Stephon Gilmore   CB   South Carolina   

TALENT BOARD

 Round 3


STRENGTHS

Stephon has solid athletic skills to play his position at the next level at a high level for the team that drafts him.  He has good speed and quickness and has the overall talent to be able to play in a zone coverage scheme as well as man-to-man coverage.  He has noticeable strength and is a very physical cornerback.  He is perfect for a bump-and-run scheme, which will excite a lot of teams in this draft. Stephon shows good upper and lower body strength as well as sharp instincts and football intelligence.  Stephon is a ball hawk and wants to make a name for himself.  You can see it in his play on the field.  He looks to be a good teammate and was used mostly out on an island without coverage over the top by his college team in most game situations.  In the right defensive scheme, Stephon will impact right away.   

 

CONCERNS

Stephon has to be drafted by a team that uses a bump-and-run scheme with excellent pass rushers who make a QB throw the ball quickly.  The reason for this is that Stephon never takes his eyes off the QB once the play has started.  This is a very bad habit and one that is hard to break at the NFL level and start.  He does not read wide receivers and mirror them going down the field unless he anticipates before the snap a deep pass.  He prefers not to tackle correctly, in spite of the fact he is a tough kid.  He doesn't wrap up and does not come up to support the run with the passion that he tries to intercept a ball.  Double moves are going to kill this kid and if the ball is not thrown by the QB within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage, Stephon will not be successful defending.  He reminds me a lot of Pacman Jones who has talent, but lacks the ability to accept that he is not as good as he thinks he is and change his style of playing cornerback to be successful in the NFL. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Stephon can come in and help you in nickel/dime packages if he decides he wants to tackle!  He can cover if he decides that looking into the backfield is not the way to defend at the NFL level.  He can help if he really works at understanding HOW to play his position instead of just playing his position.  He's a smart kid, but I think he lacks the work ethic right now.  I'm sure he thinks he has the work ethic, but I think he is in for a shock.  That being said, he does play with pride and you can get him to work and listen if you attack his pride.  Once that happens he could turn into a very good cornerback in the NFL but, he will hate you and jump to another team in free agency quicker that you can flick a bic for a smoke.  Lots of growing pains with this kid on the field.  I guess the question is, how much growing pains are there off the field?  Stephon has good potential, but his style of play right now will not work in the NFL.  He will get an interception or two, but in the long run he will get burned big time on short passes because he refuses to wrap up and make tackles consistently and get beat on deep passes because he is looking into the backfield at the snap of the ball.  Techniques, techniques, techniques.

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart   Feb /12