Dre has unusual size to go with very good speed to be considered a top cornerback before he hits the field. He performs well for his college team in just about any coverage scheme. He has solid cornerback skills in zone coverage and does a good job defending tall wide receivers. Dre shows the initial speed off the line to stay with most receivers and right now is further ahead in his techniques than most cornerbacks coming out of college. He is mostly a drag down style of tackler and does a solid job coming up and supporting the run when it is necessary. Because of Dre's size and speed, you can use him to blitz from the outside and disrupt plays in the back field of his opponents. Dre has the size, strength, speed and football intelligence to be a very good cornerback at the next level for the team that drafts him.
Dre is not as quick as he is fast. He lacks the excellent recovery speed needed to be an elite cornerback and will get beat deep. He also panics when he gets beat deep, which will cause him to commit interference penalties down the field at the worst times in a game. Dre needs to be in the correct scheme to be effective. He is a sloppy tackler, and by that I mean, he makes the tackle at the college level but at the NFL level he will struggle if a team wants to use him inside in nickel-dime packages because of his size. He arm tackles too much, doesn't break down quick enough, is off balance, doesn't wrap up all the time and if he does wrap up, he doesn't continue to move his feet. All of this makes me think that Dre makes tackles because he has to and not because he wants to. He must improve his tackling techniques.
What you see is what you get with Dre right now. There is not much room for improvement unless he develops his instincts and tackling ability. Dre is one of those Corners that is almost there. He has excellent athletic talent and will test very well, but because he lacks the true quickness and recovery speed of the elite corners and can get beat deep, he will struggle to become the player his talents suggest that he can become. I like this kid and think he is a solid cornerback for the next level. Because of his size and speed, he will be selected early in this draft, but expecting him to be a shut down corner at the next level is expecting too much, in my opinion. He can impact if he improves his tackling in nickel and dime coverage on those big corners and tight ends. He can impact on most wide receivers who lack elite speed and quickness. He reminds me a lot of Nate Clements (DB SF 49er's) who was a 1st round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills, has had a good career and made a lot of money in the NFL but...Nate has never been considered a shut-down corner, just a good solid corner.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12