Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska #16
Size/Athleticism: Elite height and overall size. Good athleticism for his size, but borderline for the position. Not really a quick-twitch athlete and will struggle with elite athletes at receiver. A former receiver. Similar physical traits to Richard Sherman.
Coverage: Specialized in press coverage. Strong enough to consistently throw receivers off their route. Struggles to shadow receivers down the field and takes too many false steps and get trapped by double moves. Long strider who takes time to get up to full speed and will struggle with pure speed receivers.
Ball skills: A former receiver with the ability to come down with the interception. Long arms. Has the ability to react to the ball at the last second.
Run support: Still learning to quick diagnose the run. Big enough to make plays but very limited experience on defense and still learning how to close quickly and wrap up the ball carrier.
Intangibles: Will be a 24-year-old rookie.
Durability: No known issues. Did not miss any games at Nebraska.
Comments: Jean-Baptiste is a near physical clone of Richard Sherman, which has NFL teams intrigued by his potential. However, he isn’t nearly as aggressive or confident in his game as Sherman. He has potential but should be considered a developmental prospect. He’s an ideal candidate to land in a cover-two scheme due to his ability to press and throw receivers off their route, but also due to the need to have help over the top.
Marcus Roberson CB Florida #5
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and overall build. A quick-twitch athlete who can run with most receivers. Short arms. Played much faster than his timed speed. Experienced returning punts.
Coverage: Elite athleticism and can run with any receiver. Frequently plays up at the line of scrimmage and has the quickness to stay with twitchy receivers. Bites on fakes and double moves. Gets grabby when he’s beat and will be called for more penalties at the next level if he doesn’t adjust. Has the speed to make up for mistakes but he tends to panic when a receiver gains a step on him.
Ball skills: Does a nice job turning to play the ball when he’s in position to do so. Reads the receiver well and knows when to turn.
Run support: Weak tackling effort. Hesitant and doesn’t close with a purpose.
Intangibles: Suspended for two games in 2013 for a violation of team rules.
Durability: Missed three games as a freshman with a neck injury. Missed time with a knee injury in 2013.
Comments: Roberson is a quick-twitch athlete who has the potential to be a successful cover corner but he lacks the patience and awareness on the field necessary to handle receivers who can match his athleticism. He’s too impulsive in coverage, biting on fakes and falling for double moves, and when he loses a step he panics and gets grabby. He has the potential to develop, but he is more of a project and shouldn’t be considered an instant starter.
Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State #20
Size/Athleticism: Undersized but plays bigger. Does not shy away from contact and will dive right into the mix at the line of scrimmage. A hard hitter who can knock the ball loose.
Coverage: Bounced between safety and corner and played a lot of zone. Does a great job reading and reacting to quarterback in zone. Plays the centerfield position well, and can coverage a lot of ground. Somewhat limited experience in man coverage, especially on the outside. Frequently lined up in nickel corner position. Quick feet and can stay with receivers in quick underneath routes. Can be forced into false steps by receivers with subtle fakes. Overaggressive tendencies hurt him in coverage as he bites on a lot of fakes.
Ball skills: Puts himself in position to make plays. Does a great job adjusting to the ball when the play is in front of him. Lacks the size to win 50/50 battles with bigger receivers. Doesn’t have great hands for the interception.
Run support: Great effort and very aggressive for an undersized defensive back. A big hitter and fairly reliable tackler.
Intangibles: Work ethic praised by coaches. Showed willingness to move between corner and safety multiple times throughout his career. Has a son named Jamarcus.
Durability: Started 41 consecutive games to close out his career.
Comments: Joyner is almost a Tyrann Mathieu clone, without the off-field concerns. He isn’t quite as fluid in coverage as Mathieu, but could make a similar impact as a nickel corner or safety at the next level. His ability to line up all of the field should make him intriguing to creative defensive coordinators. While he’ll never be a shutdown corner on the outside, he can impact the game in multiple ways and should earn a spot on the field in most situations.
Bradley Roby CB Ohio State #1
Size/Athleticism: Elite speed. A great all around athlete with good body control and balance.
Coverage: Prototypical man coverage cornerback. Can turn and run with anyone and has the quick footwork to play up at the line of scrimmage and mirror receivers. Lacks the strength to excel as a physical press coverage guy. Very aggressive and bites on fakes.
Ball skills: Does a great job closing and making a play on the ball when the play is in front of him. Somewhat inconsistent turning to play the ball down the field. Lacks ideal height to compete for 50/50 balls but he’s explosive and his great leaping ability to help make up for it.
Run support: Elite closing speed. Diagnoses run quickly and closes as fast as anyone in this class. Misses some tackles because of his lack of size, but overall he is still an above average open field tackler. Struggles to disengage from blocks and can be take out of the play.
Intangibles: Arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of battery in 2013 for his role in a fight outside of a bar. Work ethic has been questioned and he’s been viewed as a selfish player by some who have spent time around him. Needs to mature in order to reach his full potential.
Durability: Did not play in 2014 Orange Bowl due to a bruised knee. Suffered a shoulder injury in 2012 which caused him to a miss a game and nagged him throughout the year.
Comments: Roby is immensely talented but his style of play won’t endear him to every coaching staff. He’s a gambler, which will result in some great plays but also some bad mistakes. He’s probably the type of player who, for better or worse, will always be this way. It may hold him back from reaching an elite level, but if surrounded by talent he can be a weapon in the secondary. In terms of raw talent, he’s probably at the top of this class at cornerback, so a team comfortable with his minor character concerns and his style of play will likely gamble on him in the first round.
Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech #17
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height but skinny. Speed is decent, but not exceptional. He’s quicker than he is fast.
Coverage: A good athlete who can excel in man coverage. Lacks the strength to throw receivers off their route in press coverage, and got burned a few times by receivers who were able to fight through the press. Poor footwork sometimes and often turns his back on the quarterback unnecessarily to recover. Takes too many false steps at the line of scrimmage when working in press coverage. He’s quick enough to mirror receivers in their breaks, but not fast enough to turn and run with everyone without having help over the top.
Ball skills: Does a nice job quickly picking up the ball in the air when he turns. Decent hand and will come down with the interception when he’s in position. Breaks quickly to the ball and times his jumps to contest passes.
Run support: Closes quickly but not a wrap-up tackler and misses often. Doesn’t always take great angles.
Intangibles: Team captain as a senior. One of four brothers to play at Virginia Tech. Older brother Vincent Fuller played defensive back for the Titans also.
Durability: Slowed by nagging shoulder and groin injuries in 2012. Missed time with a groin injury in 2013 also. Had season-ending surgery in 2013 on a core muscle injury.
Comments: Kyle Fuller has the physical tools but he still makes a lot of mistakes when in man coverage. He tends to take too many steps and gets drawn out of position against more savvy receivers, and once they gain a step he lacks the elite speed to recover. He stands out because of his elite ball skills, but at the next level he’ll need to refine his fundamentals in coverage in order to maintain his ability to get into position to make plays on the ball.