2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants don't need a corner right away, but what if the right mid-round prospect fell to them?

Not too many people know about Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines, but maybe they should. He's really jumped in my rankings after doing a thorough eval of him. I know we're not really hurting on corners at the moment, but if the New York Giants don't or can't extend Prince Amukamara, or if they decide not to re-up Walter Thurmond and let go of Jayron Hosley, a need can arise again. Let's take a look at Gainsts and see why I like him so much.

Pros

- Swagger. He's aggressive and plays confident. I certainly think playing corner is 50 percent mental, and his mentality is perfect for the job.

- Stays disciplined. Doesn't bite on double moves.

- Fantastic run defender from the corner position. Knows how to shed blocks and make open field tackles

- Great motor. Will hustle to plays he isn't involved in.

- Great awareness as a zone corner. Switches flawlessly and again, stays disciplined in his area.

- Above average reaction time and change of direction ability.

- Plays much bigger than he actually is.

Cons

- Doesn't fight for the ball at the catch point. Consistently comes in a bit late after a move and that means he allows a few too many catches.

- I see him as an outside corner only. Needs to play the boundary to be successful, so versatility is limited.

- Not enough speed to win consistently when playing man, likely limited to zone only.

- Short armed and only average sized at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds with 30 and 3/8-inch arms.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Considering that Perry Fewell likes to play zone quite a bit, yes, he certainly fits. He's physical, plays the run exceptionally well, which seemingly is a trait that all recent Giants defensive backs have shared. He isn't low on confidence and will try and challenge any and all completed passes. Some knock him for his scheme limitations and his size, but I didn't see it as a huge obstacle.

Prospect Video

EJ Gaines (CB Missouri) vs Oklahoma State, 2014 Cotton Bowl (via Aimal Arsalla)

As always, thanks to draftbreakdown for their excellent tape.

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 92

Mocking The Draft - 132

CBS Sports - 121

Draft Countdown - 160

Draft Tek - 148

Final Thoughts

It seems I'm quite alone on my eval as shown by the grades given by the other reputable draft sites. I personally gave him a low-second round grade. It might be my inherent bias to grade everything on a "Giants" scale, but his versatility limitations don't bother me because he's a fit for New York. His physical length is certainly a deterrent to his upside, but when I was watching him, what I saw was a slightly bigger, zone playing, better run defensing Trumaine McBride. The 2013 Trumaine McBride, not the journeyman kind.

That's the type of scrappy, confident, intelligent player that I want on the team. He doesn't play man nearly as well as McBride does nor can he fight at the catch point as well, but he is masterful switching between zones and locking on to targets in his area. If he falls into the fourth or fifth round, which according to everybody else he will, he'd definitely be somebody on my radar despite the abundance of cornerbacks on the Giants' roster.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker