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Potential Pick: TCU CB Verrett’s Injury Could Create Value
(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is TCU cornerback Jason Verrett).
Name: Jason Verrett
Height/Weight: 5-9 / 189
Honors: Verrett was named first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated in 2013, which was quite impressive considering he had just two interceptions on TCU’s 4-8 team. Verrett made first-team All-Big 12 the last two seasons.
Key stat: After six interceptions in 2012 as a junior, Verrett had only two picks last years as teams shied away from his side. Verrett’s best game might have come against high-powered Baylor. He covered All-Big 12 performer Antwan Goodley all over the field and limited the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist to just one catch. Verrett also had two pass deflections, helping TCU hold Baylor’s offense to just 206 passing yards, well below the Bears’ average of 358 passing yards per game.
Where He’s Projected: This is going to be tricky because he’s dealing with a shoulder injury that requires surgery. Verrett probably won’t be ready in time for training camp and since it’s a pre-draft injury, he’s a good candidate to be on a team’s PUP list and miss the first six weeks. But injury aside, he’s probably a late-first round pick to early second. Coverage skills are exceptional but the knock on him would be his lack of size.
How He Helps the Cowboys: Former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who is now the head coach in Minnesota, said it every year: “You can never have too many good cornerbacks.” And it’s not like Zimmer had that luxury too often and most teams rarely do. A player like Verrett is right up the Cowboys’ alley. Jerry Jones loves getting good value despite their injury concerns. That’s why he took Sean Lee and Bruce Carter in the second round. So if Verrett is there in the middle of the second round, it could be a player the Cowboys take a chance on. He’ll help because he can cover and should be able to handle the slot. Even though Orlando Scandrick, Mo Claiborne and Brandon Carr are all in place, another guy like Verrett wouldn’t hurt. He might allow them to part ways with one of those three by next season to save cap room.
Scout’s Take: Despite size, is not afraid to stick his nose in the action. Like the majority of kids that play for Gary Patterson at TCU, he is a wrap up tackler. Very quick feet, easy adjust, burst and drive. There is no wasted motion in his movements. Smooth and fluid. Plays with explosiveness. Pesky when dealing with receivers in routes. Hard to turns and break away from. Gives his man very little space to operate. Used on the corner blitz against LSU and able to get to quarterback for the sack. for sack. Have to give him credit for tackling these big backs for LSU. They tried to run over him and he stood his ground. Can really cover some ground when running. Impressive in the way that he takes off. Great effort as a player. Nice reactions to the slant. Knows how to play routes. Can read and react. able to fight inside and defend the ball. Does a nice job of using the sideline to his advantage as an extra defender. Will force receiver wide in route. Has the ability to drop and read in his zone. Tremendous job of playing off blockers and shutting down the screen vs Oklahoma State. Does a good job of playing with his eyes. Shows nice body control, hard get to get off balance. Oklahoma State started picking on him with vertical routes against tall receivers. Had two pass interferences called on him during the game. Super competitive when the ball is in the air. Gives up a ton of height to WR but is really quick to react and attempt to go for the ball. Is coming off a shoulder injury that he suffered during the 2013 season and it will need to be repaired, which could put his training camp in the balance. Is one of those types of players that you pull for because of how tough he plays. If completely healthy could see him go at the bottom of the first round but more likely to fall in the second. Complete package but just lacks the idea height.