Logan Ryan CB Rutgers #11
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and size. He’s well-rounded athlete who played quarterback in high school.
Coverage: Likes to step up in press coverage, but he isn’t exceptionally strong or fast. He struggles to consistently knock guys off their routes and when he doesn’t, receivers can easily gain a step on him once they’re around him. Did a nice job covering receivers in the slot. He’s quick with his footwork and is able to stick with them on the quick slants. He may be an ideal nickel corner at the next level.
Ball skills: Consistently gets his hand on the ball when he’s in position, but he’ll drop some interceptions.
Run support: Plays like he’s afraid of contact at times. He’ll hang out near the ball carrier and jump in only when he sees an opportunity to try to strip the ball. Not a wrap-up tackler. He swipes at the feet, which causes him to miss a lot of tackle tackle opportunities. His tackle stats aren’t bad, but it’s misleading. He make them when the right opportunity presents itself, but he doesn’t make a ton of impact tackles.
Intangibles: Two-year starter. Hasn’t been matched up with many elite receivers – Big East lacks much offensive NFL talent and he wasn’t challenged in many non-conference games either.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Ryan is somewhat limited by his physical tools, but may be an ideal nickel corner in the NFL. His straight-line speed is only average and his size is lacking, which limits his potential on the outside. But he’s very quick and demonstrates consistent footwork when matched up with receivers in the slot. His ability lock down a slot receiver and take away the quick slants and curls could make him a valuable asset in the NFL.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB Connecticut #5
Size/Athleticism: Impressive height with a decent overall build. He has rare size for the position, giving him the potential to match up with some of the game’s elite receivers.
Coverage: Does a nice job in zone coverage. He’s patient and does reads the quarterback well. He excels at keeping track of receivers in his zone without losing track of the quarterback. Somewhat limited in man coverage. He lacks the quick-twitch athleticism to stay with smaller receiver. His change-of-direction ability is limited and hinders his ability to recover from a false step. Straight-line speed is enough to hang with receiver, but not enough to easily recover from mistakes.
Ball skills: Consistently gets a hand on the ball when he’s in position, but his hands are only average. He’ll drop some would-be interceptions. Leaping ability is slightly below average for a corner. His height helps, but taller receivers have no problem high-pointing the ball against him even in tight coverage.
Run support: Willing to step up against the run, but would rather deliver a big hit and than wrap up the ball carrier. He misses too many tackles from being overly aggressive. He does a poor job playing as the last line of defense. He takes a lot of poor angles to the ball and closes too quickly when he should hang back as the last line of defense. Given his size, he has the potential to improve in his run defense.
Intangibles: Two-time team captain. Three-year starter.
Durability: Missed 5 games with a sprained knee in 2011. Underwent surgery on his hand in 2010 during the season, but did not miss any playing time.
Comments: Wilson has the potential to develop into a decent starter, but he’ll need to clean up his technique. He doesn’t possess enough natural athleticism to make up for the number of mistakes he tends to make in coverage. He survived in the Big East, but NFL receivers will quickly expose his flaws. Given his size and his reputation as a hard worker and team leader, he’s a fairly safe pick because he could always switch to free safety if he fails to develop the tools to excel at cornerback.
Robert Alford WR Southeastern Louisiana #13
Size/Athleticism: Elite speed. Experience returning kicks and punts.
Coverage: Speed and athleticism allows him to matchup with just about any receiver, but his technique is very shaky. He relies too much on his speed and takes a ton of false steps. There’s a lot of wasted movement when he tries to stay with receiver in man coverage. Limited experience in zone coverage, but he does show strong awareness and recognition skills in zone.
Ball skills: Does a poor job putting himself in position to play the ball. He’s a great athlete, but he just doesn’t have the disciplined technique to consistently be in position when the ball comes his direction. Even when he’s right there with the receiver, it’s not difficult more technically sound receivers to position themselves to shield him from the ball.
Run support: Willing to step up against the run and he’ll lower his shoulder and deliver some hits. However, he’s overly aggressive and takes a lot of poor angles. He overcommits to a direction and athletic running backs have little trouble eluding him in the open field.
Intangibles: Older brother Fred Booker played briefly in the NFL. Forced to sit out the 2008 season to due eligibility issues.
Durability: Missed entire 2010 season due to neck stingers.
Comments: Alford is a physically gifted corner, but he is extremely raw and has limited experience against top competition. He tends to play like he’s in the backyard because was so much more athletic than most of the receivers he was matched up against in college. In the NFL, however, he will need to refine his technique before he’s ready to stay with NFL receivers who can match his athleticism and fool him with their route running.
D.J. Hayden CB Houston #2
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but a little too skinny. He’ll struggle when matched up with more physical corners and may be limited to playing nickel corner in the NFL.
Coverage: Overly aggressive at the line of scrimmage sometimes and he’ll get beat by receivers who really have no business getting over the top against him. He seems to trust his speed a little too much at times. Has the speed to stay with just about any receiver down the field. He is exceptionally quick and should excel against faster receivers in the slot.
Ball skills: Fairly reliable hands when he’s in position to make a play on the ball, but he needs to be more consistent in putting himself in those positions. A threat with the ball in his hands; returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns as a senior.
Run support: Gives a decent effort and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. However, he’s undersized and often does little more than slow down the ball carrier. Occasionally used to blitz.
Intangibles: JUCO transfer with only two years experience in Conference USA. Hasn’t faced a ton of top competition.
Durability: Suffered a serious injury to his heart while making a tackle during practice in Nov. 2012 and nearly died. The injury required immediate surgery and he missed the remainder of the season. It was a freak accident, but due to his slender build he does have durability concerns. Did not work out at his pro day due to a hamstring injury.
Comments: Hayden is one of the better athletes in this draft class, but his size limits his upside. He will be a quality nickel corner, but his upside as an outside corner may be limited. He will struggle against true No. 1 receivers and could be a liability in certain matchups.
Kenny Stills WR Oklahoma #4
Size/Athleticism: Decent height. He’s somewhat skinny, but has the frame to put on some weight. Straight-line speed make him an effective deep threat. Doesn’t make many plays after the catch. Goes down on contact, or avoids it all together by stepping out of bounds.
Separation Skills: A deep threat on the outside. Lazy in his breaks. He rounds off his cuts and isn’t very quick. He plays as though he would rather go deep on every play and doesn’t want to get the ball when he’s going across the middle.
Ball Skills: Very inconsistent adjusting to the ball in the air. Doesn’t give much of an effort in traffic, he seems to shy away from battling for the ball. Needs to learn how to go up and pluck the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him. He plays like a typical prima donna receiver who wants to hit home runs but doesn’t want to put forth the effort to contribute on less glamorous plays. However, he has shown the ability on occasion Basically, when he’s motivated he can make the plays, but good luck convincing him to do so on a regular basis. Drops far too many easy passes.
Intangibles: Arrested on a DUI charge in 2011. Trash talks a lot on the field. Gets visibly upset with his quarterback after poor throws. Uncle Gary Stills played linebacker for the Chiefs and Ravens.
Durability: Missed a game with concussion in 2011.
Comments: Stills has the talent of a potential No. 1 receiver but he’s inconsistent and his lack of effort raises a major red flag. Add in some off-field concerns, and he will likely fall down draft boards. Most teams would rather gamble on a player with lesser talent than bring in a prospect who didn’t show a consistent effort in college. You can teach technique, but you can’t teach effort. Players either want to be great, or they don’t – it’s entirely up to them. And it is incredibly rare for a player who lacks effort in college to suddenly turn it on once he’s collecting an NFL paycheck.