Justin Gilbert   CB   Oklahoma St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Justin has the size and athletic talent to be an excellent cornerback for the team that drafts him. He has long arms and legs that allow him to have a big defensive radius which helps him against any size or style of receiver. He should be an excellent defender in the red zone and able to defend against tall receivers on those troublesome fade routes. Justin shows on film the solid agility to flip his hips and run with the bigger receivers. He has very good hands to intercept the ball and when he does, he is not satisfied with just intercepting the ball, he wants to take it back all the way for a touchdown. Justin does an excellent job being a ball hawk when he is in zone coverage. He is smart, understands his assignment and the timing needed between teammates to make zone coverage tough to play against. He shows leadership skills and communicates with his teammates very well on the field. Justin has the size, athletic talent and football intelligence to play more than one position in the defensive back field for the team that drafts him, except for one big flaw.

CONCERNS
Justin has made a name for himself running back kickoffs and intercepting the ball, but the NFL has almost done away with kickoffs and most, if not all, of Justinís interceptions have happened in zone coverage. Justin seems to struggle with the physical part of the game of football. He doesnít get off blocks to make tackles and seems to be the type of player who almost gets there in time just after someone else makes a tackle. In fact, when he is used in blitz situations, he has a bad habit of not reaching the QB before he can get the ball off. In coverage, he will make the tackle on the man he is covering, but even that is sloppy. Justin remind me a lot of Jets CB Antonio Cromartie who is a very good cover corner, but struggles to make tackles and be physical.

BOTTOM LINE
Justin also reminds me a lot of Jets draft pick in 2013, Alabamaís Dee Milner. The difference is that when Dee is forced, and has good coaching, Dee can become a good tackler. Iím not sure about Justin as he seems to shy away from tackling too much. His college coach team accepted that because Justin could make impact plays intercepting the ball and running back kickoffs. Justin might be a better free safety than a corner, but at either position, if he wants to stay on the field he has to tackle better. At the next level, playing cornerback is not just about intercepting the ball. Justin has the talent, size and overall skills to be much better than he is right now. The question is whether or not Justin knows that and if he is willing to work hard and change his approach to tackling? Itís up to him. I struggle personally drafting good cover corners who do not tackle very well high in a draft, but thatís just meÖwhat can I say?!

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014