2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TCU Corner Jason Verrett
To prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft InsidetheFilmRoom is breaking down the best 5 prospects from every position. This week we are examining the top cornerback prospects and we are focusing our attention on TCU’s Jason Verrett today.
There are few football players that exemplify the saying ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog’ better than Jason Verrett. A lean 5’9, Verrett has overcome massive odds to become one of the top cornerbacks entering this year’s draft. He earned that recognition by smothering wide receivers in the Mountain West and Big 12 over three seasons as a TCU Horned Frog.
As an NFL prospect Verrett is limited by his size to a slot corner role. While that would have been a huge limitation just 5 years ago, now a days nickel corners play the majority of snaps so Verrett’s inability to play boundary corner shouldn’t hurt him too much. Still, his lack of size is a weakness and might turn off some teams from his impressive combination of speed, agility and tenacity.
True Slot Corner: Natural ability to stick with receivers, quick hips/feet to mirror receivers, fast enough to run with crossing/drag routes, good awareness/timing, played in the Big 12 against quick passing spread offenses and has the demeanor to handle the middle of the field.
Feisty As Hell: Scrappy, won’t back down despite his size, solid tackler even against bigger WR/RB, challenges the catch point extremely well, fights from snap to whistle and plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Splash Plays: Made a bunch of big plays at TCU off the edge on defense and special teams, great timing as a blitzer against both passing and running plays, had 9 interceptions and 11 tackle for loss during 3 seasons at TCU and seems to make one special play per game .
Athleticism: Was in the top 5 for cornerbacks at the combine in 40 yard dash, vertical jump, 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuffle, has elite quickness/speed and has the fearless demeanor to maximize his athletic abilities.
Size: Under 5’10 with a lean build, struggled against fades/high throw passes, inability to get off blocks, inconsistent tackler against bigger WR/RB, can’t play outside cornerback and questions about his ability to adapt to the bigger players in the NFL.
Overall: If Jason Verrett were 6 feet tall there would be no doubt who the top corner in the 2014 NFL Draft was. But he isn’t. Instead, Verrett is just over 5 foot 9 and that lack of size brings in some serious questions about his effectiveness in the NFL. How will he fare in run support? Will he be able to handle teams attacking his size with fades/ other lofted passes? Can he withstand the punishment of the NFL?
While we don’t have the answers to those questions yet, we know what Verrett can do, match up agains the quicker slot receivers in the league. And that skill is becoming more and more valuable by the day as NFL offenses continue to incorporate more and more smaller speedy receivers like Tavon Austion and Brandin Cooks.
That means Verrett’s game is valuable but limited and his NFL career will likely be dictate by how well his team emphasizes his strengths while minimizing his weakness.
Prediction: Mid to Late 1st Round
Other 2014 Cornerback Scouting Reports: