Charles Gaines, Cornerback, Lousiville
Weight: 180 pounds
Arm Length: 31-3/8 inches
Hand Size: 8-¾ inches
NFL Combine Results:
40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 123.0 inches
3 Cone Drill: 7.07 seconds
20-yard Shuttle: 4.20 seconds
Bench Press: DNP
Pro Day Results
60-yard shuttle: 11.58 seconds
2014: 36 tackles | 1.0 TFL | 1 sack | 2 INT | 10 PD | 1 FF
2013: 22 tackles | 5 INT (1 for TD) | 7 PD
Charles Gaines has a tall and long frame, which he uses well. He has light feet and moves fluidly in his backpedal in and out of cuts. Has a good understanding of positioning when covering receivers on every route.
Gaines has good ball skills to go up and compete for 50/50 passes and come away with the ball. He has a great anticipation to jump routes and pick off the ball. He is capable of mirroring in man-coverage and doesn’t bite too often on fakes.
He's not a down-field grabber. When he does get beat, he possess enough recovery speed to make up the lost ground. He has above average instincts for the position. He also has special teams experience.
While Gaines has a tall and long frame, he lacks muscle and would need to bulk up to compete with the bigger receivers of the NFL. He's a former receiver, who still at times plays like one. He's not the most physical of corners and can’t turn his head to look for the ball without slowing down and creating space.
He doesn’t know what run support is and has questionable hands at times, stemming from multiple dropped interceptions. He doesn’t track the ball well enough to consistently match up on deep routes.
How he fits with the Denver Broncos
Charles Gaines plays a bit like how Aqib Talib did for the Broncos in 2014—a lot of off-coverage and keeping the play in front of him. However, that is where the similarities end. Talib is a capable run defender and a physical player, which Gaines is far from being.
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The Broncos actually have good cornerback depth, but would be lacking if they move Bradley Roby or Kayvon Webster to free safety. Gaines actually fits really well with the Broncos defense, despite his lack of physicality and run defense.
He would have to add to his frame and get more physical and better vs. the run. Putting him under the wing of the corners the Broncos have could reap huge benefits. He could get that physical spark from them, as the Broncos corners exemplify physicality.
As a mid-late round option, Charles Gaines would be a project depth piece for the Broncos. It is a high-risk, high-reward type of selection. Charles Gaines could be groomed to be a multi-Pro Bowl player under the Broncos system, or he could be out of the NFL in just a few years. It all would depend on him and if he is willing to change his approach, and take mentoring and coaching from teammates and the coaches.
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