With Brock and Morris both on the roster for the next few years, and both measuring 5' 10", and with the possibility of 5' 10" Brown getting re-signed, I figure nickel/slot CB is covered, and will therefore focus attention on larger CBs (5' 11 1/2 or taller) for duty on the outside. Speed will be the second filter, as an outside CB may have to man up to fleet WRs in single coverage from time to time. Any CB who is slower than 4.55 in the 40, which happens to be the below both the median and average of 4.48 sec for all CBs who participated in the Combine over the last 15 years (1999-2013), will be eliminated from further analysis, as we are looking for above average speed from our CBs.
As before, we list those at the Combine who don't pass the filters...
Verrett and Joyner are both good football players and will make a team in the NFL, probably as a nickel CBs. We just need to bolster other positions in the backfield.
Ricardo Allen: Short (5' 9 1/8") and slow (4,61 40)
Deion Belue: 5' 10 3/4"
Bene Benweikere: 5' 10 3/4" and 4.63 40
Bashaud Breeland: 5' 11 3/8" and 4.62
*Ross Cockrell: At 6' even and 4.56, he just misses my admittedly subjective speed filter. He may warrant further analysis?
*Aaron Colvin: 5' 11 3/8 just misses my admittedly subjective height filter, and he injured his ACL at Sr. Bowl practice. He might be worth a 7th rounder, as he will spend the next season on NFI, and may not recover fully (Manningham)?
Chris Davis: 5' 9 7/8"
Darqueze Dennard: 5' 10 7/8"
Pierre Desir: 4.59 40
Antone Exum: 4.59 40
E.J. Gaines: 5' 9 5/8"
Demetri Goodson: 5' 11"
Andre Hal: 5' 10 1/4"
Victor Hampton: Short (5' 9 1/8) and slow (4.69 40)
Kendall James: 5' 10"
Stanley Jean-Baptiste: 4.61 40
Nevin Lawson: 5' 9 1/8"
Dexter McDougle: 5' 9 3/4"
Terrance Mitchell: 5' 10 3/4" and 4.63 40
Jabari Price: 5' 10 1/8"
Louchelz Purifoy: 5' 11 1/8" and a 4.61 40 (very poor Combine performance too)
Keith Reaser: 5' 9 3/4"
Rashaad Reynolds: 5' 9 3/4"
Marcus Roberson: 4.61 40 and a poor Combine too.
Bradley Roby: 5' 11 1/8"
Todd Washington: 5' 10 5/8"
Jaylen Watkins: 5' 11 1/8"
Lavelle Westbrooks: 5' 11 1/8"
This leaves the following prospects passing the height and speed filters:
Travis Carrie: 5' 11 5/8", 206# and 17 reps on the bench (so good size and strength). No other Combine participation, and is currently ranked #418 on Draft Scout's Top 1000, so maybe a UDFA prospect?
Brandon Dixon: 5' 11 1/2", 203# and a 4.41 40 (top 30%). 17 bench reps (top 30%), but 32 1/2" vert, 116" broad, 4.27 shuttle and 7.15 3 cone were all below avg and bottom 50% for all CB Combine participants over the last 15 years (1999-2013). This Combine performance barely warrants further analysis, but then I see his college isn't in cfbstats.com., so very low level of competition. Might be worth a UDFA selection to see what he brings in camp?
Kyle Fuller: 5' 11 3/4", 190# ran a 4.49 40 (both below average and bottom 50%). 12 bench reps were below average (14). 38 1/2" vert (top 30%) 127" broad (top 30%) show decent leg power and explosiveness, but his agility is merely average for Combine CBs 4.19 shuttle (below average and bottom 50%) and 6.90 3 cone just above average and top 50%. His bend was far too upright in his back pedal, but it didn't seem to affect his hips too much, as he was pretty fluid in drills.
College Production: Normally I would state last seasons stats, but because of injury, those stats are diminished, so I have to include this excerpt first...
Fuller had been dealing with a groin injury since the early part of this season, and then an ailment which Virginia Tech classified simply as a "core muscle injury" ended up requiring surgery. Fuller tried to return for the Hokies’ bowl game, but was still too injured to participate. Though he started every game during his sophomore and junior seasons and was healthy for the entirety of his freshman year, he did also deal with a shoulder injury as a junior, so he may draw concerns from some personnel departments.
Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/01/05/2014-nfl-draft-scouting-report-virginia-tech-cb-kyle-fuller/?xlofMdveVmU3S4CH.99
Fuller also pulled out of the Sr. Bowl due to the recuperation from the surgery. So with a shoulder, groin and sport hernia (requiring surgery), he definitely comes with durability concerns (have to go all the way back to his freshman year for an uninjured one).
So in a shortened approx. 7 game season in 2013, he had 24 total tackles, 2 for loss and a FF, with 10 PBUs and 2 INTs against 1 ranked team. In 2012's 13 game season (2 ranked opponents) he totaled 52 total tackles (44 solo and 3 for loss and a FF), with 5 PBU and 2 INTs.
Phillip Gaines: 6' 3/8", 193 # ran a very fast 4.38 40 (a tick outside of the top 10%). His 11 bench reps were below avg, but his leg strength and explosiveness as measured by the 36 1/2" vert (just above avg) and 122" broad (just above avg). However, his agility is very good with a 4.04 shuttle (top 30%) and 6.62 sec 3 cone (a Bellichik favorite) was a top 10% effort. He looked good in the Combine drills.
College Production: He missed the 1st game in 2013 due to a suspension arising from a marijuana possession charge, but played in the remaining 13 (none of those ranked) and accumulated 36 total tackles (24 solo, 4 for loss), with 9 PBU and 4 INTs. In 2012 he amassed 33 total Ts (23 solo, 2 for loss), with 18 PBUs but no INTs. Perhaps he got more confident his Sr. year and turned some of those numerous PBUs tallied his Jr. year into INTs his Sr. year? His 2011 season was hampered by a foot injury.
Scouting: Very good in coverage, but needs to continue improvement in ball skills and run support.
Justin Gilbert: 6' 1/8", 202# ran a very fast 4.37 40 (top 10%). 20 bench reps for a CB is equally impressive (top 10%). 35 1/2" vert (just below avg), 127" broad (top 30%), (no shuttle time recorded), and a 6.92 3 cone is above average and top 50%. He looked very good in drills with fluid hips and light feet.
College Production: In his 13 game 2013 season he faced 3 ranked opponents and made 42 total tackles (37 solo, 0 for loss) with 7 PBU and 7 INTs (2 for TDs). He also gained 453 yds on 18 KR for a 25.17 avg, and another TD. In 2012 he similarly played 3 ranked of 13 teams and made 63 total tackles (53 solo, 2.5 for loss and a FF), with 9 PBUs and 0 INTs. So much like Gaines, he seems to be getting more comfortable turning PBUs into INTs. He gained another 827 yards on 32 KR for a 25.84 avg and 1 TD.
Scouting: Great size and speed. Very athletic with quick hips, covers well and has ball skills. Was in the coach's doghouse due to a perceived lack of effort. From NFL.com his weaknesses include ...
"Can do a better job discarding blockers -- a bit soft-tempered. Immature early with an inflated ego and spent some time in the coach's doghouse after coasting too much on his natural ability and making too many mental mistakes."
Bennett Jackson: 5' 11 7/8", 195# ran a 4.51 40 (below avg), and did 13 bench reps (below avg). His 38" vert (top 30%) and 127" broad (top 10%) show very good leg strength and explosiveness. His 4.00 shuttle (top 10%) and 6.75 sec 3 cone (top 30%) also demonstrate excellent agility. This guy makes it to the final round of production analysis.
College Production: In the 13 game 2013 season, he faced 5 ranked opponents and made 64 total tackles (41 solo, 5 for loss, 1 FF), with 3 PBUs and 2 INTs (1 returned for a TD). In 2012 there were 13 games (4 ranked) and he made 65 total tackles (45 solo, 1.5 for loss), with 4 PBUs and 4 INTs. No return experience.
Scouting: Durable. Better at run support than coverage, good at ST coverage units. Can he be coached up?
Keith McGill: 6' 3 3/8", 211# ran a 4.51 40 (below avg) and did not participate in the bench. His 39" vert (top 30%, but was really just outside the top 10%) and 128" broad (top 10%) were the best of the finalists here and show excellent explosiveness and leg power. His agility wasn't nearly as impressive with a 4.18 shuttle and 7.29 3 cone were both below average and bottom 50%. His bend and back pedal were OK, but his hips weren't "quick", but they weren't as bad as Dennard, either. Overall he had a pretty good Combine. He played S earlier in his college career, and probably fits best there (FS?).
Conclusions: This group of CBs is quite a mixed bag from a couple of UDFAs to a probable FS. We have a talented but lazy Gilbert, who needs to work on his run support. Fuller is decent sized, but below avg in speed and agility, and comes with significant durability concerns. There is also Gaines who needs to work on run support and stay away from the ganja. Then there's Jackson who is also below average in speed and coverage techniques, but does pretty well in run support and ST.
This is a year where interviews and due diligence will be key. If Gilbert continues the ego laden immaturity in the interview process, then he will not be Harbaugh's kind of blue collared worker, and won't be worth a trade up. Fuller comes with too much risk for the limited upside reward, especially for a late 1st / early 2nd cost. I say pass on him. Gaines needs to be asked about his suspension and if he's learned anything. If he has and expresses a willingness to put in the effort to improve his strength, and his game in the area of run-support, I think he has a high enough ceiling to become a starter, and warrants our #77 selection. As for Jackson, he should be considered in the late rounds as a project/STer. Maybe if he's around in the 7th we can select him and get him through to the PS, if needed?
So the safest course would be to re-sign Brown, or restructure Rogers, so a project (Gaines) or 2 could be brought along slowly. Otherwise, a costly trade up for Gilbert is in order, if he passes the interviews. Even if we do make a play for Gilbert, we should nab Gaines, as well (conditioned on his interview).