Johnathan Cyprien SS Florida International #7
Size/Athleticism: Built like a prototypical strong safety. Straight-line speed is very average, but he plays much quicker than his 40 time indicates.
Coverage: His speed hurts him in coverage at times. He reacts quickly, but when the offense stretches the field he sometimes simply lacks the closing speed to make a play. Shows elite awareness on the field and an ability to read the quarterback. Struggles in man coverage. He lacks the foot quickness and overall agility to stay with receivers and tight ends. In man coverage, he’s often playing catchup and rarely is able to turn and locate the ball.
Ball skills: Does a nice job reading the quarterback in zone coverage and putting himself in position to make plays. He’s a physical defender who can battle for jump balls.
Run support: Willing to step up and battle at the line of scrimmage. Occasionally used to blitz, and doesn’t back down from engaging with offensive linemen. Hard hitter who can jar the ball loose. Surprisingly inconsistent tackler, especially considering his size. He can deliver the big hit, but he’s very inconsistent in wrapping guys up and slides off a lot of tackles.
Intangibles: Four-year starter. Plays with confidence, but he’s overaggressive at times.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Cyprien has potential as a strong safety, but there are obvious limitations to his game. He isn’t as versatile as most safeties in today’s game. More and more teams prefer interchangeable parts in the secondary, and Cyprien is a true strong safety which could limit his interest from teams. He has the skills to excel in a very specific role, but he will be a liability in coverage at times. While he should be viewed as a future starter, he isn’t a perfect fit for every scheme.