Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Virginia, UCF, Syracuse 2018 Vs: Clemson
Report By: Chaz Turnbow
Deep Speed: 6.30
In zone/off coverage his COD deficiencies get exposed. Solid backpedal, but he cannot obtain a higher score because while he's smooth, he isn't sudden. Adequate hip flipping ability to mirror receivers in space without getting hands on them. Solid flexibility to compete at the catch point in "boxout" situations. Fast enough to stay stride for stride with Tee Higgins consistently. but won't keep pace with the deep threats at the next level because of the lack of long speed. Simply not an explosive athlete. Counteracts his deficiency in this area by playing more physical or by selling out deep in his deep 3rd zones by bailing immediately from the snap. Good hand-eye coordination is evidenced by his ball skills. Very low interception production could be a product of bad hands, but that is a projection as he only had 1 dropped INT for the 2019 season.
COVERAGE ABILITY: 6.16
Man Press: 7.10
Man Off: 5.60
Hand Fighting: 7.10
Hips/Turn Ability: 5.50
Plays with very good leverage at the LOS and is physical when he gets into the route stem which forces players to the boundary. A lot of his game is based off of physicality, when that is taken away he struggles to disrupt a receiver's timing and his adequate athleticism is exposed. In deep third zones he does this weird thing where instead of backpedaling he turns his hips to the inside and watches the QB. Makes him susceptible to out breaking patterns when receivers get in his blind spot. The only thing keeping this from a higher score is his tendency to draw penalties. Is extremely physical with the WR in phase. Doesn't backpedal, like ever. Its a coaching thing, but I need to see some decent backpedal and hip fluidity to be confident putting him at outside corner in a primarily Press Man scheme in the NFL, which is the logical scheme fit due to his playstyle.
Closing Quickness: 5.60
Ball skills: 6.80
Didn't have an opportunity to close a ton, but not prohibitively bad at it. Is usually on the hip of a receiver so closing speed is not a huge part of his game. Is coached to play the hands at the catch point and is effective, but can draw penalties because of his physicality and he often doesn't get his head turned. Because of this, his interception production is marginal, but he has led Pitt in PBU's in the last two seasons. Goes off of the receiver if discerning if its a run or a pass. He has an adequate feel for route diagnosis in man, but in Zone, it's marginal because his eyes are all in the backfield.
RUN SUPPORT: 5.30
Quickness Upfield: 5.20
Fight Through Blocks: 5.00
Lack of urgency in the run game in general. When the play comes to his side he's usually already engaged in a block. For his playstyle, I'm shocked at how ineffective he is getting off of blocks. It has to be an effort thing. Adequate job of taking down receivers after the catch. Is an ankle-biter on backs and that won't get the job done at the next level where RBs play with better contact balance.
The difference of toughness in the run game vs the passing game is what limits this grade. Will punch you in the mouth one play then get punched back the next. Approached every receiver he faced with the same attitude and physicality. Motor seems to run low on running plays as he doesn't bully WRs in the blocking game as much as he does on route stems.
I like his instincts in coverage, in particular before the ball is thrown and the way he sticks his hands through at the catch point, but he has had issues with penalties. Not a lot of urgency when asked to pursue the run. Assignment sound and doesn’t make boneheaded plays. Was voted a team captain in 2019 and appears to have good communication with the other members of his secondary.
Playing in a press man system would be an ideal fit, is comfortable playing there and competes. He thrives off of his physicality, in the early portions of the route all the way through the whistle. His competitiveness at the catch point is fantastic, makes the QB/WR work for it.
Lack of high-end athleticism is a major concern for me at the next level, and if you can't trust a corner athletically you can’t be put onto the field consistently. Terrible effort in the run game is a consistent theme throughout all the games I watched of his. Is very scheme dependant, if you're not running press man often this is not the guy for your system. He does not have the size to match his playstyle. At 6’0” 187lbs he is going to get bullied by the bigger receivers at the next level.
HIs value is limited to being a mid to late day three pick. I would not play him in the slot consistently due to his limitations in the run game and needs to ramp up his effort on tackling to be a quality option there. Dane would project best as a backup perimeter CB on a team that runs a lot of Man coverage, such as New England, Pittsburgh, or Denver.