Johnny has the athletic talent and size to become an excellent cornerback for the team that drafts him. He has good speed and shows enough quickness to cover most any style of receiver. He has long arms and legs that allow him to cover a lot of ground quickly with very little effort. He shows on film good hands to make the interception and has been an impact player for his college team. He has even played on special teams and has blocked a few kicks. Johnny likes to make the big play -- in fact, he loves to make a big play. He looks for an opportunity to make the big interception. Johnny considers himself a playmaker at the college level.
Johnny 's ability to look for the big play will become a problem for him at the next level. Johnny is a solid cornerback, but to make big plays he has to take big chances because he doesn't have the pure athletic talent to play his responsibilities and make the big play. He is a guesser. If he guesses right, everything is all right. If he guesses wrong... disaster. The question is, can he recover mentally from a few disasters in a row? Johnny also is not a consistent tackler. He does not like tackling running backs in the open field that have pierced the line of scrimmage. He shies away, does not wrap up, drops his head and allows himself to be blocked. Johnny always lets his opponent have a free release off the line of scrimmage, which tells me he may be overrating his own talent for the next level. In man-to-man coverage, he can be moved around by the bigger receivers when they run routes. Because of his long stride, he is off balance when running on a receiver's hip and the bigger receivers will out-muscle him, push him and get separation. In zone coverage, his tackling is suspect and he must improve that aspect of his game for the next level. It looks to me like Johnny is so interested in interceptions that he has not bothered to use the correct techniques consistently at his position. On film, the perception Johnny creates is that he thinks he is so good he doesn't need to use those techniques. He is in for a bit of a shock.
The one thing I see in Johnny that makes me think after a couple of years that he can be a very good corne back is that he doesn't like to be the one to let his teammates down. When he makes a mistake and a TD is scored against him, it seems to bother him a lot. He feels he has to make up for that mistake by making a big play. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Johnny is the type of player you throw onto the field and let him get beat like a drum to tear him down so that you can build him back up. You have to get him to realize quickly that he is not as good as he thinks he is. Once that happens, you will have his full attention, which is when he will listen to coaching and become a better player. This will take time because Johnny for the first time in his life will have to become consistent with his techniques play after play after play. He has to get stronger and learn bump & run techniques. He has to learn to work better with the safeties in zone coverage, read receivers and look for interceptions when the game dictates he look for interceptions. He has to play better team football when he is on the field. I know Johnny is a good teammate, but he doesn't play team ball. Big difference. This kid is a project but I think he is a worthwhile project. He looks like a good kid and, at the college level, he has been an impact player and that goes a long way with me. Make him realize that he doesn't have to be an impact player at the next level and that's when he will become an impact player.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart April/11