I haven’t written up to many defensive backs in this series, and one player who I get a number of requests to write up is TCU’s Jason Verrett. Here are my thoughts.
Jason Verrett – TCU
Jason is a fourth-year senior and a junior college transfer. He played his junior college ball at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. In high school, he was producitve as both a running back and defensive back.
Verrett enrolled at TCU in 2012 and became a starting corner right off the bat. He has played both the left and right sides in their scheme. Jason does not have ideal size, he is listed at 5010 – 176 but scouts tell me he’s closer to 5’9 – 170. Despite his size limitations, he is a very tough kid who loves to play and he is a playmaker. This season, he had 63 total tackles and six interceptions to go along with 16 pass breakups.
When watching tape, you see Jason line up in press, off, and zone coverage. He is a very good athlete with quick feet, loose hips, and speed. He should time in the 4.45 range at the combine. As I stated above, he lacks ideal size but he plays bigger because he is so competitive. He has a fearless mentality on the field. When in press cover, he shows a good jam and has the speed and quickness to “mirror” receivers through all different types of routes. He has very good body control and change of direction and this helps when covering double moves or multi move routes. He keeps good position and does a good job looking back to find the ball.
In both off and zone coverage, he keeps good positioning and is both instinctive and aware. He can read things quickly and seldom gets caught out of position. Because of his quickness, he moves very well in transition. He has no wasted steps and can close. He ball reactions are very good and he has excellent hands. Verrett is a very good run support corner, he reacts quickly to the run, can slip or shed blocks and is a good tackler. He tries to play a physical game.
Except for size, Verret has the tools and mental makeup to be a good corner in the league. What will hurt him on draft day is his size. Many teams will not draft corners under 5’10 and that’s what Verrett is. With his speed and quickness I see him as a nickel corner. He can do a great job lined up on many of the quick small slot receivers we see in the NFL. If he has to line up outside and matchup against some of the bigger receivers in the league, he will be at a huge disadvantage. While his play on tape says he should be a first round pick, his size says he will go in the second.
Follow me on twitter @greggabe