Eric Rowe, Defensive Back, Utah
Weight: 201 pounds
Arm length: 31-½ inches
Hand size: 9-½ inches
NFL Combine Results:
40-Yard Dash: 4.45
Bench Press (225 lbs): 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 39.0 inches
Broad Jump: 125.0 inches
3 Cone: 6.70 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 3.97 seconds
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.48 seconds
Pro Day Results: N/A. Stood on Combine numbers.
2014: 59 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 INT, 13 Passes defensed.
2013: 69 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1/2 sack, 7 PD.
2012: 64 tackles, .5 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PD.
2011: 69 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 1 INT, 10 PD.
Eric Rowe has the frame of a defensive back that NFL teams are looking for--tall long and well-built. Rowe is a versatile player, capable of playing corner or safety. He contests catches at the high point, making it difficult for receivers to make clean catches.
He's aggressive in coverage and run support. Rowe is an above average tackler, with solid technique. He has great technique to jam receivers at the line and he's great at mirroring receivers in coverage and sticking with them. He possesses great instincts as a player.
Rowe has questionable hands. He was able to breakup many passes, but a good portion of them were dropped interception opportunities, too. He cannot disengage from blockers. He also has concerns with his back-pedal.
Like taller corners, he gets too high in his back-pedal, doesn’t have long speed, and will struggle with NFL deep threats as a corner. He struggles to change direction, especially in tight spaces. He will be limited as a man-corner in the NFL. If beaten, he does not possess the speed to recover and make up ground quickly.
How he fits with the Denver Broncos
Eric Rowe could step in and play corner or safety for the Broncos, if they were to draft him. However, due to his weaknesses in man-coverage, it would limit what the Broncos can do with him.
When they are in zone-coverage, they can match him up with a bigger boundary corner, and in man, line him up as a single-high safety. Another potential combo defensive back for the Broncos would hurt some of the others on-roster already.
The Broncos already have Bradley Roby and Kayvon Webster, who have both been linked to a possible move to safety to get them on the field for more snaps. Rowe would be just another one of those type of players.
While it is great for depth at both safety and corner, the Broncos would lack pure safety depth behind Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward. They have David Bruton and future contract signee Ross Madison behind them, but Madison is far from guaranteed a roster spot.
Rowe has a great skill-set, but not one that the Broncos really need. He doesn't fit well with Denver. Rowe is more of a zone corner in the mold of Richard Sherman, which would be great, but under Phillips the Broncos will play more man with their corners.
Phillips will run zone concepts, but not enough to use Rowe to his strengths. They could move him to a full-time safety, which is where his skill-set is a better fit for the Broncos, but his hands and speed would be a major concern, but not enough of one that should deter them.
If Rowe is on the board in the late second, the Broncos should really consider him, as a free safety only. However, I have a hard time seeing Rowe be there that late in the second round and he shouldn’t be an option at the end of the first round.
The Broncos could always trade back out of the first or up from the second and look to add him. Rowe has a high ceiling as a corner, but it is very scheme-dependent. At safety is where Rowe has the highest ceiling and is more scheme versatile.
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