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"He Was Born To Play Press Man:" Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell


The likelihood of the Eagles using a first-round pick on a cornerback for the first time in nearly 20 years increased when the team moved out of No. 6 overall in a trade with the Miami Dolphins and down to the 12th overall pick. There's a chance that either Alabama product Patrick Surtain II or South Carolina's Jaycee Horn are ripe for the taking when the Birds are on the clock. In the latest "Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell," we discover which corner drew Cosell's highest grade, and which developmental quarterbacks would be common-sense selections for the Eagles on Day 3. As for Surtain, Cosell didn't mince words.

"I happen to just love the tape of Patrick Surtain," Cosell said. "He just looks like he was born to play mirror-and-match press man. He can also play physical press man. He's actually a very physical player; he will tackle. He's got prototypical size. He was 6-2, 208 pounds, think about that. That's truly prototypical size. He has elite press man to man coverage skills and there's always a place for that in the the NFL." Cosell also offered high praise for Horn, son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn. "I would say that there's a competitiveness and a physicality to Horn that shows up. Not that Surtain doesn't have that, but with Horn it's right in your face. He's another guy that checks all the boxes. He's 6-1, he's 205. Size, length. The only thing I would say about Horn ... he tended to get very handsy and grabby through routes. Now, you can chalk that up to the fact that he's be super competitive and super physical, but ... in the NFL, that ain't going to fly." Here are more of Cosell's thoughts on prospects:


Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Cosell: “He and Surtain are almost the same height and weight but Farley's built totally different. Farley has a much stronger looking frame, Surtain looks lean, whereas Farley just looks powerfully built, and that's the way he moves. He has powerful and explosive movement traits to go along with that size… I believe he's much more comfortable at this point playing press-man because press-man is, ‘Hey, you got him,' you know? Zone, as I said, requires a lot of other things that he's probably still working through and needs to learn, but I would say that he's a press-man corner right now, but he is a powerful-looking athlete. I guarantee there'll be people who think that when all is said and done, assuming the medical is OK, that he'll be the best corner in this class and I'm OK with that.”


Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

Cosell: “Tyson Campbell, to me, is a fascinating player, and I'm real curious to see how the league sees him. He ran real well, came in at 6-foot-1,193 pounds. I think he's got a high-level traits profile, he's got size, length, athleticism, twitch, speed. I think few corners ultimately match his overall traits profile, and certainly the level of competition he played in the SEC, another guy that played a ton of mirror-match press-man, and of course Georgia features press man as a foundational coverage. He did a good job maintaining contact with the receiver, and what we call 'staying in phase,' staying strong with his technique throughout the routes. Now he's another guy who’s got fluid transition, good change of direction to play off coverage, because Cover 3 was also a Georgia foundation. I think he's got traits to end up being a high-level corner in the NFL and you don't find many corners with his complete traits package.”


Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

Cosell: “ When you talk about Davis Mills, you're talking about a kid that came out of the Atlanta area as the No. 1 pocket quarterback in America. So, when you watch Davis Mills... he does possess traits. You're dealing with a guy that showed that he was a pocket passer with a plus arm. His game was a little mechanical, his ball placement wasn't what it needed to be, his progression reading wasn't what it needed to be. I happen to know this because I know people on that staff, but he looks really pretty throwing the ball, he's got clean footwork. He's got clean mechanics, he's got a very easy delivery. If you're being old school and I know people say, ‘Hey, you got to get the old-school thinking out of your mind,’ sometimes, but if you're being old school, he looks the part.”


Kellen Mond

Cosell: “I think Kellen Mond is the other quarterback who probably falls into that category of someone that people probably feel could be developed. Now, he's a fascinating evaluation, first of all holds the ball too high, that'll be changed immediately. He holds the ball right under his chin. You can't do anything athletically, with your arms up right under your chin, just try doing that – you can't, which gives him a very mechanical and robotic feel that's going to have to be changed. He's not a bad athlete but at his core he's a pocket quarterback. I think he's got a strong short-to-intermediate arm, he's got the willingness to turn it loose. I think if he becomes a looser, freer thrower by dropping his ball carriage, I think that will allow him to drive the ball better because right now, his deeper throws lose energy. But I think that's a function of how he throws because he's so tight with his throwing motion, he has real bad upper body stiffness, but that's because of where he holds the ball.” – Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com


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