[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]
When you think about all the possibilities for how the upcoming NFL Draft could work out, sometimes you just have to dream a little.
It would likely take a fairly wild dream, and some mistakes by general managers of teams in front of the Giants for Florida cornerback Joe Haden to be available when the Giants select at No. 15 in the first round. What if he is, though?
So, since we are dreaming a little let's make the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder who is clearly acknowledged as the best corner in the draft the subject of today's Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile.
If you have been reading you know I am a big believer in stockpiling guys who can cover receivers and make plays on the football. Reports indicated that the Giants did spend considerable time with Haden during Florida's recent Pro Day. So, let's take a closer look.
Joe Haden Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
There is no better college cornerback than Haden. He's come along this season as a complete corner capable of shutting down a side of the field and helping against the run. Although Haden struggles at times against shiftier receivers in man coverage, he has good speed and can out-muscle opponents.
Clearly the top cornerback available in the 2010 NFL Draft. Has the strength, tackling ability and closing speed to play free safety as well.
From the National Football Post.
A strong, well-built corner who may have the most explosive first step in the country, Haden does a great job in coverage reading the quarterback's eyes and then clicking and closing instantly on the football. However, he isn't the most instinctive of defenders in man coverage and has a tendency to get his eyes caught in the backfield. Haden will bite on play-fakes and jump routes. He showcases impressive make-up speed and has the range to turn and run downfield with any receiver in the NFL.
But he takes himself out of too many plays, at times trying to force a big play. He has good initial balance in his drop but has a tendency to get elongated with his footwork. However, he does a great job flipping his hips, running down the field can really track the football. Haden possesses an elite skill set and has improved his footwork significantly in man coverage over the past year and looks capable of playing at a high level in any scheme in the NFL.
Excels in man coverage. Has the speed, quickness and footwork to turn and run with any receiver. ... Experienced on special teams, both returning and covering kicks and punts... Tackling is shaky; doesn't hit hard and tends to just use his arms too often. ... There is no question that he is the top available cornerback in this year's draft class. If he were just an inch or two taller it would alleviate essentially all concerns about his ability to be a star at the next level. Even so, he should be a top-10 pick.
Why Haden fits with the Giants
I have said this before, and I will continue to say it. In the NFL you can never have enough quality cornerbacks. And top-notch potential shut down guys like Haden are hard to find. When you can grab one, you do it. This is a player with top 10 ability in this draft and he will be difficult to ignore if he is somehow still on the board. Love the fact that he is a willing special teams participant, and that he has the versatility to play safety.
Why the Giants should pass
Should they? Well, only if Rolando McClain or a defensive lineman the value just as much is available. A potential shut down corner is hard to pass on, especially after watching the Giants secondary get torched so often in 2009.