Let's continue our 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile series with a guy who possesses one of the traits General Manager Jerry Reese acknowledged that the New York Giants would like to have more of -- speed. Offense, defense, special teams -- speed can't taught. It is never most important when judging any individual player, but it will always get your attention.
That is why the subject of today's profile, Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, is so intriguing. Chekwa ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, among the 10 fastest times posted. The Giants, in fact all NFL teams, are looking for corners who can run with and cover the plethora of wide receivers NFL offenses use these days. So, Chekwa's speed will likely get him drafted on the second day of the NFL's three-day draft this April.
Scouting reports after the jump.
CB, Ohio State
6-foot, 190 pounds
Projection: Round 2 or 3
From National Football Post:
Possesses good overall size and athletic ability for the position and has the type of second gear to make up for a high transition vertically. Gets a bit upright and leggy out of his turn and will lose a step, but displays above-average fluidity when asked to turn and run. Looks a lot more natural in the trail technique, where he can use his natural athleticism to simply try to mirror underneath. Can be physical off the line when asked to press, but is inconsistent Will get overextended at times and lose balance into contact, but when he gets his hands on you he can consistently re-route.
Improved his overall ball awareness down the field as a senior and did a much better job making plays on the football in all areas of the game. Doesn't tackle as well as his frame would indicate either and isn't overly willing to play the run game.
Impression: Will get overdrafted because of his size/speed numbers. Improved his overall feel for the game as a senior and can certainly run and make up for a false step, but is still raw in most areas of the game.
From CBS Sports:
Read & React: Reads the quarterback's eyes and reacts quickly to the ball in the air. Often involved in plays after coming off his man because he's looking into the backfield, but will also get beat when falling for pump fakes and double moves because of his aggressiveness.
Man Coverage: Has quick feet and fluid hips to stay with most receivers throughout most routes. Smooth, quick pedal when not in press-bail, patient waiting for his man to make the first move off the line.
Zone Coverage: Could excel as a zone corner because of his toughness, change-of-direction ability and quickness to the ball. Reads routes and the eyes of the quarterback and comes off his man to pick up the underneath out route and makes a play on the ball. Able to bring down receivers quickly after the catch.
Closing/Recovery: Excellent closing speed to make tackles or get to the receiver while the ball is in the air.
Run Support: Should be capable of chopping down running backs at the next level, but won't be a superstar in this part of his game. Gives good effort to shed receiver's blocks but is more effective using his speed and instincts to beat them.
Tackling: Is not a physically imposing cornerback, with thin legs and arms, but has the length and tenacity to wrap and drag down most receivers after the catch.
Intangibles: Tough corner with the confidence to come back and make a good play after giving up a touchdown.
Chekwa lacks the measurables to line up against a number one receiver in the NFL, but he has the skills to develop into an effective corner in sub packages. He is a smooth athlete that shows the hip fluidity to be solid in both man and zone coverage. He also flashes the ability to close quickly and break up passes on underneath routes. He does not have the explosiveness to mirror faster receivers and takes too long to fill in run support despite being a willing tackler. Overall, Chekwa is fluid enough to cover slot receivers and should be a Day 3 pick.