Desmond has very good size and excellent athletic talent to play his position. He also has great technique, understands routes and anticipates those routes when covering receivers man-to-man. He has good overall strength to bump and move receivers off their routes and is very "cornerback" savvy. He will work a receiver during the game and get into that receiver's head. Desmond has decent hands and will go up and fight for the interception. He is smart and does a good job in zone coverage, but loves the challenge of man-to-man coverage more. Desmond is an aggressive cornerback and does a nice job tackling his opponent after the catch. He has the quick twitch you look for in a corner to cover the small, quick receivers and the size, strength and aggressiveness to cover the bigger receivers.
Desmond is not as aggressive coming up and supporting the run as much as he is in coverage. He's solid in the role of second tackler in on a sweep, but struggles to be the first. He is inconsistent when taking on a block on sweeps, turning the play in for others to make a tackle also. He recognizes the run, but hesitates to react and the result is getting there too late. Desmond likes to play man-to-man rather than zone because zone makes him have to react to the sweeps and screens. He would rather have his back to the play and not be involved in that aspect of a play. That being said, Desmond does a very good job in most cases tackling a receiver who catches the ball, so draft him high if you use a lot of man-to-man coverage in your defense.
Desmond understands that cover corners get drafted earlier, get more recognition and make more money than cornerbacks who play the run and are good in zone coverage. He knows this and his entire "game" is geared towards this. Nothing wrong with that as long as you know it going into the draft. Most teams will rate Desmond high; some who want more of a team player and team concept will list him a little lower, but believe me when I say this: all 32 teams will list him as a first rounder, you can bet on it. If you need a corner that excels in single bump coverage, then draft this kid early. If you just need a very good corner, I suggest you draft him early as well. Remember, he can play zone coverage and can play it very well. He just prefers man-to-man and the challenge, status and recognition it gives him. Nothing wrong with that.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart