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April 5, 2022 36 mins

In this episode of the Tape Heads: Draft Season podcast, hosts Bob Wischusen and Greg Cosell discuss how defensive coverages have changed in the NFL.  Greg explains the two ways to stop the passing game...disrupting the QB and impacting the WRs. Corners are now going to be expected to line up and play the press. Now that RPO is so prevalent, there had to be changes in not only planning but defensive responsibilities.  We dive into defensive players like Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jermaine Johnson, George Karlaftis, Davis Ojabo, Ahmad Gardner, Derek Stingley, Trent McDuffie, Kaiir Elam, and Kyler Gordon.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Tape Eds. It's a production of I Heart Media and
the NFL. Welcome to a brand new week and a
brand new edition of tape Eds Draft Season. It is April,
Greg co Sell, we have officially reached Draft month. We
can so we can see it on the horizon as uh.

This is a different kind of podcast. Greg co Sell
long time breaker down of the film at NFL Films,
and he looks at the All twenty two and crawls
behind the xs and ohs as much as anyone, not
just game coverage, but also individual player coverage, getting us
set for the draft, looking at the pros, but also
looking at the college players and of course that is

where our focus is at this time of the year.
On Bible Shoes and a longtime radio voice of the
New York Jets twenty plus years of NFL play by
play experience and also a voice of college football at ESPN.
So I've had a chance to see a lot of
these guys on tape with my partners in games I've called.
And again, this is not the mock draft po cast.
This is more of a crawl behind the xs and

os and hopefully take you inside the draft room. Podcast
and Greig this is a week that we're gonna talk
about the passing game, but the passing game in relation
to then how teams draft defense and how there's been
an evolution. Right, we see a lot of the college
DNA now in the pros, a lot of the zone

read stuff, a lot of the R P O stuff,
the things that you know, I think the pro game
kind of you know, scoffed at for decades and decades
where you would see it in college football, but it
didn't make its way to the NFL. Well. Now, the
quarterbacks in college, the best ones are so proficient at
running a lot of that stuff that they bring that

with them to the pros now, because if you're a
pro coordinator or a kid coach, why would you not
want the guy to run for you what he was
best at in college? And that I would assume also
has to change the way the teams look at defensive
players and prospects as well. We're gonna talk about some
of the pass rushers and corners coming up a little
bit later on, but at least just start wide angle

lens philosophically, how that change to a certain extent in
the pros from college and that d NA making its
way to the NFL has changed offenses and the passing offenses,
but also now how it changes the way seems look
at defensive prospects. Yeah, Bob, you hit it right on
the head. Really in the NFL now, the way people
think about defense is you have to stop explosive plays,

and percentage wise, far more explosive plays come out of
the past game. So how do you go about stopping
the past game. There's two ways, and there's a lot
to unpack here, but you have to one impact the
quarterback or two disrupt receivers. Now more old school, before
the influx of r p O s and quick game throws,

which are now very prevalent in the NFL, that thought
was that you had to disrupt the quarterback. You had
to impact the quarterback. You had to speed him up.
You're not always going to sack him, but you had
to speed up the quarterback and make it more difficult
for him to play with that comfort level that all
quarterbacks would like to play with. So the thought was

pass rushers. Let's get pass rushers predominantly off the edge.
Let's speed up the quarterback. Coverage could be both man
and zone because that would become a function of your
ability to speed up the quarterback. But now, and you
nail this, Now you have so many more r p
O elements in the NFL, so much more quick game

so you're not going to get to the quarterback and
speed him up the way you really like to. So
who do you have to disrupt? You have to disrupt
receivers so that the timing of those quick game throws
is disrupted. So what does that mean. It means more
man to man coverage, more pressed man coverage. You can't

play off coverage zone because then those receivers on those
quick routes like slant routes or glance routes or hitch routes,
those routes are just free release routes if you're not
in press man coverage. And you get all those quick
game throws, of which an r p O is a
quick game throw, and it's just it just becomes pitch

and catch. So you have to now look at corners
and their ability to line up and play press man
coverage to a meaningful degree. Yeah, it's funny. It reminds
me of a story that the particulars of this story
make it, I think even more interesting I was calling
a Purdue game with the late Joe Tiller as a coach,

and this is how far back we're now going. And
we just got into a philosophical football conversation. It was awesome.
You know, we're just we're just talking ball and asking
him philosophically, like how he recruited it Perdue right, Like
why he knew he had to go out and get
the Drew Breezes of the world and all the little
receivers of the world because of Perdue. He was not

going to out recruit Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State for
the two and twenty five pound tailback, Like he wasn't
going to get that guy. So he knew I have
to win a different way. And he actually said, and
this is I mean, this is I don't know, ten
or twelve years ago, I was doing this game, maybe
fifteen years ago. But he said, going back to the
late seventies, the coaches all used to go to these clinics,

and they all used to do clinics around the country
for you know, gather coaches and teach. But then after
that was over, he said the best part of it
was all of the coaches giving the clinics would then
go to the bar and sit around and get pictures
of beer and just talk ball. Correct And he said
he was sitting in a group of guys one time,
this's like late seventies, and the conversation came up of

what would make the perfect offense, If you could make
the perfect offense, what would it be. And one of
the guys at the table said, if I could design
the perfect offense, it would be if I could somehow
marry the option, would a quick passing game. So I
don't know how you'd stopped that. How would a defense

stop the option game and combine that with the quick
passing game? And at the time it was almost like
breakthrough cutting edge. But everyone is sitting at the table now,
I mean now fast forward twenty years thirty years later,
what our teams doing r pos right? Like, they're marrying
a lot of those option principles with the quick passing game.
It's really hard to stop. And the guy that said
that was Jack Elway, who, of course I mean his son.

If you could go into a lab and build like
a robot quarterback for the modern day NFL, back then,
the last thing you do was probably about a whole
bunch of RPOs with John Elway. But his dad, of course,
is saying, if I could find a way to marry
the option with the quick passing game, I think that
would be impossible to stop. And it just goes to

show how much foresight he had, because how many years
later that that is a lot of what is baked
into not only college football, but also even now some
of today's NFL offenses. And it's funny you say that,
because in college football that can really really work effectively
for a number of reasons. One of course is the
position of the hash marks. The wide side of the

field is extremely wide and difficult to defend. But in
the NFL, as you and I both know, you can
do those kinds of things, and they certainly can be effective.
But you are going to get to third down, and
you are going to get to third down in six
plus seven plus, you're going to get into those situations
where your offense can't function off deception and misdirection the

same way it can on first and ten or second
and four. What we would view BOB is normal down
and distant situations. So at that point in the NFL,
as an offense, you have to be able to have
a drop back passing game, and as a defense, you
must be able to defend a drop back passing game.
And that's why pass rush becomes so critical. And obviously

almost every coach in the league would love to be
able to rush for and speed up the quarterback, even
sacked the quarterback, and then have seven in coverage. But
I've talked to so many defensive coaches through the years,
and I remember for years and years Rod Rust, who
has since passed away, would sit with me on Mondays.
He sat with me for four or five years straight

when he retired from coaching, and all he kept saying was,
if you can't get there with four, you got to
get there with five. If you can't get there with five,
you gotta rush a sixth. The point being that if
you cannot impact the quarterback in the NFL, whatever down
it is, you know, obviously third down is the one
that is the money down, the possession down. If you

cannot impact the quarterback, it is very difficult to play
quality third down defense in the NFL. And look how
important pass rush is. All we have to do is
go back to the Super Bowl. We saw that in
the second half of that game, and I can't I
don't know off the top of my head how many
of those sacks came on third down, but obviously Joe

Burrow is sacked six times by the rams On in
the second half of that game, and a lot of
them came from multiple front looks. If you notice in
the NFL, so many teams now are doing so many
more things with their front looks out of their sub defenses,
meaning five defensive backs, six defensive backs, some teams with

seven defensive backs because they're trying to create opportunities to
put pressure on the quarterback. Well, two questions about the
two positions we're gonna talk about again kind of wide
angle lens before we get the specific guys. How much
do you think it now changes the way or the
traits that an NFL team is looking for in a
pass rusher, Like with the great pass rusher of the

eighties and nineties, the Reggie Whites of the world, would
they still the Bruce Smith's, would they still be what
they were then in today's game with the quick passing
game or the way that these offenses now run or now,
I mean it has it changed more to like the
Von Miller smaller bend the edge. Guy who stands up
half the time a lot of times doesn't even have
corrects hand on the ground. How much do you think

it has now changed the way that the NFL views
pass rushers and the skill set they're looking for from
a college player. It's a great question, and to me,
I think one of the things you really want to
look for when you evaluate college pass rushers coming to
the NFL is you want to see how they work
with and let's say a three to five yard metric

off the snap of the ball. Because there's a lot
of guys that can make second reaction sacks and there's
nothing wrong with that, But if that's the way you're
going to judge pass rushers and evaluate them, I think
you're making a mistake. You need to see how a
guy works right off the snap in that three to
five yard metric and you hit it right on the head.
You have to be able to bend somewhere along the line,

and you have to be able to then flatten and
close to the quarterback. Look are their power pass rushers?
Are there guys who use their hands exceptionally well, I
mean you can think of the boats of brothers. They're
really good using their hands, but then they play off
that contact and then they have speed and burst. At
some point, you're going to have to have speed and burst.

At some point you're going to have to be able
to bend and flatten, because you if you can't do that,
it's very, very difficult to sack the quarterback. And obviously
you're going to have to be able to win on
the high side, meaning the outside edge of the offensive tackle,
and you're going to have to be able to counter
and win on the low side, the inside shoulder of

the offensive tackle. But that bend flexibility element, to me,
Bob is so so important. Yeah, I guess the great
player would always be the great player, right, I mean
you can get a Bruce Smith or a Reggie White
or a Lawrence Taylor. Bruce Smith used to get he
almost he almost got so low And I can't believe
I just thought of this. It reminded me of Tom
Sieber pitching, where that fact need we would have so

much dirt on it, remember those clips because he would
get so low delivering the ball. Bruce Smith would get
so low. He had tremendous spend in flexibility. Only this
podcast was somehow bring Bruce Smith and Tom Siever here
you go together in the same comparison up before we
take a break, same question regarding corners, right, like, if
you go back to the corners of yesteryear, what Dion

or Lester Hayes or I mean even maybe the more
modern guys like Champ Bailey or or you know Rivus,
like has the position of corner. Now we look at
this draft and we'll talk about the Stingleys and the
Sauce Gardeners of the world. But has that changed, Like
the traits you're looking for. It used to be, all right,
you're our best corner. You just go shut down the

other team's six ft three, two ten pounds stud wide
receiver and we'll figure out the rest from there. But
offenses have changed, and I think, like, look at Tyreek Hill,
right and he might be the most productive wide receiver
in the NFL, and he is certainly not the body
type that they were looking for in a wide receiver
even ten years ago in the NFL. So how much

has that evolution now changed with the offense is of today?
Maybe the trades you're looking for in a corner, well,
to me, I think you must be able to play
man to man coverage if you're going to be a
high quality corner, because I think the days of just
lining up and playing zone concepts such as Tony Dungee's
Cover two, which was obviously extremely successful and in many

ways trend setting, I think the days of just playing
like that are over in the NFL. So I think
your corners need to be able to line up and
play man. And there's essentially two forms of press man.
There's what we call mirror match press man, where you
don't necessarily jam the receiver, you wait for him to
declare his release off the line of scrimmage, and then

you just get in his hip pocket, whether it's the
inside or the outside. Champ Bailey was a master at
that um and I think you have to be able
to play that in today's NFL. I think if you
can't line up with corners and match up man to man,
particularly with the infusion of three by one sets where
there's a single receiver to the short side of the field,

you've got to be able to match up to that
boundary ex receiver man to man somewhere along the line,
and I think it's critical that corners coming out today
can do that. Well, in the top ten of this draft,
there will be some pass rushers and there will be
some corners drafted. Right, and there's no doubt about it.
When we look at the top prospects of this draft,
we're gonna see both positions taken. When we come back,

we're gonna start to talk about some of those top
prospects at both positions, at pass rusher, end at corner.
Bobo schusan Great Cosll. This is Taped's draft season, Bobo
shus and Great co Sell. We are back on Tapeds
draft season, talking philosophically about how offenses and maybe the

need for pass rushers and corners has changed in the NFL.
But now let's get to some of the specific guys.
And again, you know, Greg, we talked about those prototypical,
big monster pass rushers like the Bruce Smith's and and
the Reggie Whites of the world that you know kind
of grew up on. That's not really what today's pass
rusher looks like physically, right When we look at the

Aidan Hutchinson's Cabon Thibodeaus, they don't look like that, right,
So maybe that is an example of how the game
has evolved a bit and now what teams are looking
for as far as the body type and the skill
set of the pass rushers of today. So let's jump
right off with Aidan Hutchinson, a player that a lot
of people think might be the first player taking in
the draft. Yeah, and it's so interesting because he is

not what you'd call a pure pass rusher in that
old school sense, Bob. I think he's a very good prospect,
and I think he'll be a very good pro but
you wouldn't say that he's a bender and a flexible
player the way you think of those guys that can
truly bend the edge and flatten um. He does work
extremely well and sort of that two to three yard

metric where he's got very good short area quickness, but
he doesn't have ideal flexibility and bend. His game is
predicated much more are on that short airy explosiveness and
power and highly refined and strong, heavy hands. And he
had a staple move that he used over and over again,
and he's going to need more than this in the NFL. Uh.

And I don't know how much Michigan you did this year,
if anybody, he had that move where he basically inside
counter off an upfield step or two, and he really
caught offensive tackles in the Big ten and with other
teams they played, really caught them off guard, and that
was his staple move. He'll need more than that as
a pass rusher in the league, but I think he's

he plays extremely hard and he has rapid fire hand
movements and his hands are very very strong and heavy,
and I think that will be his calling card far
more than the ability to to get low and bend
the edge. How about Tibel, I mean a guy that
I've seen and again we don't do the mock drafts here,
but if you look at them, and he's mocked all

over the place, right, I've saw him now. Six months ago,
he was kind of the de facto number one player
on everyone's board everywhere. He was gonna be the first pick.
Now I don't think I see him on maybe but
a handful as the first pick. Some have him going
later in the top ten. So he m The opinions

on Thibodeau seem to have moved around a bit. Why
And I think the reason for that is coaches, as
you know the process, Bob, because you're you know, doing
the jets for years and years you know the process.
Coaches now get involved. Coaches don't get involved in these
draft players until oh literally after the combine for the
most part, because they're working with free agency. So now

that coaches get involved and they really study the players,
they see what these players are and the scheme adaptability
and how they fit. They're not just looking at traits.
And one of the things that really stands out with
Thibodeaux when you watch his tape is he had some
struggles flattening his rush path when he was able to

leer the the high arc. And if you can't flatten
your rush path, it's very, very difficult to be an
outstanding edge pass rusher. And I thought that Thibodeaux the
more I watched him, and I actually watched his tape
from the last I guess he played three years. I
watched tape each and every season that he played at Oregon,
and I think after a while, I kind of said

to myself, he reminds me of a twenty pounds less
Jadeveon Clowney because he's a powerful man. He plays with
power and hand strainth but there's some stiffness throughout his body.
And think about Rdaveon Clowney number one pick, kind of
a consensus number one pick when he came out of
South Carolina, but it's likely he'll be with his fifth

team before the age of twenty eight. And as you
and I both know, premium edge pass rushers are not
with five teams before the age of eight because Clowney
does not have that bend and flexibility, and I think
Thibodeaux is a little bit like that, and that ability
to flatten your rush path is absolutely critical if you're

going to be a big time age rusher in the NFL.
You're gonna scare people with that comparison right now. They're
gonna be guys who are gonna listen to this podcast.
Tibodeau is gonna be taken by their team and they're
gonna go, oh, no, Costel just compared him to the
guy who now look jadeveon Clowney. He's a good football. Ultimately,
he'll have he He is still in the middle of

what is going to be a long NFL career. Exactly.
He will always have a job. He'll always be a contributor,
he'll always be on someone's defense, but he's never going
to be the quote unquote number one pick in the
draft that he was supposed to be And even the
most die hard football nerds like me who listen to
this podcast probably still are wondering, like when you say
flatten the rush path and combined combined with the arc,

I'm not even sure how many people listen to this
podcast even know what that explain that and why you
think it's so critical for Tibodeaux. So what what for
pass rushers. One thing that explosive edge pass rushers try
to do is they immediately want to challenge the outside
of offensive tackles, because if you talk to old line coaches,
the last thing they want their offensive tackles to do

is to immediately turned to the sideline because when you
turn to the sideline, you open yourself up pretty much
for two way goes. So the way two way go
meaning that you can get beat to the outside and
you can then get beat by counters inside. So they
teach offensive tackles to try to stay as square as
possible for at least two steps in their vertical pass

sets so they don't give up the inside. But then
they still have that outside arm, the independent arm technique,
the outside arm to theoretically push an edge pass rusher
past the pocket, that's the goal. But these guys that
now can really bend, they get underneath that arm, and

then the key there is not just being able to
get underneath that arm arm bob, but then you have
to be able to turn your body as a pass
rusher and flatten. Otherwise you're just running by the quarterback.
And offensive tackles love it when you just run by
the quarterback. They just push you and you're done. You've
seen that a thousand times. So you have to be

able to turn your body on that inside leg and
flatten your rush so that you can then close to
the quarterback. Otherwise you're just out of the pass rush.
And Thibodeau is a guy that at times showed ruggles
with that. Struggles a little bit with that. Now, is
that something that you think can be learned can be
taught in the NFL? Or do you need to see
that on tape before you're going to spend a real

high draft choice on him? Just like Clowney, I think
there's your body. Some guys can't quite do that. Thibodeaux
showed a little of it at times, but enough where
I sensed it's a question and Like I said, I
watched a ton of Thibodeaux, so I don't think that's
going to be his calling card as a pass rusher. Um.

So we'll see, but I don't think he does that
just as a matter or of course. I mean, just
to throw out a name Arnold uh, I think it
is from the state. He can do that. Now, he's
a smaller man um in terms of height than Thibodeaux,
but he has the ability to bend the edge. Now
he's got some other issues he's got to deal with.

He only works the high side of the tackle, meaning
the outside, and you can't just live in the NFL
working one side of offensive tackles as an edge rusher.
You become too easy to defend if you don't have counters.
But he can bend, whereas Thibodeau struggles to do that.
A little bit interesting, give me like thirty seconds on
a couple of other names while we have an opportunity here.

How about Jermaine Johnson. Jermaine Johnson is a player who's
tape I absolutely loved, and you know I saw him
a little bit at Georgia a year ago because he's
a transfer from Georgia. Because Georgia has all five stars,
and guys don't play every snap at Georgia, and Johnson
probably wanted to go somewhere he could play every snap,
so he went to Florida State. He really he looks
the part. I mean, I think that The way I'll

answer that, because we want to get to some more guys,
is it would not surprise me Bob if in two, three,
four years he's the best pass rusher of this group,
I think he's only scratching the surface of his ability
to rush the quarterback. He has length, he can bend,
he's got flexibility. He's got extremely long arms, which is
a very important attribute when you talk to scouts and coaches. Uh,

he's a really really good athlete and for his kind
of lean, wiry frame, he's got power to him. So
I think ultimately he could end up being the best
best pass rusher of this group. About George Karlaftas, Yeah,
he's a fascinating guy because he was a shot put
champion in the state of Indiana as a high school kid.

His upper body and his hands are as powerful as
they come. He really is a strong man, active hands,
powerful hands. The issue for him is his lower body.
Does not necessarily poured it. He's a little stiff and
not overly athletic with the lower part of his body.
So there are a lot of pass rushes where if

he did get stopped initially, he stopped his feet, and
if you stop your feet in the NFL as a
pass rusher, you're not going to get to the quarterback.
So he's a fascinating guy because the strength that he
has the upper body and hand strength is so so good,
but he just does not have a lower body that
goes along with it. So I'm really fascinating to see

him in the NFL. And one other guy to talk
about I think that's really fascinating is David a. Jabo, Right,
the guy who is gets hurt on his pro day.
This is gonna be like, we're gonna draft him and
stash him maybe for a year. He might not play
next year, but showed so much promise. Yes at Michigan,
what it teams do with him? Yeah, again, who knows

about an achilles. That's a really bad injury obviously, but
let's assume he's back normal. When you put on Michigan tape,
of which I watched a lot, you could see immediately
that a Jabo is just a more naturally explosive human
being than Hutchinson um. And so with Jabo has really light,
active feed, He's got really good quickness. He's explosive off

the ball, particularly when he's a wide nine pass rusher,
meaning he split far outside the offensive tackle and he
has that bend in flexibility. He can dip his shoulder,
he can win off the edge, he can get low.
And he showed his second gear as he flattened, and
that's really important for guys that if they can flatten
instead of kind of losing their balance. Some guys do that,

they try to flatten and they lose their balance. He
just exploded. So I think he's a fascinating prospect. Assuming
health probably not a factor this year at all, but
he has big time traits to rush the quarterback. Really
interesting look at a lot of the pass rushers, plenty
of corners as well to talk about. We do that
when we come back on TAPEDS Draft season. Back here

on TAPEDS Draft Season, Bobo shots on Greg co Cell
talked about the philosophy of the offenses and the changes
that we've seen college to the pros. Talked about the
pass rushers and obviously, Greg, when you talk offense, you
talk about how it impacts your desire to have corners
on your team as well, and there will be some
very highly drafted corners. Let's get to some of those guys.

Sauce Gardner from Cincinnati. I think he tweeted yesterday, I'm
the best player in the draft, so humility is not
going to be his issue, right Like, I think even
has a lot of self confidence he's gonna bring to
the NFL. Is it warranted? Could Sauce Gardner end up
being the most impactful player in this draft? You know,
I tweeted the same thing about myself yesterday, Bob, but

nobody took notice. Strange, Uh, you know I did, because
obviously I think you are underrated. Um. I really like
Sauce Gardner's tape, and there's a perfect example of a
guy in college. As you know that the white side
of the field is wide, so the boundary side is
smaller than in the NFL. He was the boundary corner
in the Cincinnati dfense and he essentially played man coverage

and very often it was what we call zero man
because the safety to the boundary side was Brian Cook,
who's a very good prospect in his own right, but
he rarely helped out Sauce Gardner, so he essentially was
playing zero man coverage in Cincinnati's defense. I think he's
the outfit dog corner in this draft class. Um. He
fits the profile as well as you can fit the profile.

Six three, long, lean, competitive athletic. Um. He's an annoying player.
If you're a receiver, he gets in your face. UM.
He challenges receiver to receivers to match his level of
swagger and confidence. Um. I think that he can line
up and play man coverage. He's got really long arms,

and you know what, that's a factor at corner. People
might not think that, but it's a big factor because
it allows you to get your hands on a lot
of throws. So even if let's say you just beat
a little bit on a vertical throw and then the
receivers just a little on top of you, bob, that
arm length is a factor. And for a guy that's
kind of high cut in long legged, his ten yards

split in the forty yard dash was very very good.
So I think sauce Gardner to me, because of his
ability to play press man, which he did almost every snap.
It seemed that Cincinnati um is really the attribute that
puts him over the top. Derek Stingley from LSU. Here's
a guy that I think is really interesting because I

had some LSU games this season. They were not going
to be real good. We knew how much talent they
had lost from when Borrow was there, and they won
the National championship, and there were these whispers with Stingley
like he's hurt. But this might be more of a
get ready for the NFL Draft opt out than it is.
He actually has a season long injury, which I think

actually makes him even more attractive now as an NFL prospect,
because it seems like the whisper is what you're worried
about as all man he missed the whole year last
year basically, and how hurt is he? I don't know
that he really was, like season ending injury hurt. I
think they might have leaned on that as the excuse
because it's kind of a bad look to say I'm
opting out and I'm just gonna go get ready for

the NFL Draft. But I mean, you know, people are
worried about whether or not you know, he's heard or
played least. I mean how Jamar Chase do after sitting
out a year. I think people worried about that. Anyway,
I don't think the NFL guys inside the rooms really
worried about that. Do you know? You get it right
on the head and look at Jamar Chase and Micah Parsons.
I think they did okay. Um, they're not bad. Yeah,
So I mean Stanley and I went back and looked

at his two thousand nineteen tape when he was a
freshman and burst onto the scene, and people just said,
this guy's the best corner around. Um, he certainly has
all the physical and athletic traits. Um, he's got size,
he's got athleticism, he's got fluidity, he's got suddenness, he's competitive. Um,
you watch him play mirror match press man. You see it.
Knee been, patient, balanced, body control, easy transition, flips his hips. Um,

he looks the part. There's a couple of things that
he absolutely must work on. And I was taught this
by somebody, and I can't remember who's years ago, but
he does have a tendency in press man. His first
move bob as he gets back on his heels, as
his first reaction to the receiver and if you get
back on your heels, you can compensate for that. In

college football, you want to be careful about that. In
the NFL, where the receivers are better now, I think
that can be fixed, but I think that's something that
needs to be addressed. Um. I did not think he
was as comfortable or as good playing off coverage as
he was playing press man. So to me, he's really
a press man corner and I think that that fits

how he wants to play. So it'll be very interesting.
He only played ten games in his final two seasons,
so he's a guy that has not played a lot
of football over the last two years. How about Trent McDuffie. Yeah,
he's a guy. I really loved watching him on tape
because this kid is I mean, you can tell that
he loves playing football and and you know, you and

I both know there's some guys who are good at football,
but they don't live it and are super passionate about it.
I mean, this guy is playing personality, to use the term,
I like, he is super competitive, He's mentally tough. He
was like a missile when he played defended the run.
He would tackle um and I think that's really important. Um.

I think at the University of Washington that's really important
because all their corners are really good. They play their
run with competitiveness, and their ability from off coverage to
plant and drive forward is really really good. They must
look for that at the University of Washington. But this kid,
to me, is very smooth, very easy transition opening his hips.

He can play mirror match really really well. Um. He
squeezed receivers to the outside in mirror match. When they
were released outside, he was physical with them. He got
right in there, grill and he pushed him to the sideline.
And he loved playing that way. And like I said,
I thought he was really good in Zone two. He

showed great situational awareness. This is something watching NFL tape
off just very quickly that aggravates me to no end.
When you see teams playing zone and let's say it's
third and twelve and they're playing zone and you see
the outside corner, whether it's cover three, you know, Cover
four or whatever it may be, and he jumps a
five yard route and it's third and twelve. There's no

reason for that. You have to have situational awareness. And
I think McDuffie was really really good with that. He
understood down in distance and its impact on his positioning
in zone coverage. How about Kyer Elam, Yeah, he's He
was a fun guy to watch too, because he's another
guy that was super super physical. I mean, he just
wanted to get in your face. And some of these

guys have to learn in the NFL to be a
little careful because obviously in college football, as you know,
you can be a lot more physical beyond five yards
and you cannot in the NFL. But he just crowded
receivers off the ball, He disrupted their releases. He was
very physical through the early part of the route stem.
There was a physical presence to the way in which

he played. Um another guy who squeezed outside release routes
to the sideline with physicality. There was a competitive edge
to his play. Um another guy that has the plan
and drive quickness to react to throws in front of him.
Um another guy that I really really liked, and he
predominantly like Sauce Gardner, he predominantly lined up at boundary

corner in the Florida defense, so he played a lot
of man to man coverage. Kyler Gordon what about him. Yeah,
that boy Washington does get corners, don't they? They sure do.
It seems like every year these guys get corners. Um. Yeah,
Gordon is another guy that is I think a really
really interesting prospect um And I think he's another really
physical not as physical as McDuffie, but he's a better

athlete than McDuffie. Um. I think he's a more explosive mover.
I don't think he's as refined in the way in
which he plays his techniques, but I think people will
get very excited about his explosive traits. One quick question.
We there are other guys to talk about, obviously, and
on future episodes as we build up towards the draft,
will definitely get some of the further off the radar

pass rushers and some further off the radar corners that
might be drafted in later rounds. Some guys you think
are diamonds and the rough. But there's no question that
Gardner and Stingley are going to go and go high.
These other guys that you mentioned, are these first round
gradable players? Are these guys you think are high second round,
if not in the first All of the guys that

we just run through our Should teams expect and should
fans expect their teams to be drafting these guys if
they need a corner real high um. Corners a premium position,
as we've discussed. And I think there's one other player
that will be fascinating, and that's Roger McCreary from Auburn,
who I his tape I really really liked. And you know,
he's the same size as Tredavious White, and if you

put on his tape versus k Shawn Booty of l
s U and Jamison Williams and John Mitchie of Alabama,
you'll see a really good corner um. Now people are
very much worried about his arm length. People say, well,
no one's played corner in the NFL at a higher
level with his really short arms. I don't know the
answer to that, but you know, I think that there's
going to be a lot of corners drafted in the

top forty because it's such a premium position in this league.
You have to have corners, and you never have enough
because how many teams now play the majority and it varies,
but the majority of their their defensive snaps in nickel
or in dime it's it's probably well more than fifty.
Some teams play sevent The Buffalo Bills are a nickel defense.

They do not play base. So you know, having corners
is really important. So the position is absolutely critical. So
corners are going to get drafted high. And we'll have
more to talk about as we continue to take you
up towards the draft. Hit us up on social media,
let us know the players and player positions you'd like
to hear about. Coming up on our next episode when

it drops on Thursday, we'll speak to former Ohio State
and NFL linebacker Bobby Carpenter. You'll walk us through how
players prepare for the jump from college to the pros.
We'll get his thoughts as well on some players. Obviously
he lives in that Columbus you know, Ohio corridor. We
got the Ohio State guys, the Cincinnati guys to talk
about with him, as well as the rest of the

draft as a whole. Join us again Thursday for our
next episode of Tape Heads Draft Season
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