Finding Broncos: Ladarius Gunter, DB

In the latest edition of Finding Broncos, MHH Analyst Erick Trickel takes a look at Miami (FL) defensive back Ladarius Gunter. Gunter flashes on the grid-iron and had a good week at the Senior Bowl, but how well does he break down when diving deep into his tape and how would he fit with the Broncos?

Ladarius Gunter, Defensive Back, Miami (FL)

Measurements:

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 202 pounds

Arm length: 31-½ inches

Hand size: 9-5/8 inches

NFL Combine Results:

40-yard Dash: 4.69

10-yard split: 1.68

Bench Press (225 lbs): 12 reps

Vertical Jump: 33-1/2 inches

Broad Jump: 108 inches

3 Cone: 7.18 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.41 seconds

60 Yard Shuttle: 12.44 seconds

Pro Day Results: N/A

College stats:

2014: 26 tackles, 2 INTs

2013: 46 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 3 INTs (1 for TD), 9 PD, 1 FF

2012: 27 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 7 PD

Pros

Gunter has the body of an NFL corner—tall with good length and weight. He is very fluid in his movements, from his backpedal, to his change of direction—all of it is fluid and flows into the next movement smoothly.

He has loose hips, which is part of why he is so fluid and smooth, with a strong jam at the line of scrimmage. Gunter is an aggressive player, who will read the quarterback and jump routes. He has strong hands, which he uses to contest catches.

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Gunter is a good run support corner, who can read the play as it develops, avoid blockers and wrap up when tackling. He's a versatile player. He's played outside corner, the single-high safety, even matched up against tight ends.

He excels in playing off-coverage, particularly in a zone. It allows him to sit back, watch the play develop and react, which he does very well.

Cons

Gunter doesn’t have the top-end speed that you want in a corner and can’t handle man concepts consistent enough for a team to feel comfortable having him play man-coverage. He lacks athleticism and won’t take on blockers as a run defender.

Instead, Gunter will give up ground to avoid blockers and make the play. He tends to lose his assignment while playing man-coverage. He cannot cover speed receivers and has to do a better job with defending high-point passes.

Those should be 50/50 balls, but Gunter, at times, doesn’t try to high-point the pass and it becomes 75/25 in the receiver's favor. He's not as physical of a player that his size and frame would suggest he should be.

While he flashed at the Senior Bowl, it does not match up with weeks of game tape. That raises a question whether he gave it his all during the season, or just skated by until the Senior Bowl and turned it up.

How he fits with the Denver Broncos

As a cornerback, Ladarius Gunter is a bad fit for the Broncos. The way he plays his game, just does not work with what Wade Phillips does with his secondary on defense. However, if Gunter were to make the switch to safety, as he should in my opinion, he would be a nice fit as part of the Broncos safety corps.

Although, as I have mentioned in ‘Finding Broncos’ articles before, the Broncos have considered moving Bradley Roby and Kayvon Webster to safety, which would make them hybrid defensive backs. Gunter would be the same, with a similar play style as both of them but the Broncos would continue to lack true safety depth.

Gunter is a mid-late round pick and could be a solid pickup as a safety for the Broncos. In that range, however, there are other defensive backs, primarily safeties, which would make more sense for the Broncos to take.

Gunter has all the tools to be a well-rounded defensive back, he just doesn’t use them all at a consistent level. At some point he becomes worth the risk and as a safety, that point for me is in the fifth round.

The big reason I have him as a safety is because what he does do consistently is what you want from an NFL safety. He won’t be a multi Pro Bowl or All-Pro selection, but he has solid starter potential for years. He reminds me a bit of Danieal Manning, who played really well under Phillips in Houston.

Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook.

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Eric Rowe: An Intriguing Dual Threat Option

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