Postseason draft riser: CB Buster Skrine
If you had a chance to read any of the NFP’s NFLPA game blog, you are well aware that going into the week I had no idea who Buster Skrine even was. However, there was this small-school corner with a funny-looking helmet on that was flexible sitting into his drop, fluid and balanced in and out of his breaks, and was consistently really difficult to gain separation from during Tuesday practice.
Therefore, after practice I did some homework on the kid. Learned he was a 5-10, 186-pound defensive back who was said to have out and out wheels when asked to track the football. So when heading back on Wednesday he was the one prospect I was really excited to see. And again he did not disappoint.
Skrine had another very good practice, staying low in his back-pedal, cleanly opening up his hips and generating a real burst when asked to click and close. Now, he was/is raw and his footwork seemed to get a choppy at times and he would waste some motion when trying to close. However, the natural fluidity, balance and overall skill set to play corner in the NFL was there. Plus, when asked to turn and track the football vertically, the guy displayed impressive initial explosion, had a good get off and reached top-end speed quickly, making it really tough for receivers to get behind.
He did look narrow framed and because of some wasted steps/motion when trying to click and close he did have a tough time getting around bigger receivers and could be boxed out away from the ball. However, you expect a small-school corner to be raw and there is still some upside to his game from a technical standpoint.
Fast forward to this past week where Skrine ran the fastest unofficial 40 time of the defensive back group at 4.29 (which was later said to be in the low 4.4 range on the “official clock”). Either the way guy can straight-out run. Plus, he displayed quick feet, natural bend and balance during position drills.
He’s going to need some time to develop both physically and mentally. However, he’s a guy who has the talents to come in and compete for a spot in nickel situations and eventually could fight for playing time on the outside. But overall, he’s made a nice jump up draft boards in the past couple weeks and at this stage I would certainly take a long look at Skrine during the 5th-6th round range.