Drew Boylhart February 2008
Aqib Talib   CB   Kansas
 
STRENGTHS 
Aqib has good size, strength and speed to play his position.  He has strong hands to intercept passes.  He shows solid overall cover skills and does a good job defending in zone coverage. Aqib seems to be very opportunistic; he looks for the interception and takes advantage of any mistakes made by a receiver or QB in the passing game.  Aqib is a solid tackler and does not shy away from contact.  He looks for the big hit and the critical turnover. 
 
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Right now, Aqib is working off the fact that he is smart and knows how to bait QBs and coordinators into making mistakes.  He is a good athlete, but makes most of his big plays while playing zone coverage with his face to the play.  Aqib is not a quick player and his one-on-one coverage skills are questionable.  He has also had some character and maturity issues that need to be addressed.  He is fast, but he lacks the quickness to be a true man-on-man cover CB.  He has the skills and straight line speed to be a hell of a Single Free Safety who can cover a TE or roam from sideline to sideline! 
 
TALENT BOARD ROUND 3
Personally, I feel that Aqibs natural position is Free Safety for the next level.  He reminds me a lot of Ed Reed (FS Baltimore Ravens), but without the leadership skills.  Aqib is very good as long as the play is in front of him.  As a CB, he can be taken advantage of very easily because he is stubborn and is always looking for the big play, while taking too many chances without the needed true quickness to win a big percentage of those battles.  From his play on the field, I dont see any of these issues improving anytime soon.  A smart coach will not try to change him, but will take advantage of Aqibs natural ball-hawking skills and play him at the Free Safety position.  He will impact a lot faster as a FS then he ever will impact as a CB.  There is no doubt in my mind about this.  If you try to make him a CB, you are opening your defense up to a player who will make as many big plays as he lets up and that is not a good situation.  As a Free Safety, Aqib becomes an impact player as soon as you draft him and will help the first year as a nickel/dime cover safety and on special teams as a return man.  Aqib will have to mature on and off the field, but he has talent to play at the next level and to impact.  The only person that will stop this from happening is Aqib himself.  Remember it takes more than talent to play at the NFL level.