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Scouting The Draft: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

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Decided to flip back to the cornerback position to end the week, mainly because in Melk Kiper's latest mock draft that some of you have commented on, he has us selecting Devin with the 29th selection. For anyone who doesn't have ESPN Insider or who hasn't seen this yet, here is what Mel had to say about Devin and the Jets at selection 29:

The Jets could use some receiving help for Mark Sanchez here as well, but McCourty is a guy whose stock could skyrocket if he runs the way many think he will. The Jets can get exposed when passers throw away from Darrelle Revis, and McCourty could be the answer on the other side.

I didn't have much coverage of McCourty (Rutgers games are hardly the marquee contests that are shown on a regular basis), so that is why this has taken a little longer than usual. Did manage to drag some out and was quietly impressed. Usually when doing these, I will look at the games, and then look at the stats, and usually they correlate, but when I looked at Devin's stats, I really couldn't believe that he only had 2 interceptions over the last two seasons. He has extremely active hands, and numerous times he went up to make plays. Fortunately his pass defences were up there with the elite.

McCourty is coming off a very good senior bowl week, where he really helped his stock, showing his speed and his active hands, and during the week, he answered some questions from about his experience and how he expects the transition to the NFL to go, well you can read all the answers for yourself, but one answer that would interest any Jets fan was when he was asked about which NFL player he patterns his game on:

Darrelle Revis.  I watched him play before when we played Pittsburgh. So, he’s definitely a guy I continue to watch.

and how he describes his own game on the field:

Just being able to do a lot of different thing on the field.  In addition to playing corner, I love playing special teams. And in college, I’ve been able to make some plays on special teams. I'm just going to use what I’ve learned throughout my college years and try to translate it into the NFL level.

Career Stats:

2005- (RS Freshman)

2006- 13 GP, 38 TKL, 3 PBU, 2 INT (1 returned for a TD).

2007- 13 GP, 63 TKL, 7 PBU, 2 INT (1 returned for a TD) 1 Forced Fumble. 2 PR for 56 yards, 1 KR for 1 yard.

2008- 13 GP, 57 TKL, 7 PBU, 1 INT. 1 PR for 25 yards,

2009- 13 GP, 80 TKL, 10 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF. 2 PR for 21 yards, 14 KR for 356 yards and a TD.

Career Achievements & Awards

2009- Rutgers MVP

2009- Rutgers defensive MVP

2009- Rutgers Special Teams MVP

2009- Rutgers scholar-athlete

2009- All Big East First Team

More after the jump:

What does Devin McCourty do well?

If you like your cornerbacks to be quick and physical, then you are going to like Devin, that's exactly the kind of player he is. He has excellent straight like speed, could run a low-mid 4.4 at the combine. Is an excellent open field tackler, gets off blocks well on the outside, and wraps the hips/legs to prevent any yards after the catch. He has very good closing speed and reads the QB while also keeping the receiver locked down. Is intelligent enough to not fall for pump fakes or play action, but at the same time he supports the run game quicker than any CB I have seen this year (apart from Haden, because I haven't really looked at him). Very hard worker and won't give up on a play even if the ball is nowhere near him. Although his size is not the best, he hits hard when he needs to, but unlike some others in this class, he doesn't sacrifice the tackle to make a statement hit. Very fluid hips, can make cuts smooth and effortlessly, and plays a good press game. The one thing I really like about Devin is his active hands, and that's why I was surprised he hadn't had more interceptions. Always getting his hands in there on the play, going up and making plays on the ball, won't allow too many easy completions into his coverage, if you want to get yards on him, you are going to have to earn them. Angles, angles, angles......he takes good ones.

What does Devin McCourty need to work on?

Can get blocked out of some plays by bigger receivers,. Devin stands at just 5-11 and 190lb's, he will fight and fight to get off these blocks, but sometimes he comes up short against more physical wide receivers. Can give up a few too many catches in front of him, especially quick little crossing routes or slants, but again you won't get much after the completion. Could find life against more physical receivers harder in general, unless he adds a little more strength.

Final Word I don't know how this guy is not being talked about more. He is better in run support than Kyle Wilson, and his coverage is not far off. If he runs a quick 40 time at the combine, which will add to his special teams talent and general defensive ability, I can easily see why Kiper has us taking him at 29. Quite frankly I would like to see him wearing a Jets jersey. He is extremely active with his hands, loves the game, works his tail off in the film room as well the practise field. Seems like the kind of guy that will take on board everything that he is advised to do. Can see him coming in straight away to work on special teams and play the corner. Very impressed with him. There is so much talent at the bottom of the first, top of the second this year, especially at positions we need. On one hand that is great for us, on another, It's not going to be an easy decision for Mike and Rex.

Video Highlights

Unfortunately, like we have come across with some schools so far, coverage is limited, so I could only find his return highlights. If I get time this weekend and can work out how to do it, will get some highlights that I have and upload them:

My top 5 order of preference (In no particular order)

Jerry Hughes

Devin McCourty

Perrish Cox

Jared Odrick

Brandon Graham

**- I haven't soured on Jordan Shipley in the slightest, but it seems that right now, everyone has him as a second round prospect, so have dropped him from the first round preference list.

Other GGN Scouting Articles

Scouting The Draft, Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU

Scouting The Draft, Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas

Scouting The Draft, Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina

Scouting The Draft, Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati

Scouting The Draft, Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

Scouting The Draft, Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas

Scouting The Draft, Ricky Sapp, OLB, Clemson

Scouting The Draft, Chad Jones, S, LSU

Scouting The Draft, Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

Scouting The Draft, Dominique Franks, CB, Oklahoma

Scouting The Draft, Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

Scouting The Draft, Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State

Scouting The Draft, Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State

Scouting The Draft, Donovan Warren, CB,Michigan

Scouting The Draft, Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

Scouting The Draft, Taylor Mays, S, USC

Scouting The Draft, Brandon Graham, Michigan

Scouting The Draft, Damian Williams

Scouting The Draft, Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State

Prospect Watch, Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

Prospect Watch, Arthur Jones, DE, Syracuse