Thursday, 4 February 2010

POTD: Joe Haden, CB, Florida

By Kip Earlywine

Height: 5'11"
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
-Good blitzer
-Isn't short or lightweight
-High effort
-No significant injuries
-Consistent, proven
-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.

Sound bites:

"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.

My thoughts:

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.


Vince Mulcahy said...

Excellent post Kip. IMO your best because Hayden is a very real possibility to us in the first round.

As with any prospect you will hear the absolute worst and best. I think you do a nice job of finding the pros and cons so we can speculate on SDB :)

Kip Earlywine said...

Thanks Vince. This was a really eye opening POTD for me. If the Seahawks still ran man coverage like they did pre-2009, I'd probably shouting from the mountain tops to draft Haden at #6. However, I think because of his question marks in zone (which the Seahawks stupidly still run) and because GM Schneider has gone on the record saying he's going to target "big" CBs, I think that makes Haden less likely. Which is a shame because I think for the right team he'll be a star at a premium position.

Anonymous said...

Get us a good to great DT(McCoy/Price) and our CB's & S's will look much better. Hell Kip, you've said so yourself!
If we target a CB-S-DE before DT I will be extremely disappointed and very suspect of PC and the new regime.
Come on, we need a QB, some blocking so he isn't running for his life, some receivers who can catch the freakin ball and run a little after they do, a running attack that keeps their D honest and a D that gets them off the feild. It ain't rocket science. We got a QB that will make it another year or so if we can stop him from having to run for his life, we got receivers that can catch the damn ball, we got running backs that can plant their foot and cut, we need a line that can block and a D that can put6 some pressure on them. Hell, we should be in the playoffs after this draft.
And don't any of you Knuckl-heads do the Mora "Play-Offs? routine!

nightwulf said...

I'd rather see Hayden at #6 than Berry, but I'd rather trade back to get more picks...if McCoy is available, we've GOT to get him, otherwise, I would be ok with Price, Morgan or Pierre-Paul...

Anonymous said...

It's a shame we're having to consider another CB in the first round given we've spent two of our first picks there in recent years.
But I'm afraid Jennings is that bad and I'm not as big a fan of Wilson as others. Hopefully if we go Haden he can be the last in a while.

Scotia Seahawk.

Vince Mulcahy said...

I wouldnt surprised to see more man coverage as PC seems like he might run a more aggressive defense. And if you had talent like Hayden it gives you the option to be more aggressive.

But I disagree with trading our picks to accumulate more later round picks. With such a lack of playmakers on both sides of the ball we need the elite tier coming into the draft. So what if we dont have a third round pick. Those guys are two plus year developmental players or such risk reward prospects that you really don't know what is going to happen to them in the future. I'll take top of the first round anyday. And even if a CBA was reached its not like we wont have the room with walt and kerney's contracts coming to an end.

c-hawker said...

I don't like Haden at #6. He is no Revis, that's for sure.
I just watched tape on Price. The guy is a total stud. I would rate him very close to McCOY,almost neck and neck.

CLanterman said...

"I want to stress once again that the POTD series is not meant as a final word on a player nor as gospel."

Love the analysis and love the above comment, Kip. I think too often scouts and bloggers state their opinion and act as if that's the final say, and it takes a great writer and an open football mind to be open to the opinions of others.

I'll echo the sentiments of some of the other people, if both QBs and DTs are gone by 6, I'd definitely trade down. This draft is deep with DEs so I'd rather not draft one with our first pick. Even if all you get is a 4th round pick by trading down to #10, you could still get Haden/Bryant/Spiller/Price/LT if you so wanted, and you could get him for cheaper. said...

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