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Green Zone League Articles

2016 GZL Draft Player Spotlight | The CB Edition
By Corey Smith
Special to gzl-football.com

 photo CJ_Washington_zps54eb2c21.png
The CB Edition
Corey Smith, GreenZone Media Committee
July 30th, 2013

**NOTE: Player ratings are subject to change over the course of the NCAA season! Nothing is final until the entire draft class is released.

Tyrone Booker | Penn State | 6'2" 214lbs
Breakdown: 92SPD, 66STR, 73AWR, 93AGI, 95ACC, 68CTH, 94JMP, 60TAK, 52KRT

After arriving at Penn State as an “Athlete” that was projected to be a WR or CB, Tyrone Booker found his calling on the defensive side of the ball. Booker is a rare breed of CB, in that he is big but also has very fluid hips. The combination of his physical gifts and his mental make-up, Tyrone routinely shuts down his half of the field. In this, his Junior season, he has not filled the stat sheet (1 INT, 5 Breakups), mainly due to opposing teams refusing to test his side of the field.

Tyrone has the size and athletic ability combo that GZL GMs drool over, and his ability to step in and play right away will get his named called within the first few picks on draft day.

Potential Comparison: Nnamdi Asomugha | Raiders
Initial Grade: Top 3 Pick

Blaine Hasty | Maryland | 5’11” 196lbs
Breakdown: 95SPD, 51STR, 71AWR, 94AGI, 98ACC, 69CTH, 94JMP, 53TAK, 78KRT

Pretty much the opposite of Spielman, Blaine Hasty struggles against bigger, physical WRs, but excels in coverage against the more athletic WRs. As a true Sophomore, Hasty led the ACC in INTs with 8, including two of which he returned for TDs.

Hasty hast a great grasp on coverage concepts, and is very calculated when he takes his gambles. He has an amazing ability to make up ground when he gets caught out of position, which will be extremely valuable as he makes the jump to the GZL.

Potential Comparison: Terrance Newman | Cowboys
Initial Grade: Mid-Late First Round

Pete Nickerson | Indiana | 5’10” 173
Breakdown: 94SPD, 67STR, 75AWR, 91AGI, 93ACC, 77CTH, 97JMP, 49TAK, 86KRT

If he were a couple inches taller, Pete Nickerson would likely be much higher on draft boards. Even at his current height, given where the 49ers selected Jamar Taylor last spring, he could possibly go very high. But the dreaded sub-6’ CB stigma will hurt his pockets a bit early in his career. But Nickerson can play. At Indiana, Pete has shown the ability to play man-to-man coverage effectively, and a mentality to battle for any ball that is in the air.

Great speed, great acceleration, and nice lateral agility compliment Nickerson’s leaping ability and strength. But his best attributes are his Football IQ, and his ball skills. Which should be enough to get a GM to overlook his stature. The question will be how much a GM values his tackling ability ... or lack there of.

Potential Comparison: Jamar Taylor | 49ers
Initial Grade: Mid-Late First Round

Cory Spielman | Texas A&M | 6’2” 205lbs
Breakdown: 90SPD, 62STR, 68AWR, 85AGI, 88ACC, 63CTH, 98JMP, 66TAK, 61KRT

Another big CB, Cory Spielman will provide GZL GMs the opportunity to get a physical CB. Although, Spielman is not the athlete that Booker is. Texas A&M coaches converted Spielman from FS to CB in his time in College Station, and the move seems to have suited both parties well.

Spielman matches up well with bigger, more physical WRs, but tends to struggle with speedier, shifty WRs. Very tight in the hips, and doesn’t have great recovery ability. Nonetheless, he’ll easily find a home in the GZL.

Potential Comparison: Johnthan Banks | Redskins
Initial Grade: Late First Round

Dee Wagner | Hampton | 6’1” 199lbs
Breakdown: 93SPD, 50STR, 63AWR, 90AGI, 96ACC, 68CTH, 87JMP, 55TAK, 84KRT

In a class loaded with taller, talented WRs, Dee Wagner will get looks simply because he’s over 6’, and has great speed. Wagner signed with Virginia Tech out of high school, but had to drop back to Hampton after his senior year due to academic circumstances. Needless to say, he was pretty dominant at the FCS level in the MEAC.

Not all that polished, and disinterested in run support (and the weight room), Wagner is not the prototype. But does have value due to his size, speed, and ball skills.

Potential Comparison: Jordan Poyer | Buccaneers
Initial Grade: Late First Round

Check back next week for the next position group!

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