This year promises to be one of the most unique draft seasons ever, especially when scouting cornerbacks. I have been keeping a close eye on these 2021 prospects. This week I’ll take a look at some interesting defensive back prospects. Good defensive backs are always at a premium in the NFL. This 2021 Corner class is guaranteed to offer more top end talent.
Marco Wilson -Florida CB 6’0 190
First up we have Marco Wilson, the younger brother of Colts 2017 draft pick Quincy Wilson. When I put on the tape, what stands out to me is the athletic ability he displays. He’s got a good speed, with a track background going back to high school. Wilson also has fluid hips, good change of direction and excellent recovery speed. At the University of Florida, Wilson has played outside as well as in the slot. Florida calls their slot CB position the STAR position because much is asked of the player that plays there. Wilson has thrived in that position. Mostly playing in off coverage mirroring receivers on their routes, it is yet to be determined how Wilson fares in more aggressive coverages.
In the clip below, Florida is in zone coverage and you see Wilson lined up in the slot near the top of your screen. The QB is looking to hit his slot WR running a dig route. Wilson does a good job taking the route away and forcing the QB to come off that read. After that, the QB begins to scramble. Wilson stays disciplined and stays glued to his man throughout the scramble.
Kary Vincent Jr. -LSU CB 5’10 190
Next up we have Kary Vincent Jr. Kary Vincent is a gifted athlete. Coming out of high school he was the top ranked 200 meter sprinter in the country. Vincent also ran the fourth fastest 4×100 meter relay in LSU history. On the football field, Kary Vincent excelled as a nickel CB. In 2019, he recorded 4 interceptions along with 44 tackles while playing in 14 games (starting 8).
The film on Kary Vincent is impressive as well. The high end ball skills are prevalent throughout his tape. The tape also shows that Vincent is not only has straight line speed, but also lateral speed as well. While playing off coverage, Vincent does well reacting to what is in front of him and exploding in and out of breaks right along with the receiver.
In the clip below Kary Vincent is covering Ole Miss slot WR Elijah Moore. Vincent shows excellent route recognition. Once he knows what is coming, Vincent practically runs the route for Moore. He shows excellent short area burst to undercut the route as well.
Asante Samuel Jr- FSU CB 5’10 184
Son of Pro bowl CB Asante Samuel Sr. Asante Jr started 12 games in 2019, recording 14 pass breakups and 1 interception. On film Asante shows good quickness and change of direction to play off coverage. Asante jr also shows good ability to check receivers in aggressive man coverage. Florida State trusted him enough to give him the responsibility of traveling with receivers on vertical routes, which speaks to his ability to turn and run.
In some ways Asante Jr’s game resembles his father’s. His route recognition is good and he breaks on the ball quickly, just like dear old Dad. One difference is that Asante Jr doesn’t quite have the ball skills that his father does yet. There are instances where Asante Jr makes a tremendous break on a pass only to have the ball slip through his fingers. Another difference would be a higher level of physicality that Asante Jr brings to the field.
In the clip below you’ll see Samuel lined up against Eagles 5th round pick John Hightower in the red zone. Hightower takes Samuel on a vertical route up the seam. Samuel does a great job using trail technique. He stays in phase with the receiver throughout the entire route. Had the ball not been overthrown, Samuel would have been able to undercut the route and make a play on the ball.
These are just a few guys that caught my eye. I haven’t even gotten to the top guys yet. I’ll highlight more as I grind through the tape.