The 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board will be rolled out over the course of four weeks by position, featuring players to watch and a breakdown of what NFL scouts look for through the eyes of Collegiate Bowl Director of College Scouting, Dane Vandernat.
Today, we feature cornerbacks:
THREE TO WATCH
Lavert Hill, Michigan: A physical press man corner, Hill excels at getting his hands on receivers and redirecting their routes. His athleticism has been on display as a mirror cover corner, while his hip transition allows him to stop on a dime to break on the ball. A preseason favorite for the Jim Thorpe award, Hill was rarely tested a season ago, as he only accounted for 14 tackles and one interception, which was returned for a touchdown. Those around the program rave about his leadership and intelligence, traits that will only enhance his draft value.
Tony Pride, Notre Dame: An extremely sound zone corner, Pride thrives on reading offensive concepts and the quarterback’s eyes to make plays on the ball. He appears to be very comfortable playing in zone coverage, as his transition to break on the football is fluid and natural. A gifted athlete with world-class speed, Pride has been a dual star at Notre Dame, also competing in track. He’s a candidate to be the fastest man in Indy and has reportedly been timed in the low 4.3-second range.
Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern: A fierce competitor who wears his emotions on his sleeve, Vildor has earned a reputation as a lockdown corner. He raised eyebrows last season with his performance against Clemson, not allowing a single completion while collecting an interception. In 13 games last season, Vildor totaled 42 tackles (4.5 for loss) with 11 pass breakups and four interceptions. He’s also very active in the community, donating hundreds of hours of his time giving back.
SCOUT’S EYE VIEW
There are many types of cornerbacks in the NFL, and finding a scheme fit can go a long way in adding to a corner’s career length. Through the variety of schemes comes desired skillsets: Zone teams want to see a prospect’s ability to recognize routes from off-coverage and be able to break to the ball quickly; press-man schemes prioritize body length and straight-line speed to cover vertically; and, cover 2 teams list toughness and the willingness to support the run among the most coveted skills.
Regardless of the scheme, however, scouts want to identify college prospects who have quick feet and good change of direction (COD) to mirror WRs at the line of scrimmage. Evaluators are also looking for strength to not get knocked around when facing bigger opponents; the body control and quickness to remain attached when his target breaks off his route; and the ball skills to locate and contest the catch at the reception point.
Speed is paramount in the NFL, so a corner’s 40-time will be highly scrutinized. It can get lonely playing on the edge of the defense without a lot of help from teammates, and there will be some lost battles among the victories. That’s why a prospect’s ability to quickly forget the previous fail and move on to the next play with full focus is highly desired.
2020 NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL BIG BOARD: CORNERBACKS
|First Name||Last Name||School||Position||Height||Weight|
|Aretavious||Hendrix||Stephen F. Austin||CB||6-0||192|