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Scouting The Draft, Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan

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Moving on today, and I know a few of you are waiting for some cornerback reports, so I thought I would get to one today. I only saw 2-3 of Warren's games in 2009, so spent a large portion of last night watching as much as possible on him, and I'm still torn by him. He does a lot of good things, but he also has some limitations, and some of the things he does well in college might not necessarily translate well to the NFL because of how he achieves his results, something we will go into a little later. 

I have little doubt that he has some talent, but when watching him, it seemed like what he really could do with, was another year in school, to fine tune some of his weaknesses to become a more complete defender. It's my opinion that he is taking advantage of a pretty weak first round draft class for CB's, and in any other year, or at least most years, he would be a second round talent only. As things stand and with Haden the only stand out CB in this draft, his stock is rising a little more than it may do other years.

"We still think Warren should have gone back to school to develop his technique… but he has all the tools to develop into a good starter at the next level."

- ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay

I won't be touching on Haden because there is no chance that we get him unless we make a gigantic leap up in the draft, and that's just not going to happen. Kyle Wilson/Patrick Robinson could push Warren if they have good combines and pro days, and Brandon Ghee really impressed me last week at the senior bowl,  and nobody seems to be talking about him, so watch out for his report later this week. I saw a report from Mel Kiper that had the Lions targeting Warren in the 3rd round, I didn't particularly understand that, because for all his short comings, he has too much talent to drop out of the second in my opinion, but he knows far more than I do, so keep that in mind.

So take this with a little pinch of salt, if Warren has a bad pro day/combine then he could well drop, and maybe that is what Kiper is expecting. So keep our first and second round in mind for this player.

Career State

2007- 53 tackles, 36 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception

2008- 53 tackles, 37 solo tackles, 0 sack, 1 forced fumbles, 1 interception

2009- 66 tackles, 43 solo tackles, 0 sack, 0 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions

Career Awards & Achievements

  • 2007 Freshman All-American (CFN, TSN)
  • 2007 Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year (TSN)
  • 2006 Second Team HS All-American (USA Today, EA Sports)
  • 2009 All-Big Ten first-team (media) second-team (coaches)

So what does Donovan Warren do well?

I know Jets fans like hearing this, but he could develop another Island for Gang Green, he excels in man coverage, he prefers to play it, he enjoys going man-on-man and that is where he is at his best. Will run around a 4.1-4.4 forty yard dash, and shows some good speed in game, can run with the best of them. Has a good frame, stands at just over 6' foot, and has very long arms. Makes some nice reads on the ball in the air, reads the QB's eyes, gets his hands in to knock the ball away. Extremely physical player at the line, and downfield, loves to hit and is an above average open field tackler. Wraps up the ball carrier, and once he gets a hold of you, rarely do you get away. Makes some nice reads on the ball (will include him reading an option play in the Wisconsin game below) which shows him making the read as well as getting off a block to make the tackle

So what does Donovan Warren need to improve on?

For as well as he plays man-to-man, he really needs to improve on his zone coverage, sometimes has a hard time picking up players moving in and out of his zone, which leads to a lot of completions. Can be too physical, got away with some physical play down the field that is likely going to be called pass interference 9/10 in the NFL, the Notre Dame game sticks out especially. When playing with a cushion can sometimes be juked easily by the receiver. Although he is above average in tackling his run defence needs to improve, doesn't play with the same intensity stuffing a runner as he does covering a receiver. Needs to make more plays on the ball, has good hands but sometimes bats the balls down where the interception was on.

Final thoughts on Donovan Warren & The Jets

I'm still not entirely sure on where his stock sits, hearing so many conflicting reports, to me he could go anywhere from 25-55. He has some good skills, and for a team who likes to play man with their corners he may well be a nice option. I love his physicality, and his coverage skills, two of the main things I look for in corners. He will need to learn the NFL rules, on what he can and can't get away with in the pros, if he fell into our laps in the second round would consider him a steal, if we selected him at #29 I would perhaps think that we were reaching a little bit. Obviously it depends on who is still on the board. Warren needs to have a good combine and needs to run a good 40 time, if he does then he can cement himself as the second best corner and a late first round selection.

Video Highlights

Warren reads reacts and gets off block to stuff option v Wisconsin

Donovan Warren's Highlights/Lowlights from the 2009 season

My order of preference for prospects we have looked at so far:

1) Jared Odrick

2) Brandon Graham

3) Golden Tate

4) Donovan Warren

5) Damien Williams

6) Taylor Mays

Other GGN Scouting Articles

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