Scouting The Draft: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

We are looking at some of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft in relation to the NY Jets.

Introduction

Gaines was one of the best performers at the combine and as a 3rd round prospect he is definitely intriguing for any team in need of corner help. He leaves rice with the all-time record for pass defences with 42 and ran the 2nd fastest 40 time at the combine for the cornerback class.

He was a 2 star recruit who chose rice over the likes of Mississippi State. Although he was an immediate starter, he did lose some time at the end of his rookie season (2009) and almost the entirety of his 2011 season (medical redshirt). However he has been healthy for two years now and the left foot injury he sustained in 2011 obviously hasn't affected his speed all that much.

Measurables (* Top performer)

Height: 6'0

Weight: 193lb's

Arms: 31 7/8"

Hands: 9 5/8"

40 Yards: 4.38*

Bench: 11 reps

Vertical: 36.5"

Broad: 122"

3 Cone: 6.62*

20 yard: 4.04*

Statistics

Year Tackles For A Loss Sacks Interceptions Pass Defences Forced Fumbles
2013 36 4 0 4 9 0
2012 33 2 0 0 18 0
2011 11 2 1 0 2 0
2010 64 2 1 0 6 1
2009 31 1 0 0 3 0

Positives

  • Excellent speed, can run with anyone and has an extra gear when chasing.
  • Good length to his frame
  • Gets his hands into most plays, shows up with pass defences.
  • Very tough, physical defender in run and pass.
  • Excellent ball skills, should have had more interceptions.
  • Good read-and-react defender with a strong plant foot.
  • Patient, controlled and balanced in coverage.
  • Two-year captain, hard working and well respected
  • Very physical in press-coverage, although will work better in zone rather than man-to-man.
Negativity
  • Extends arms in coverage, may draw a lot of penalties.
  • Little high in the backpedal, loses momentum when flipping hips.
  • Some durability concerns with problems in 2009 and 2011.
  • Needs to work on his tackling, dives at the feet too much.
  • Run support needs a lot of work, doesn't take great angles.
  • Should have come down with more interceptions, dropped some easy ones.
Conclusion

Although there is a lot of work ahead for Gaines to become a viable NFL starter. I really like him. He has good speed, good awareness and I like that he gets his hands in to disrupt a lot of plays. He's probably going to end up going in the 3rd or 4th round this year, but if he lands in the right spot, in the right system with a team who can be patient. I think in a year or two he could well be a very good starter.

Would I draft him for the Jets

I would think about him in the 3rd and pull the trigger if he fell to the 4th. He has good awareness, good speed, good leadership and an ability to be a very good corner if he can sort out his backpedal, it's choppy, high and doesn't look very natural.
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