Draft prospect Jeff Gladney is an exceptional cornerback from TCU. He lacks size, but his speed makes up for it. He is not a stranger at gambling with that speed.
Draft prospect indicates that size doesn’t matter
Gladney is only 5’10 and weighs 191 pounds, but to his credit ran a 4.4/40 at the combine. He was targeted 232 times in his career and only allowed 109 catches. That is a solid ratio for a cornerback that is targeted a lot in a conference that throws downfield continuously.
Jeff Gladney Pros
The main attribute that Gladney possesses is speed. At the combine, he ran a 4.48, but he has been clocked as low as 4.39. Gladney allowed only 17 catches over 20 yards out of 79 attempts last season. He will sit on the underneath routes knowing he can make up with his speed if the receiver tries to beat him deep. Gladney broke up 23 passes and had a 56.8 passer rating against him.
With Gladney’s small frame, he is not afraid to get physical. This physicality will be resilient at the catch point.
Jeff Gladney’s Cons
His lack of size has been mentioned before, which is not the prototypical size for an NFL cornerback. He needs to add some strength to compete with the elite receivers in the league.
Press coverage is a weakness. He allowed an 83.3 passer rating in press coverage compared to a 52.8 passer rating in off coverage.
His change of direction ability needs work due to a lack of hip movement. He had a bad 3-cone drill at the combine, which was 7.26 seconds.
Draft prospect comparison
His NFL comparison is Kevin Johnson, who was another first-round talent, but the size was always a problem. Kevin Johnson struggled early in his career, so he went to a team relying more on zone coverage, which would be the same for Gladney.
Several teams are targeting him which are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, or the Minnesota Vikings. The only problem is Gladney is going to play more zone since he is built more for that type of defense. The best fits will be the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, or the Los Angeles Rams. His draft position will be a late first-round to early second-round pick.
Some teams will view him as a possible starter. The best-case scenario will be a depth player that has the capability to start in the next two seasons.
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