NFL prospect focus: Lamarcus Joyner
Lamarcus Joyner – Defensive Back – Florida State
Size – 5080 – 184 – 4.52
Strong Points – Durable three year starter, instincts, productive vs. the run, shed, productive blitzer, zone and man coverage, returns kicks
Weak Points – Size, speed at the Combine, hands
2014 Stats- 69 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions
Summation - Joyner is listed as a safety but the way he is used, he is more like a fifth defensive back. He is a three-year starter and lines up close to the line of scrimmage in an almost linebacker-like position. When the defense is playing against three wide receivers, he lines up over the slot receiver.
At 5080 – 184, Joyner lacks size and height, but he has very long arms for a short guy (31.5"), and that allows him to play much taller. He has a solid frame and is both strong and explosive. He is a good athlete with quick feet and suddenness. While he has some slight tightness in his hips, he still can turn quickly and has a good burst out of his turn.
Joyner is a very instinctive player who is consistently around the ball and makes plays. He anticipates very well and is seldom out of position. He is a good run defender who aggressively takes on blocks and is a sure tackler. He is used often on blitzes, shows very good timing, and comes hard. Not many defensive backs get more than five sacks in a season.
In coverage, Joyner is used mainly in zone. He has very good receiver awareness and does an excellent job keeping plays in front of him. He does play some man (both press and off) and has the suddenness required to mirror his opponents. He has a good jam and turns fairly well with a good burst out of his turn. He reacts well to the ball in the air and is quick in transition. He has six career interceptions, but dropped more balls than he caught at the Combine.
Joyner has been a fairly productive kick returner for Florida State, but he has not shown the skills to be a top returner in the NFL.
While Joyner is a very productive college player, he may have a hard time carrying that play over to the next level. He lacks size, and unless he runs faster at his pro day, he also lacks the required speed. There are some NFL clubs that refuse to draft a corner shorter than 5’10” and Joyner is 5’8”. I see him as a nickel corner in the NFL, and unless he runs faster, he won’t get drafted before the third round.
Grade – 6.5 B
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