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CB in the 2008 Draft: Round 1 top 20 pick

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Posted 03-12-2008 at 10:30 AM by hagan714
Updated 06-12-2008 at 07:15 AM by hagan714

None of these guys have set themselves apart from each other. They all bring additional skills to the board. The problem is this, while the CB position is deep it does not have a group of truly great CBs. So the results is mock drafts have a lot of teams taking risks this year that they would never take in 2007. I would not be surprised to see CB become more of a hot item in round 2 and on the opening of day 2 with round 3 than in the first round like so many think.

1a. Leodis McKelvin, Troy, 5102, 190, 4.38, 17 rep, 33.5 vert.

Leodis McKelvin is a Kevin Hester clone? McKelvin is a true defensive back in every word. He is a DB first and return specialist second. McKelvin possessed blazing speed, his 40 time had been clocked in 4.38; showing great recovery speed with a smooth backpedal and fluid hips thus smooth in his transition. This should allow him to run with most of the receivers in the next level. McKelvin has good man coverage skills and can also play zone, due to his above average football intelligence. He is very athletic and possesses a natural instinct for the position, because he is quick to read and react. He uses his hands well to disrupt the receiver timing and can accelerate with tremendous burst. He comes up quickly for run support. A solid tackler. True play maker who is a threat to take it the distance every time he gets his hands on the ball. Can track the ball and make the pick. A shut down style corner. He is not intimidated against bigger name guys and is willing to mix it up and will make a tackle.

Not a lot of negatives with this kid. He doesn't have a lot of experience bumping at the line. Could improve his backpedal and stay down in it a bit more. He is just not physical enough right now and will sometimes bite on double moves; he just needs more experience at the position. He does need to develop better mechanics and definitely must avoid gambling. Could do a better job in zone coverage and sometimes he will shy away from contact. He can also be too aggressive and plays a little out of control at times. Gets his hands on a lot of balls that he needs to intercept. Really struggles catching the ball. Will never be a ball hawk. Did not always play against elite competition.

McKelvin is a great pro prospect. a 2 year starter for the Trojans. With more experience and good coaching, he should have a smooth transition to DB in the NFL. He has instant contribution characteristics and has a chance to be a very solid pro for years. He will immediately uplift the return game of the team that drafted him.

Measured shorter than expected at the Combine, but ran as expected--fast!

1b. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee St., 6014, 184, 4.28, 17, 38.5

"DRC" has separated himself from the big school corners. May be the first corner selected, and has a solid chance to go top 10. Naturally athletic that possesses fantastic jumping ability and the speed with a burst to close. His terrific agility, no ball is out of bounds mentality, make him a play maker with exceptional ball skills. He has great hands to pick off the pass. Dominiques' great height with long arms and some growth potential make him even more attractive. He already is strong for his size. Matches up well against tall receivers, but is quick and agile enough to handle the water bugs too.
Amazing recovery speed, quickness and very fluid hips allow him to breaks up anything he gets to. Instinctive and breaks on the ball quickly. Aggressive and confident. Can lay the wood. Played great against good competition. Can play safety or corner. Also an excellent kick returner.

Not very physical and has to get stronger. Doesn't really offer much in run support and needs to add weight and bulk up. Struggles to shed blocks. Still raw and will need to work on his technique and footwork. May be more of a one-dimensional cover corner. Sits down too quickly on occasion and over commits on fakes. Did not play against elite competition

Bulk and level of competition will hold him back some, but if he shares the same blood as Antonio Cromartie, he should be a very solid starter. Small school prospect who will be this year's coveted small school sleeper.

Was the talk of the Senior Bowl, showing dominance in the drills and in the game. Was one of the stories of the NFL Combine as well, running a blazing 4.28 and showing very well in all of the drills. Also put up a very impressive 17 reps at 184, for a guy every one says is to skinny. IMPRESSIVE

Teams now must weigh his post season efforts against his inconsistent play in 2007.
Here is the true #1 gamble of the draft.

Potential FS?

1c. Aqib Talib, Kansas, 6006, 202, 4.47, 10, 38 (CB/S)

Talib is one of the best cover corners in the country. Last season, he recorded six interceptions to lead the Big 12 and had 22 pass breakups. This season, he has four picks (including one return for a touchdown) and 13 passes defended. Seasoned. Aqib is a big corner with good speed and ball awareness. A solid man cover guy with good flexibility, nice ups, and the ability to run and bat balls away. Fluid athlete. Besides his great cover skills, Talib likes getting into the backfield and isn't afraid to make a tackle. Excellent return skills add to his value. Kansas has also used him on offense and he has eight catches for 182 yards and four touchdowns in 2007.

Is not a very solid run supporter. Not a very good tackler at this stage of his development. Relies too much on his natural gifts and hasn't yet worked hard enough to develop his technique. Bites too early. Jumps routes and sometimes misses the ball. Needs to stop reading his press clippings. Not the best team guy around. Has some focus and head question marks. Talib is undisciplined in coverage at times and his footwork needs some polishing. As a result, he's not as consistent as teams' would like from a first-round corner back.

If he adds on a few pounds of muscle, he could become a big-time hitter in the pros. That might lend more to a move to free safety, where he could be a bigger version of Brian Dawkins. Big time potential, if it can all be harnessed.

At the combine on Tuesday, Talib cemented his status as a first-round pick by running a 4.47 40. Talib also had one of the best vertical jumps of the combine with a 38-inch jump, and he also was one of the top performers in the 3-cone drill (6.82 seconds) and the broad jump (10 feet, 11 inches).

Talib could very well be the first corner back taken, or he could be the fourth or fifth, given how many corners should in the first round. Measured shorter and ran slightly slower than expected at the NFL Combine.

Prototypical zone corner that maybe better of as a potential safety. A bit of a boom or bust type.

There is little doubt he helped himself with his performance on the field, but he still has a number of off-field issues.

I have him here because of his combination of size and athletic ability to become a great FS in the NFL.
Posted in 2008 NFL Draft
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  1. Old Comment
    FireVenturi's Avatar
    Talib, boom or bust? I agree, most of the time when we say boom or bust that person usually becomes a bust.
    Posted 03-12-2008 at 11:35 AM by FireVenturi FireVenturi is offline

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