USA TODAY US Edition
NFL DRAFT PREVIEW
USA TODAY Sports’ Robert Klemko and the National Football Post’s director of college scouting Wes Bunting break down the top defensive backs:
CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
Height: 6-0. Weight: 185. Scouting report: Initially a wide receiver, Claiborne has excellent ball skills, ability to be effective in man and zone coverage and willingness to make contact in run support.
Bunting’s take: “Showcases the footwork, balance and quick-twitch ability of a much smaller corner.”
CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 192. Scouting report: An extremely physical player with ideal size, but character questions emerged with a recent arrest involving marijuana.
Bunting’s take: “Will be an ideal zone corner at the next level because of his size, instincts and physicality.”
CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 193. Scouting report: A starter in 40 consecutive games, Gilmore was a vocal leader hailed as a student of the game.
Bunting’s take: “Should be able to fight for a starting role during his rookie year in more of a zone scheme.”
SS Mark Barron, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 218. Scouting report: Barron has the instincts for zone coverage but was not asked to cover receivers man to man.
Bunting’s take: “Won’t be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts make me think he can start in the league early.”