Scouting The Defensive Backs

One area that NFL scouts like to see talent in numbers come draft time is at cornerback. And the talent at this position will be strong starting in the middle part of round one. The safeties leave a lot to be desired as there are a lot of questions still to be answered on all but one of the prospects.

Cornerbacks

DeAngelo Hall/Virginia Tech/5-10.5/195/4.35/Junior: Hall has been on a straight ride up draft boards with his play this season. His defensive game has improved in every area and Hall has become a lethal special teams player. Expect Hall to be a first round pick in April and as he learns better corner technique, turn into a terrific NFL player.

Dunta Robinson/South Carolina/5-11/190/4.41/Senior: An explosive cover corner, Robinson possesses great skills for the next level. Technically sound, he continually makes plays against the ball and has opposing quarterback looking away from him. Will be scooped off the board midway through the first round in April.

Chris Gamble/Ohio State/6-1.5/192/4.47/Junior: Gamble is a prospect with a great future and a high upside for the next level if he focuses and learns to calm down. He would be effective in a variety of defensive schemes and will only get better in time. Warrants a first round selection and could be selected very high if he enters April's draft.

Derrick Strait/Oklahoma/5-10.5/190/4.47/Senior: Possessing a lot of quality cover skills, Strait has the size and abilities scouts want in an early pick at corner. While he needs more attention to detail to meet his uppermost level, Strait will be a quick starter and productive player at the next level when he attains the top rung of play.

Will Poole/5Sr/5-10/182/4.50/Senior: Physically and technically gifted, Poole is one of the more natural cornerbacks in this draft. Best suited to play in a zone-cover-scheme or backed off the line of scrimmage, he is a prospect that should be starting by the end of his rookie campaign in the NFL.

Ahmad Carroll/Arkansas/5-9.5/195/4.40/Senior: One of the most physically gifted cornerbacks in this draft, Carroll plays with great intensity, speed and quickness. Has improved his overall game the past three seasons and possesses a high upside for the next level.

Safety

Sean Taylor/Miami-Fl/6-2/ 232/4.45/Junior: Explosive defender and the best safety to enter the draft since Roy Williams. A tremendous run defender that also displays cover skills, Taylor also impacts the game on special teams. The complete package and will be a top ten pick.

Sean Jones/Georgia/6-1/210/4.55/Junior: Another safety with good size that forces the action, Jones is effective defending both the run and pass. Not as well rounded as Taylor and needs time to learn the finer points of his position, yet still a good prospect.

Matt Ware/UCLA/6-2.5/209/4.52/Junior: A terrific athlete with a good amount of upside potential, Ware shortchanged himself by coming out after his junior campaign as he needed another year in college to refine his skill. Size/speed numbers are enticing and should be a top 75 pick this April.

Jason Shivers/Arizona State/6-0.5/201/4.53/Junior: Shivers brings both know-how and intensity to the position as well as a good degree of athleticism. Best in a zone system and don't be surprised if Shivers is starting by the end of his rookie campaign.

Will Allen/Ohio State/6-0.5/202/4.52/Senior: After finally getting his chance to play in 2003, Allen responded with a terrific season. Displaying the skills to be an all around defensive back, he was effective covering the pass or defending the run and will eventually grow into an every down starter at the next level in time.

Bob Sanders/Iowa/5-8.5/204/4.41/Senior: Sanders is a high motor, competitive player that coaches will love. Has the physical abilities to play in any kind of system but must learn to recognize pass assignments quicker and play under control.

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