Morris Claiborne Scout

 

Cornerback

LSU

5-11 188

Draft board overall prospect rank: #6

Draft board overall cornerback rank: #1

Overall rating: 91 (Top 10 pick)

40 time: 4.47

Games watched: LSU/Mississippi StateLSU/FloridaLSU/AlabamaArkansas/LSUGeorgia/LSULSU/Western Kentucky, LSU/Alabama (Part 2)

Positives

·         Great athlete

·         Ball skills (11 interceptions in 2 years)

·         Deadly with the ball in his hands (274 INT return yards and a touchdown)

·         Also a deadly return man (568 yards and a touchdown on 22 returns)

·         Former quarterback and wide receiver

·         Excellent man to man cover corner

·         Rarely thrown on

·         Productive even though rarely thrown on (6 picks and 6 deflections)

·         Held up well when thrown on more often in 2010 (offenses were throwing away from Patrick Peterson)

·         Great hips

·         Mirrors extremely well

·         Smooth in and out and breaks

·         Long arms (33 ¼ inches)

·         A lot of upside

·         A solid and willing tackler

·         Well coached

·         Great in both zone and man/man press schemes

Negatives

·         Only average size (5-11 188)

·         Not a superb 40 time (4.47)

·         A little high in backpedal

·         Slips more often than you’d like

·         Not quite an elite, shutdown cornerback

NFL Comparison: Joe Haden

Morris Claiborne isn’t as good as his former teammate Patrick Peterson, who came out late year. Peterson went 5th overall and was my top rated prospect (an opinion I was not alone in). However, he compare favorably to Joe Haden, who went 7th overall in 2010. Haden might have even had more of an immediate impact in coverage (though he has nothing on Peterson’s 4 punt returns for touchdowns). Peterson has more upside though, but Claiborne should still be a very good cornerback.

He doesn’t quite have Peterson’s measurables and return ability and there’s a reason he was the #2 cornerback to Peterson in 2010. Peterson is much more physical and a better cover cornerback. Claiborne, however, is a very good man cornerback as well, and he can also play zone effectively, but his gifts are best utilized in a man or man press scheme. He’s also got average size (5-11 188) and speed (4.47), but he does have very long arms to make up for his lack of height. His ball skills are off the charts, probably because he’s a former quarterback and wide receiver (in High School). He’ll make a very good pick in the top 10, probably 5th to Tampa Bay, he’s just not quite elite.

 

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