Jonathan Cyprien   S   Florida International

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

 

STRENGTHS

Jonathan has excellent athletic talent to be an impact safety for the team that drafts him. He has the speed and burst to the play, and can be used in any style of defensive backfield and defensive scheme all over the field.  He shows on film to have great instincts, is very smart and thinks with the offense while he is on defense.  He challenges the other team's offensive coordinator and quarterback and, because of his athletic talent and football intelligence, will have to be accounted for in the passing game plan of his opponents.  Jonathan is a secure tackler and, when it's possible, a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  He shows very good change of direction skills and is quick to flip his hips and stay in coverage longer down the field than most safeties have ability to do.  Jonathan can be used in coverage and in nickel-dime packages.  He can be used in the slot against smaller slot receivers and because he is physical, has excellent upper and lower body strength and uses excellent bump techniques, Jonathan will be able to cover most of the bigger slot receivers.  

 

CONCERNS

Although Jonathan is strong and smart, he does not have the bulk to be used as a strong safety up on the line of scrimmage like his college team used him at the NFL level for a 16-game schedule.  Teams that think they can use him at the strong safety position will shorten Jonathan's career and he will have less impact.  Jonathan also has a habit of tackling too high, which will be a problem at the next level and must be corrected.  Jonathan has very good cover skills, but does not have the recovery speed needed to be a cornerback.  Like any good cover safety, Jonathan can cover and flip his hips, but can only stay with a receiver for the first twenty yards.  After that he needs help.  Nevertheless, inside the red zone, this kid can cover like a cornerback.  

 

BOTTOM LINE

Jonathan will be an excellent ball hawking free safety if the team that drafts him allows him to be.  He is not a strong safety for the next level.  I wouldn't ask him to take the pounding up on the line of scrimmage and expect him not to get injured.  He can be your coach on the field and cover safety and your secure safety when plays get by the front seven, but I suggest you let the front seven handle the pounding and keep this kid healthy.  I'm not suggesting that Jonathan is frail or skinny.  On the contrary, he is very strong and will tackle and mix it up with the bigger players in a heartbeat.  He is a tough kid and knows how to protect himself, but Jonathan has valuable cover skills which are too important to not have on the field and on the injured reserve list.  There are never enough safeties in any draft that have good cover skills, can tackle and are smart.  Jonathan has all of those skills and add his natural athletic talent and you have an impact free safety waiting to hit the field and impact the day after you draft him.  That is, if you're smart and play him off the line at the free safety position. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Feb/2013