STRENGTHS - Slay has the combination of excellent height, long arms and the elite speed that NFL teams go crazy for. Although his hip turn could be improved/tightened, he consistently has shown the foot quickness and hips to turn and run with receiver off the LOS without losing a step. His body control and coordination really show up in his ability to maintain balance and proper positioning while in tight man when receiver makes a sharp cut. Using his long arms and good ball skills, Slay proved in 2012 that he can reach in front of receiver to break up passes without committing the penalty. When he maintains good bend and footwork he can plant, drive and close quickly on passes from "off" and "zone" alignments. A good form tackler, he consistently wraps up and gets ball carrier down when he wants to.
WEAKNESSES - A late bloomer, Slay is still developing as a player and is a better athlete than football player now. He needs to work on his technique as it hinders his ability to play up to his athleticism consistently. While he can flip his hips to turn and run most of the time, the turn is not as smooth and quick as it could be and will need to improve to handle NFL receivers. Additionally, when playing off the receiver he will get a little high and it limits his ability to transition and close as quickly as he is capable of. On running plays away he does not chase to make plays and even on runs to his side he seems willing to let his teammates make the tackle at times rather than coming up and doing so. Slay does not consistently read the QB/Pass consistently and can be turned around by good double moves, so he must improve his focus and awareness to become the cornerback he has the physical talent to be. .
SUMMARY - Constantly referred to as "the other corner" at Mississippi State because Johnathan Banks had been so good throughout his career, Slay stepped up and really improved as a senior. After playing in every game in 2011, his first at Mississippi State after transferring from JC, Slay showed marked improvement in his footwork, change of direction, ball skills and overall production as a senior. Blessed with excellent height at 6'0, athleticism, speed and ball skills, Slay will likely turn out to be a better NFL player than he was at Mississippi State. In addition, his time playing on special teams in 2011 will likely help him to make an immediate impact in the NFL while he continues to develop as a cornerback. Overall, I have a sneaky feeling that Slay is going to be one of the surprises choices in the last ten picks of the first round or first ten picks of the second round as tall cornerbacks with elite athletic traits and ball skills are nearly impossible to find.