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Some first-hand impressions of Aaron Ross

BurntOrangeNation is Sports Blogs Nation's highly-decorated University of Texas blog. When the Giants made Texas cornerback Aaron Ross their No. 1 pick Saturday, I reached out to Burnt Orange for some thoughts on Ross.

What follows is a well thought-out, highly informative piece on what Giants fans can expect from Ross. It's a great example of one of the great benefits of this network, which is filled with top-notch writers who are willing to share knowledge with each other.

Thanks, Peter!

Aaron Ross is an interesting NFL Draft prospect. On the one hand, you won't find many (if any) talent evaluators who aren't giddy about him as an athlete and football player. On the other, there are some questions as to whether he's truly an elite cover corner. I talked to one scout just before the draft who told me he wondered whether Ross might be better suited to play safety, rather than corner.

The concern with Ross is what scouts call "catch-up" speed. While I think that the spirit of that criticism is in the right time zone, I think it's slightly misplaced. Ross is fast, quick, agile, and fluid enough to be a great cornerback in the NFL, but he's a little bit raw with his technique at this point. I do think, though, that it's critical to remember with DB prospects that you'd rather have a guy with the stuff you can't teach and go from there.

In other words, I'd rather have an elite athlete who needs to be "coached up" a little bit over a guy who has picture perfect skills but isn't going to be athletic enough to match up with NFL wide receivers.

When you take in Ross' impressive athleticism and add in his value as a special teams player (it doesn't get mentioned enough, but he's an outstanding punt returner), and I think Ross is a first-round talent. Will he be an All Pro player? He'll have to improve for that to happen, but he's certainly got the potential, and his low-end is as a merely "solid" cornerback.

One final note on Ross: he's a ball hawk. Like Ed Reed of the Ravens (and maybe this is why some scouts see him as someone who could be an elite safety), Ross just has a knack for being around the ball. He makes big plays - whether it's forcing a game-winning fumble, intercepting a critical pass in the end zone, or burying Texas' biggest rival.