21 Days to the Draft: Iowa CB, Amari Spievey

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler are the two leading candidates for the starting cornerback positions on the Patriots. Shawn Springs and Jonathan Wilhite are most likely going to snag the 3rd and 4th, barring a miraculous re-emergence of Terrence Wheatley. Iowa CB Amari Spievey is a name to consider in the mix. Spievey has been a shut down corner for two seasons and his numbers suffer from Nnamdi Asomugha syndrome- being so good that no one throws in his direction. Spievey is a big corner who could match up well against other big backs, if only he were stronger. He's a phenom against the pass and mediocre at best against the run. He's not an all around player, but a pretty solid corner. Can he get stronger against the run? Yes. Is he capable? Yes. Is he still a liability? Yes. Are you willing to take a risk and select Spievey in the second round?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Combine 40 Time: 4.47.
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.53.
Benchx225: 6. Vertical: 34.5.

CBSSports.com Scouting

02/17/2010 - PRO POTENTIAL: CB Amari Spievey - A shutdown corner with good speed, the 6-foot Spievey immediately becomes one of the better cornerbacks available in the draft. Spievey had just six interceptions in his career, including two in 2009, because teams rarely threw to his side of the field.

01/11/2010 - One of the more interesting, and short, Iowa football careers in Kirk Ferentz's 11 seasons ended Monday. Junior cornerback Amari Spievey became the second Hawkeye this offseason to declare for the NFL draft. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder will join offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga in April's NFL draft. He announced his decision Monday afternoon through a release to ESPN.com. "My time at the University of Iowa has been great and the opportunity Coach [Kirk] Ferentz and defensive coordinator Norm Parker have given me has been tremendous," Spievey said in the statement. "Even though I love being a Hawkeye, moving on to the NFL is in my best interest." Spievey's two-year career included six interceptions, 14 pass breakups, 124 tackles and two tackles for loss. Yes, this was a two-year career. Spievey signed with Iowa out of Xavier-Middletown (Conn.) in 2006. After his freshman year, Spievey's career was derailed due to academics. He ended up at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, where he earned junior college all-American honors while playing in 2007, recording seven interceptions and 242 return yards. He also returned two interceptions for touchdowns, scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns and recorded four blocked punts. "I wanted to finish up what I started," Spievey said. "My mom (Romonda) always told me not to give up. I started here. I want to finish here. It was a character builder." - Marc Morehouse, Gazette Online

NFL.com Scouting

Spievey is a two year starter for the Hawkeyes after transferring from Iowa Central Community college. He has a good combination of size and athleticism for the position. Spievey doesn’t have great power and pop as a run support defender but gives consistent effort and is solid in the open field. Spievey is just average as a reactor to route progressions and has some work to do in this phase of his game. He does have a good feel for leverage in the running game and is quick to squeeze running lanes from the perimeter. Spievey shows good hands with the ball in the air and is aggressive to make a play in traffic. Spievey is a good football player that has a higher ceiling than many prospects but may take some time to work into a starting role.

Strengths

Spievey has an impressive combination of size, height and athleticism for the cornerback position. He’s been a very productive performer out on the edge. No durability questions to report. Possesses very good ball skills. Catches easy interceptions away from his body, high-points the ball well and can make some spectacular grabs.
Weaknesses
Spievey only displays average instincts. His physicality is questionable when coming up in run support and when competing with physical receivers when the ball’s in the air. Catch-up speed is an area of concern, can be beaten over the top.

Verdict: Sorry Spievey, I don't think he's a fit with the Patriots. He's a one trick pony who can't stop the run- our defense needs a Charles Woodson type player who can help out on all facets of the defense. He can't. Spievey isn't strong enough and while he has the ability to get stronger, a 2nd round selection should be able to contribute as a rookie and be a potential starter as a sophomore. I don't see Spievey fitting into our defense.

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