Jamell Fleming   CB   Oklahoma

TALENT BOARD

 Round 1


STRENGTHS

Jamell is one of the most complete cornerbacks in this draft.  He has very good size and strength as well as notable athleticism to play his position.  He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler and comes up very quickly to support the run, working himself through or around blocks to make a tackle.  Jamell has excellent change of direction skills and nice recovery speed.  Jamell is very smart and understands his responsibilities in coverage when playing zone defense.  He shows great man-to-man coverage skills, but the truth is Jamell is one of the smartest corners in this draft, which is what makes him stand out above some of the rest.  He steps up to a challenge of covering the best receiver on his opponent's team and plays with pride.  He works well with the safety in coverage and takes pride in not blowing assignments.  He plays with a chip on his shoulder.  Jamell should be the type of player you draft and put on the field right away.  He is a keeper.

 

CONCERNS

Jamell looks to be the type of player who has to play angry to reach his full potential.  When I see him go to the sidelines he is always looking out of the corner of his eye at his coaches as if he has a bone to pick with them.  He looks like that kid always looking for compliments and trying to prove someone wrong.  It's hard to say if Jamell will be as consistent at the next level if he doesn't play with coaches who keep pushing him and making him play with that chip on his shoulder.  After looking at his play on the field and noticing his attitude towards the coaches, I did a search on Jamell.  I found out that he got suspended for academic reasons and had to fight his way back onto the field.  For me as a coach or an owner in the NFL, as long as that's all there is in his past, that is not a big problem.  I'm more concerned about whether or not Jamell is a self motivated player or a player whose emotions have to be manipulated to get the best out of him.  I'm more worried about Jamell's ability to handle success and if he will continue to challenge authority figures in his life.  Getting suspended for academic reasons more than once and his actions on the sidelines sends those signals to me.    

 

 BOTTOM LINE

I like this kid's talent, but I do think some background needs to be done on him to establish his mind set.  If a team is happy with his interviews and what he has done,or not done, off the field then drafting Jamell early in this draft is a no-brainer to me.  He can intercept the ball along with his other talents and because he is such a good tackler, and has good size, you will be able to use him at safety or corner.  This makes Jamell a multi-position player who can start and impact at one of the most valued positions in the NFL, cornerback.  I suspect because he has good hands and is football smart that he would also impact on special teams.  For me personally, cheating on a test is not a big issue, but it is an issue.  It's a stupid mistake and you hope he learns from it.  It is funny how a kid could be so smart on the field and so stupid off the field.  Jamell is a kid that lacks leadership skills -- he follows the crowd.  You do have to question his ability to accept a large contract and show up to play for more than just his first year.  That being said, I would take a chance on drafting Jamell in the first round and hold my breath that maturity comes quickly.  If it does, you just might have yourself a Pro Bowl cornerback or safety.  

 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart   DEC /11