player with very good technique but when did mid-sized CB's with mid-level length, speed, athleticism, and physicality become so highly coveted. I have an open mind towards him if someone wants to sell me on him but right now he's one of those "I just don't get it" guys for me.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:19 PM    (permalink
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Can someone explain to me this Dennard hype. I've seen him in the top 10, top 15 on a lot of boards now. I don't doubt he's a good player with very good technique but when did mid-sized CB's with mid-level length, speed, athleticism, and physicality become so highly coveted. I have an open mind towards him if someone wants to sell me on him but right now he's one of those "I just don't get it" guys for me.
Mid sized? He's a legit 5'11" almost 200 lbs. Good size for a CB. But I'll agree the other attributes is't such for a top 10-15 pick. But the results are there. He's been the best player on one of the best defenses in the country. He's shutdown virtually everyone he's played in the last 2 years.

I'm a huge fan, but I'm not going to try to convince you he's a top 10 pick, because I wouldn't pick him that high. The only CBs I'm picking that high are elite athletes. But results guys are typically more ready to play in the NFL. And if you can get Dennard in the late teens/early 20s, he's going to be a guy that's a solid starter for you. May never be a star like Roby/Olomu, but he also isn't as likely to flop.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:29 AM    (permalink
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I actually really like Antone Exum. He's a really thickly-built cornerback at 6'1" 220+, but he's also a smooth athlete and I haven't seen him get burned much. He's a terrific tackler. He doesn't just wrap up; he hits with a pop and will regularly drive runners backward after contact. He's got pretty solid technique, and I particularly like the way he plays receivers' hands. Over and over again I saw him attack receivers' hands as they were trying to bring in the ball, and he's very effective at preventing catches, even if a receiver has a height advantage or has gotten a step on him and touches the ball first; he's very accurate with his own hands and quickly and violently punches at the ball, keeping receivers from coming down with it or else, often, quickly punching out out of their grasp while they're still securing it and before it can be called a catch. Very physical defensive back. Probably is going to get quite a few teams looking at him as a safety prospect, though, and I heard he even played some linebacker for the Hokies at one point. Might even be more along the lines of Kam Chancellor than a regular cornerback, except I see a lot more coverage ability and ball skills from him than I did with Kam, and Exum's not quite so big.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:15 AM    (permalink
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Verrett is my guy - had some injury issues this year, but I have him head and shoulders above the class.

Dennard is a very good college CB - but he has a big adjustment to make in terms of how physical he is. Like some of the Alabama CB's who have come out in recent years, I think he'll struggle early in his career as he's so grabby.

Roby has all the physical ability in the world, but you can't trust him in man coverage. Looks better in zone where he can freelance - but I am not a fan at all and I wouldn't touch him in the first 2 rounds. Upside is there, but just hasn't shown any improvement this year and that scares me. It's not like the Wisconsin game was the only game he struggled in - struggled against Cal for goodness sake amongst others.

Fuller is also good - durability concerns knock him - but outside of that I think he's worthy of a high pick.

Gilbert has played better this year - could see him being the first CB taken if he runs fast. Kick return ability is a major plus.

Ekpre-Olomu I want to see his 40 time - let Paul Richardson get on top of him in the Colorado game and left me with questions.

I also like Marcus Roberson (Florida) - speed might be a question, but technique is good and can press. Suspended for one game, didn't play much of the next game either (FSU) and missed 3 games with injury, so doesn't have great momentum to declare early.

Good class though - E.J. Gaines, Joyner, Purifoy, Hampton, Colvin, McGill, Jean-Baptiste, Cockrell and Hal also can play.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:01 AM    (permalink
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I just went and watched a couple more guys.

Kyle Fuller is really impressive. I watched his games against Alabama and North Carolina and he was great at getting his head around and locating the ball. My biggest problem with him is that he can be overly aggressive at times and he got beat on a double move for a TD against North Carolina. However, his aggressiveness pays off a lot of the time and he jumped quite a few routes in those two games and came up with a pick because of it against Alabama. He plays a bit reckless which leads to injuries but it's nice to see how hard he plays in the run game.

Jason Verrett really wasn't impressive in the 2 games I watched of him. I watched his games against Oklahoma State and LSU and in those 2 games he got called for 3 pass interference penalties and got away with another one against LSU. He was generally in good position but he struggled to get his head around. In the Oklahoma State game they were actively going after him in the 2nd half which is pretty surprising for a top CB prospect. He is a good tackler but I didn't really see him fighting through blocks like some of the other CB prospects. He makes the tackle when he has a clear line to the ball carrier but if someone gets their hands on him he generally just sits back and watches the play.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:18 PM    (permalink
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Can someone explain to me this Dennard hype. I've seen him in the top 10, top 15 on a lot of boards now. I don't doubt he's a good player with very good technique but when did mid-sized CB's with mid-level length, speed, athleticism, and physicality become so highly coveted. I have an open mind towards him if someone wants to sell me on him but right now he's one of those "I just don't get it" guys for me.
Is there much difference between him and Haden physically? Size, length, athleticism seem very comparable.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:25 PM    (permalink
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Verrett is my guy - had some injury issues this year, but I have him head and shoulders above the class.

Dennard is a very good college CB - but he has a big adjustment to make in terms of how physical he is. Like some of the Alabama CB's who have come out in recent years, I think he'll struggle early in his career as he's so grabby.

Roby has all the physical ability in the world, but you can't trust him in man coverage. Looks better in zone where he can freelance - but I am not a fan at all and I wouldn't touch him in the first 2 rounds. Upside is there, but just hasn't shown any improvement this year and that scares me. It's not like the Wisconsin game was the only game he struggled in - struggled against Cal for goodness sake amongst others.

Fuller is also good - durability concerns knock him - but outside of that I think he's worthy of a high pick.

Gilbert has played better this year - could see him being the first CB taken if he runs fast. Kick return ability is a major plus.

Ekpre-Olomu I want to see his 40 time - let Paul Richardson get on top of him in the Colorado game and left me with questions.

I also like Marcus Roberson (Florida) - speed might be a question, but technique is good and can press. Suspended for one game, didn't play much of the next game either (FSU) and missed 3 games with injury, so doesn't have great momentum to declare early.

Good class though - E.J. Gaines, Joyner, Purifoy, Hampton, Colvin, McGill, Jean-Baptiste, Cockrell and Hal also can play.
Don't think physicality will kill Dennard, if he's crafty about it. He's probably not going to be able to be physical against the little, shifty guys, but he should be able to get away with some grabbing on the bigger guys, provided he does a good job of getting the hands off once the ball is in the air (which he has shown at MSU).

Roby, I think you can mix it up with. He can play man, but you don't want to put him on an island all night long. I think he'd do great in an off man scheme and playing underneath with safety help.

Ekpre-Olomu was in Cooks' back pocket all night when they played. I don't see any reason why he won't time fast and at the very least should be among the best at his position in the agility drills.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:33 PM    (permalink
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I definitely don't think there's an elite level CB prospect in this draft. Most of the top guys fall in the late 1st/2nd round area and I feel it's mostly going to come down to what each individual team is looking for.

I think the combine is going to shake up the ratings as it usually does. Dennard is a guy that I feel will drop a bit as I don't expect him to light up the combine. Justin Gilbert will probably see his stock go up a bit with his size and athleticism. I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up as the #1 CB off the board even if I don't agree with it.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:59 PM    (permalink
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I definitely don't think there's an elite level CB prospect in this draft. Most of the top guys fall in the late 1st/2nd round area and I feel it's mostly going to come down to what each individual team is looking for.

I think the combine is going to shake up the ratings as it usually does. Dennard is a guy that I feel will drop a bit as I don't expect him to light up the combine. Justin Gilbert will probably see his stock go up a bit with his size and athleticism. I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up as the #1 CB off the board even if I don't agree with it.
I wouldn't pick any of these guys top 15. I don't think any of the CBs in this class are better than Trufant last year and he went what? 23? Though there are several I'd put about his level and this is a completely different draft class.
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