Good morning New York Giants fans and welcome to another college football Saturday!
As has become our custom, we’re taking the opportunity to take a first look a player who opted out of the 2020 college football season. This time we’ll be taking a look at Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo, who could be a value pick in what is shaping up to be a loaded cornerback class. Adebo lead the Pac-12 in interceptions despite playing just 9 games before an injury ended his season.
Despite that, Adebo could still find himself outside of the top five cornerbacks in his draft class and sliding into the second or third rounds.
Let’s take a look at what he brings to the field.
Prospect: Paulson Adebo (CB, Stanford)
Games Watched: vs. UCLA (2019), vs. USC (2019), vs. Central Florida (2019)
Red Flags: Undisclosed season-ending injury in 2019
Height: 6010 (6-foot-1)
Weight: 192 pounds
Games Played: 22
Tackles For a loss: 5.0
Passes Defensed: 27
Forced Fumbles: 1
Games Played: 22
Tackles For a loss: 0
Passes Defensed: 10
Forced Fumbles: 0
Best: Length, ball skills, physicality
Worst: Short-area quickness
Projection: An outside corner in a zone or off-man defense
Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo is a long outside cornerback with starting upside at the NFL level. Adebo typically lined up at the left cornerback position in the Stanford offense and played off-man or zone coverages. He doesn’t waste much motion off the snap and getting into phase with the receiver he is covering. Adebo generally shows a relatively smooth backpedal, getting depth while staying balanced in his drops. Adebo also has enough speed to keep up with most receivers down the field, using long strides to stay in phase with receivers on deep routes.
Adebo has very good ball skills, recording 27 passes defensed and 8 interceptions over the last two seasons. Those passes defensed rank 8th in the Pac-12 since 2005 and his 4 interceptions lead the Pac-12 in 2019. Adebo tracks the ball well down the field, making adjustments and using his length to shrink and close receiving windows. He uses his long arms well to extend and disrupt passes, either playing through receivers’ hands or high-pointing the ball for interceptions.
Adebo also shows good competitive toughness as a run defender, with good willingness to come downhill and take on blockers or make tackles. He is also a good blitzer, with a good burst into the backfield and commitment to the rush.
Adebo is a decent, but not elite, athlete. He lacks good short-area quickness and can struggle to stay with quick or agile receivers throughout their routes. Adebo is often forced to round his breaks and take extra steps when smaller receivers make sharp breaks. He also shows a slight hesitation in picking up and passing off receivers when dropping into deeper coverage zones. And while Adebo has good competitive toughness and willingness as a run defender, he needs to improve his ability to shed blocks when playing the run.
Adebo projects best as an eventual starting outside corner in a defense which mixes off-man and shallow zone coverages. He has the length and strength required for press man coverage, but issues with athleticism could make that problematic against quicker receivers or NFL-caliber route technicians.
Adebo is at his best when closing receiving windows and playing the ball at the catch point. He is a natural ballhawk who plays passes like a receiver with the ball in the air. He is also physical at the point of contact and doesn’t shy away from tackling or getting his hands dirty in run defense. He’ll have further value for defenses that like to mix in corner blitzes, as he shows good burst, timing, and commitment as a rusher.
Adebo should be used exclusively as an outside corner and not asked to travel with receivers and play the slot. He has the ability to stay in phase with most receivers — particularly those in the mold of a “possession receiver” — but doesn’t have the quickness to match up with slot receivers.
If Adebo’s athleticism proves to be a significant enough hurdle at the NFL level, he could be a potential candidate for a transition to safety. His size, length, willingness to hit, and ball skills would all work well at the safety position, though he would have to improve his process in zone coverage.
Games to watch
Michigan (23) at Indiana (13)
FS1 - Noon
Players to watch
- Aiden Hutchenson (EDGE)
- Kwity Paye (EDGE)
- Jalen Mayfield (OT)
- Nick Eubanks (TE)
Florida (8) at Georgia (5)
CBS - 3:30p.m.
Players to watch
- Kyle Pitts (TE)
- Kyle Trask (QB)
- Kadarius Toney (WR)
- Tedarrell Slayton (iDL)
- Eric Stokes (CB)
- Tyson Campbell (CB)
- Richard LeCounte III (S)
Clemson (1) at Notre Dame (4)
NBC - 7:30
Players to watch
- Jackson Carman (OT)
- Travis Etienne (RB)
- Derion Kendrick (CB)
- Liam Eichenberg (OT)
- Tommy Kraemer (iOL)
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)
- Ben Skowronek (WR)
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