Welcome to the fourth installment of the series that is meant to bring awareness to some players the Colts should be looking at in the upcoming draft.
Currently, the Colts’ cornerbacks are: Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Darius Butler, Josh Gordy, Cassius Vaughn, Sheldon Price and Marcus Burley.
Davis is the leader of this core and is a free agent. Although it seems some fans aren’t sold on him, a lot of fans would argue that he is a great number one corner for this team and should absolutely be re-signed.
Toler was supposed to be one of the big offseason signings in 2013, but his injury-riddled past followed him to Indianapolis and stopped him from being much of a factor. However, Toler is a solid corner when he is healthy.
Vaughn and Gordy are both free agents – unrestricted and restricted, respectively – and could very well be playing for other teams next year. Both played well this season and showed they can be serviceable corners.
Furthermore, the Colts will definitely be looking at adding a corner or two this offseason – from both the draft and free agency – due to the possibility of losing their own guys and lack of stability at the position.
This draft has its fair share of great prospects at the position, but the depth isn’t the best and teams will have to draft the good ones early.
Disclaimer: I did not create, nor do I own the highlight videos. I simply tried to find the best video to showcase the skills of these young players. If the selected music is not to your taste, I suggest muting the video and playing some of your own music. Also, finding highlight videos of corners isn’t as easy compared to finding them for wide receivers. Some of these will be highlights from just one game, but hopefully you can get the feel for the player from the game.
Marcus Roberson – Florida
-Weight: 191 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 4th CB, 39th overall
-Draft projection: 1st-2nd round
Roberson isn’t the biggest or fastest corner, but he is able to make up for that with his great length and skill set. Roberson is able to bother receivers with his long arms, and he also has very quick feet that allow him to be very fluid when moving. Roberson is very good at bump-and-run, but he is also impressive in coverage with his great anticipation and pursuit. Roberson does have some areas on the field that he could improve in, but it’s been his actions off the field that have alarmed some people. There have been worries about his attitude and character, and he has had a couple of bad moments in college – arrested for alcohol in 2011 and suspended in 2013 for violating team rules. Here are his highlights:
Victor Hampton – South Carolina
-Weight: 197 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 9th CB, 77th overall
-Draft projection: 2nd – 3rd round
Hampton is a monster of an athlete that has a very high ceiling. He is one of the best press corners in this draft, and that’s what makes him so appealing for the Colts. Hampton is able to play great press coverage with his great footwork and acceleration, and also does a fine job at jamming receivers at the line. Hampton does have the tendency of relying on his athleticism too much rather than worrying about the fundamentals of the position. Here are all the plays he was in on during a big game in 2012:
Stanley Jean-Baptiste – Nebraska
-Weight: 218 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 11th CB, 87th overall
-Draft projection: 3rd round
Jean-Baptiste’s size is the obvious thing to marvel at. Because of his size, Jean-Baptiste is able to jam receivers at the line and use his long arms and strong hands to interrupt passes. Jean-Baptiste also has very good acceleration that allows him to make fast breaks on routes. Although he does have good acceleration, Jean-Baptiste isn’t the fastest off the ball and his overall speed isn’t that good. Here are is highlights:
Terrance Mitchell – Oregon
-Weight: 192 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 13th CB, 96th overall
-Draft projection: 3rd round
Mitchell is a great corner in that he can stay with a receiver and create turnovers. His change-of-direction and speed allow him to stay with receivers on their routes, and he has great ball skills when the ball is in the air. He has great closing speed and is able to break into a route at the very last second. Because of all that, Mitchell had five interceptions last season. A big knock on Mitchell has been that he tends to stay away from physicality. Mitchell doesn’t always appear to engage in run defense. It was difficult to find highlights from Mitchell, but here are his highlights from 2011: