The Big Board is almost full, and today we’re highlighting key defensive backs that we expect to have strong seasons in 2021-22.
Montaric Brown – Arkansas – CB
As a 2.5-year starter for Arkansas, cornerback Montaric Brown has played and produced against some of college football’s top competition. Standing at 6-1, 190 pounds and in possession of near 32” arms, Brown has the physical measurables press-man NFL teams covet and then plays with an urgent demeanor as he gets to the football. With his long arms, the “Natural State” native has been productive in his career to the tune of 12 passes defended (including a pair of interceptions) and displays his toughness routinely while showing versus the run. With the speed to carry wide receivers vertically, expect another productive season for this Razorback amid yet another tough slate of opponents.
Juanyeh Thomas – Georgia Tech – Saf
For the past three years, safety Juanyeh Thomas has been producing for the Yellow Jackets, initially as a kickoff returner and special teams coverage specialist and then as an imposing last line of defense the past couple of seasons. While typically roaming on the field-side of the formation, the 6-2, 218-pounder owns impressive speed and ability to close on ball carriers, and then the play strength and length to secure his tackle attempts. In fact, over the past two seasons on defense, the Florida native has been extremely productive while racking up 119 tackles, 2 INTs and seven passes defended. With this type of production coupled with his vast special teams experience, NFL teams will be taking a hard look at the soon-to-be three-year starter.
Damarcus Fields – Texas Tech – CB
Entering year #5 as a starting cornerback, Taylor, Texas native Damarcus Fields has played a lot of football – and it shows. With excellent field vision and superb ability to both anticipate and relate to routes, the super senior with 43 games played under his belt is frequently seen calling out plays and alerting teammates to what’s to come. Standing 5’-11 ½” and with 31 ¼” arms, Fields has been very productive in his career breaking up passes, leading or coming in second on the team every year he’s played, including leading the Big 12 Conference in 2020 with 11. With the speed to carry receivers vertically and rare experience for the position, draftniks can expect to hear a lot more of Fields’ name leading up to next April.
Sterling Weatherford – Miami (OH) – Saf
The Redhawks may only have played three total games last year, but it was plenty for safety Sterling Weatherford to showcase his elite talents. Standing at nearly 6-4 and 220 pounds with 31 ½” arms, the Hoosier State product towers over most defensive backs and takes on blockers and ball carriers alike like a throwback linebacker. More than just a box safety at the next level, Weatherford possesses the range and COD quickness to be effective in deep coverage while utilizing his length and athleticism to match up with tight ends. To boot, the redshirt senior is a legit blitz threat off the edge who flashes the technique to rival any outside linebacker.
Come back tomorrow as we feature our final four players ahead of the entire Big Board release on Friday.