Marcus Roberson   CB   Florida

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Marcus has excellent talent to go along with his size and agility. He could be an outstanding cornerback for the team that selects him. His quickness and his ability to change direction are unique for a player with his speed. He has excellent cover skills and can catch the ball to make the interception as well as any defensive back in this draft. Marcus has the size and quickness to be an asset in the red zone because he can shut down those fade routes, then use his quickness and long strides to shut down the short routes as well. He can work the slot and the outside against those bigger receivers. Marcus has the quickness to recover when he makes mistakes and can explode out of his defensive position in the middle of covering a route to make the interception or knock the ball down when it looks like heís been beat. Marcus has the talent to be a cover safety or corner for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
There are few issues that are cause for concern. He has some off field issues that teams need to address. There are some past injuries that teams will need to take a look at as well. The bigger problem is his play on the field. Heís a guesser and looks too much for the big interception; he canít, or wonít, tackle. When he tries to tackle, he doesnít have the upper body strength to finish. He can build the upper body strength to stop players from breaking his tackles and gaining more yards after the catch, but Iím not sure that will make him ďwantĒ to tackle. Thatís the biggest problem.

BOTTOM LINE
Marcus has all the skill that you could ask for in a cover cornerback or cover safety. Because of his size you expect him to cover those big receivers in the slot or outside. The problem with that is those big receivers just beat him up after they catch the ball. They break his tackles because of a lack of strength and the fact that tackling (for Marcus) does not seem to be a priority. He also guesses too much looking into the backfield and not reading his receiver; he will get beat like a drum on double moves all day long because of this. In film study of Marcus (going back to last year), I saw a corner who values his worth to a team in how many knockdowns and interceptions he has in a game. Thatís not what the cornerback position is all about. Iím not suggesting that those two stats are not important, they are; but you have to know that tackling the player youíre covering is just as important. The number of touchdowns a corner gives up and how much yardage after the catch he gives up are just as important as any other stat to evaluate how much of an impact player they might be. If you intercept a pass and knock down three passes in a game, but make no tackles and give up three touchdowns, youíre not a great cornerback. The stats say you might be, but the reality is that you are not. Marcus has maturity issues on the field in how evaluates his position and in how he plays that posiiton. This usually means a player has maturity issues off the field also. Suspensions, work ethic of rehab from injuries and his immature play on the field are big concerns for me in spite of his excellent cover skills and overall athletic talent. Nevertheless Iím sure Marcus will be selected by a team much earlier than I have him graded because of his athletic talent. If he matures, gains strength and learns to ďwantĒ to tackle there is no reason that he canít become an impact corner or safety for the team that selects him. However, something tells me that might happen just in time for free agency.

Drew Boylhart
MAR/2014