Morris Claiborne Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February – 24 – 2012
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"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Morris Claiborne"Morris Claiborne


Ht. 6-0 Wt. 188


Man Coverage:  Morris Claiborne is widely considered the top cover corner in this draft.  He is fluid in his backpedal and opens his hips and runs better than anyone in this draft.  He has few peers in terms of receiver awareness.  Claiborne’s ability to wall off the receiver using the sideline is unparalled.  He’s as good as anyone with his back to the ball and snaps his head around to find the ball quickly avoiding pass interference.  He possesses long arms which makes it tough for receivers to separate off the line of scrimmage.  Equally adept in press man versus off man.  He will need to learn to keep his hands off receivers after five yards in the NFL.  He loves to remain physical down the field which will be penalized in the NFL.  Elite man coverage skills.


Zone Coverage:  LSU played primarily man coverage with Claiborne and Mathieu manning the CB positions.  His natural instincts would lend themselves to be an efficient zone corner.  In rare instances, Claiborne was disciplined in zone.  He has to be considered elite from a route recognition standpoint.  I could see Claiborne excelling in a zone heavy pass defense in the NFL.


Ball Skills:  Claiborne runs the route for the receiver often on film.  His ball awareness and route recognition skills will allow him early success in the NFL.  Teams rarely threw at Claiborne in 2011 but he finished with six interceptions.  Sticky hands as he was a former receiver.


Tackling:  If you want to find fault with Claiborne’s game, this is it.  He’s a willing tackler but not always effective.  Claiborne could stand to add a little bulk to hold up in run support.  Claiborne’s tackling technique needs some work.  He has a tendency to drop his head and doesn’t see what he hits.  He also struggles to get off stalk blocks, sometimes by smaller receivers.


Size/Athleticism:  Claiborne has good size for a corner but could stand to add a few pounds.  He is a long limbed athlete that uses his arms well to initiate contact.  He’s an exceptional athlete with good recovery speed.  At 6’0 with good leaping ability teams won’t be able to win many jump balls on Claiborne.


Bottom Line:  Morris Claiborne is a top five lock in my book.  He has elite skills and is an instant starter in the league.  His ability to grasp complex defensive schemes, ability to recognize routes, and ball skills could make him a perennial Pro Bowler early on in his career.


Draft Projection:  Top 5

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