Thursday, 4 February 2010
POTD: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
By Kip Earlywine
Weight: 190 lbs.
Unofficial 40: 4.43
-Excellent in man coverage
-Great ball skills, hands
-Looks like he has long arms (my speculation)
-Extremely good at tipping passes away
-Very athletic, can get high in the air when he jumps
-Isn't short or lightweight
-No significant injuries
-Great leader on the field, good character off of it
-Nice stats in '09 (4 INTs, 3 Sacks). 34 passes defensed in 3 seasons.
-Misses a lot of tackles and generally struggles to wrap up.
-Lunges a lot when attempting to tackle, usually with bad results.
-Supposedly lacks instincts although he looked like he had good instincts to me.
"Joe Haden is a very talented cornerback with a very well-rounded game, but some teams might be scared off by his lacking instincts, which is critical at the NFL level where pro receivers are great route runners. Haden's level of production and consistency will get him drafted in the top 15 picks. He is one of the better cornerback prospects in the last couple years."
-Matt McGuire (Walter Football)
While I was researching this post, I found a couple of nice write-ups on Haden that are worth checking out.
I want to stress once again that the POTD series is not meant as a final word on a player nor as gospel. This report is only made off of highlight/lowlight videos and easily available information, and serves as a preview piece. I'm reiterating this because I think CB is one of the hardest positions to evaluate based on just highlights or from game tape. The CB is off the screen most of the time and we usually can't see them until the pass arrives to their receiver. Further, there was very little to judge Haden's press ability at the line or his ability to zone cover. Most of the time, he was playing 7-8 yards off the LOS and in man coverage.
I think Haden is a really exciting prospect in that some of his problems are coach-able. By doing more tackling drills, he could improve somewhat as a tackler, and it would be very easy to break him out of his habit of lunging at runners. I'm not sure I agree with McGuire about Haden's instincts, but McGuire knows much more about football than I do plus he actually broke down game tape, so I'll have to concede to him on that. Instincts probably can't be coached, and if his instincts suck that would be a bad thing for us since we run so much zone coverage (blech).
However, in a man system, Haden is a true stud. He's one of the best CBs I've seen at getting his hand cleanly between the WR's mitts and forcing tip-aways. He always seems to be tight on a WR, even on trick plays. Watching him play, he has all the good things about Jennings and Wilson rolled into one player. He's a precocious cover corner like Jennings, but with Wilson's athleticism, ball skills, blitzing ability, and confidence. That, plus Haden has a couple inches on either of those guys. A very common comparison to Haden is Darrelle Revis. Its important that the Seahawks vet Haden at the combine and test him for zone coverage skills. If he can manage to be at least passable, the Seahawks should put him on the short list of options at #6. The Seahawks need at least 1 CB this offseason in my opinion, and I seriously doubt Haden will fall to #14.
Note: You can hear an audible "aw s**t!" at 9:21. I love when that stuff slips through (nsfw) on sports broadcasts.
Posted by Kip Earlywine