Scouting Report: Drayton Florence

See what our experts in San Diego and Jacksonville are saying about Buffalo's new cornerback. Florence was known for big plays in San Diego, yet floundered in Jacksonville. Here's the lowdown...

By Michael Lombardo

SD Bolt Report

I believe Florence is a very underrated cornerback. He has good size. He's comfortable in man or zone coverage. And he has excellent ball skills. Florence is a big-game player who is at his best in the fourth quarter, which could be significant for a Bills team that had problems closing out games. However, part of his late-game success is his willingness to gamble, which can of course be a double-edged sword.

Florence is an extremely confident player. He once told me his goal for every season is to intercept 10 passes and return four of them four touchdowns (according to Florence, interceptions don't count unless you return them for a touchdown, so he will attempt to bring EVERY pick back the other way).

It helps that Florence is the rare kind of corner that is equally effective covering on an island or in the slot, which will give the Bills some options. He can also be effective on the corner blitz because of his size and big-hitting ability.

Florence is a willing defender against the run. He is not afraid of contact, although sometimes he doesn't wrap up as well as he should.

Bottom line: The Bills got a playmaker who will give up some big plays but who should make some big plays of his own. After watching him for four years in San Diego, I think Florence's positives clearly outweigh his negatives, and I think the Bills got a great deal with the contract they gave him.

By Charlie Bernstein

Drayton Florence signed with the Jaguars fairly early on in free agency last season and was handed the starting cornerback job opposite Rashean Mathis. This allowed the team to move Brian Williams to safety. Early on, Florence was beat consistently, and made virtually none of the big plays he was brought in to Jacksonville to make. He was forced to the bench after week 4 because teams picked on him consistently.

I'm not sure whether it was just one bad season or eroding skills, but Florence is no longer a starting corner based on what I've seen from him. He was re-inserted into the Jags lineup late in the year and played nickel, and that's where he performed best. Florence spent too much time looking into the backfield last year, and couldn't make plays on the ball when it was in air. He struggled tackling, and I'm not sure how much positive impact he can still make. After giving Florence an eight-figure bonus, the Jaguars decided to part ways with him after just one season.

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