Saints Scouting Report: Leodis McKelvin

Each day leading up to the NFL Draft, Saintsinsider.com will break down a player that the New Orleans Saints may be interested in on draft day. Today it's Troy CB Leodis McKelvin. Find out his vitals, his college statistics, what our Scout.com personnel guru Tom Marino thinks of him and Matthew Postins' thoughts on how McKelvin could fit in with the Saints.

Leodis McKelvin

POSITION: Cornerback.

MEASURABLES: 5-foot-10, 190, 4.38 in the 40.

COLLEGE CAREER: All-Sun Belt Conference first-team choice. Started all twelve games at left cornerback, coming up with 60 tackles (50 solos), including 2.5 stops for losses of 6 yards. Caused three fumbles and recovered another, advancing that turnover 36 yards. Deflected nine passes and intercepted two others for minus 9 yards. Led the league and ranked fourth in the nation with 436 yards and three touchdowns on 25 punt returns (17.44 avg). Finished third in the Sun Belt with 33 kickoff returns for a school season-record 765 yards (23.2 avg), topping his own mark of 634 yards in 2006.

PROJECTED AS: A first round pick. Scout.com's Tom Marino considers Gholston the safest bet among the cornerbacks in this draft.

ARE THE SAINTS INTERESTED: The Saints met with McKelvin last week.

DRAFT VALUE: Most mock drafts have McKelvin selected by No. 10 overall, where the Saints pick.

SCOUT.COM'S TOM MARINO'S ANALYSIS: Very talented, highly athletic DC with excellent speed and man cover skills. Physical press corner (aggressive and quick with his hands). Compact pedal with quick feet (no wasted movement or steps). Was physical and effective in run support. Competes extremely hard. Return skills add to his pedigree. Was slightly disappointed in his ball skills, but this player has the skills to start quickly at the pro level.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE SAYING:

"McKelvin has rare overall athleticism and relies on it to make plays all over the field. Quick and aggressive at the snap, McKelvin can disrupt the timing of routes with his initial jam, and has the smooth hip turn and straight-line speed to mirror receivers downfield. He likes to peek into the backfield, sometimes getting a jump on passes underneath, but also putting him in position to occasionally be beaten deep. Willing in run support, McKelvin evades blocks and is a sound open-field tackler similar to DeAngelo Hall. His dynamic ability as a return specialist could lead to McKelvin being drafted even higher than his considerable coverage talents warrant." — NFLDraftscout.com

"McKelvin has been overshadowed by cornerback prospects from bigger schools but is better than nearly all of them. He is the latest elite prospect out of Troy, following the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware (2005) and the Giants' Osi Umenyiora (2003). Although McKelvin struggled early in the week at the Senior Bowl, he improved each day, a good sign for a small-school player. Unlike most small-school cornerbacks, McKelvin shows great footwork, which will ease his transition to the NFL. He will become a good starter in any type of scheme." — Sportingnews.com War Room.

MATTHEW POSTINS' BOTTOM LINE: There is no player in this draft that has the words "value-added" attached to him quite like McKelvin. If he were just a cornerback, he would likely still be a first-round pick. But his above-average ability to return kickoffs and punts makes him an intriguing prospect and a bit difficult to grade in terms of draft position. Should he be a Top 10 pick? Well, if you can get three players for the price of one in that location, you're hard-pressed not to do so. McKelvin is versatile enough to play any type of coverage and quick enough to keep up with most receivers. Couple that with the fact that he can break off long punt and kickoff returns and he would be a tremendous selection for the Saints. Trouble is, there's a good chance he'll be off the board by the time the Saints pick. But, if he drops to that position, the Saints would be foolish not to take him.


You can read more of Matthew Postins' coverage of the New Orleans Saints at saintsinsider.com.


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