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How NFL clubs evaluate cornerbacks

Wed, Sep 11, 2013

By Phil Savage

NEXT WEEK: Wide Receivers

We'll be looking at all the different positions throughout the course of the season. Last week, we looked at the center position with Florida State's Bryan Stork as our example. 

This time, we're looking at cornerbacks (DCs in scouting lingo), and what scouts are looking for when they evaluate them as college players.

Scouts usually are looking for three general characteristics out of a defensive player to evaluate whether that player can make the transition from the collegiate level to the NFL: speed, toughness and instinct.

However, within each position group, there are three more areas that need to be addressed. Over the years we developed a system called the 'triangles of success,' meaning there are three aspects of play at each position that are required to be a successful pro.

For defensive corners, they are (1) man-to-man coverage ability, (2) ability to support the run and tackle, and (3) can he play the ball down the field and judge the ball in the air. 

In the video (above) we look at some examples on tape of defensive backs trying to meet those three criteria.

Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.