Jason Verrett   CB   TCU

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Jason might be the best pure cover corner in this draft. He has the unique athletic talent of being both fast and quick, which gives him a big edge when covering any size receiver. Jason is quick to come up and support the run and has the hands to intercept the ball. He has the quickness in his hips and lateral agility that most other bigger corners do not have. He is smart in single coverage and knows where he is on the field and the down and distance. He can handle those quick slot receivers and be an impact player in nickel-dime situations right away as a corner or, better yet, as a free safety where he can make plays on the ball while itís in the air and in front of him. Jason makes a good effort fighting off blocks and uses his quickness to slip blocks and make tackles. He is a sure tackler and this, along with his coverage skills, should make some teams rate him higher than others.

CONCERNS
Jason plays light. By that I mean itís easy to out-muscle him on routes because of his lack of bulk. You can get him off balance easily when running deep routes just by turning your shoulder into him when running shoulder to shoulder with him while running down the field. He struggles to make tackles at the college level on bigger players unless he uses excellent form all the time. That will not happen at the next level. In the red zone, Jason will be at a big disadvantage against the bigger receivers where his quickness and speed will be less impactful and size and bulk is more of an advantage. Jason does well when he can play off a receiver and make plays on the ball and jump routes, but at the next level, every receiver he goes against will body up on him which will become a big problem.

BOTTOM LINE
Even the small receivers will let Jason come close to them so they can out muscle him to the ball. His speed will not make that much of a difference unless he can gain some bulk and lower body strength for balance and not get pushed around. He has a pretty good defensive radius because his arms are long for his size, but that skinny frame will be the question mark that he will have to overcome at the next level. If I saw some special teams work from him like returning punts or kickoffs, then Jasonís value would be much higher because he can cover, thatís not in question. For me, height is not the issue Ė itís truly his lack of overall strength to compete with bigger and taller players that is the problem for me. He is a specialty player who can cover and those teams that are up against a lot of smaller quicker receivers will rate Jason high and may draft him early. For me personally, I like to see a little more meat on the bones when it comes to the smaller cornerbacks or the ability for their frame to hold more bulk. Right now I donít see that with Jason and which may mean that he canít stay on the field on every down because opponents will take advantage of him, running the ball right at him and moving the ball on third downs and in the red zone in spite of his excellent coverage skills. I do see him making an impact on nickel-dime coverage at corner or free safety. Jason has proven that he can intercept the ball and trick quarterbacks into throwing into his coverage or zone. He is smart and quick and the further he is able to play off the line of scrimmage the more impact you can expect from his play.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014