Name: Jason Verrett
School: Texas Christian
Size: 5'10, 175 lbs
Expected Round: Top 40
Strengths:Strong run defender with a nose for the ball carrier. Great open field tackler. Quick feet, able to ride the receiver and sit in their pocket. Great at defending the comeback/curl/in/out routes. High points the ball and plays to defend it every snap (instead of giving up integrity to go for the interception). Plays bigger than his size. Savvy, plays the receivers eyes to ensure he remains in position. Tremendous closing speed to react to passes and get to the ball.
Weaknesses: Even though he plays bigger, he still lacks the elite size you need on the outside. Allows receivers to get by him on Go routes. Not very diverse in his coverages. He usually lines up close to the line, even if he gives them a free release (might not translate to the NFL). Experienced receivers can shake him as he turns his hips.
What is their role? Verrett could be a starter if Aqib Talib doesn't return. Verrett can play outside, and has the skill set to play in the slot. He's essentially a smaller, but quicker Logan Ryan. Maybe more like the Jets' Kyle Wilson.
Will it change from year 1 to year 2? If Dennard isn't resigned, then Verrett could emerge as a starter (and if he beats out Logan Ryan). If Verrett gets stronger, he could contend as a very good CB2.
How many downs can he play? Four downs. He can cover, defend the run, and be a gunner.
What’s his ST value? Gunner. Not really much other value.
Does he have positional versatility? He can play outside, has the skills to play slot. Skills could translate into either safety position.
Why the Patriots? If Talib walks, the Patriots could be looking for a viable solution at cornerback. Verrett was one of the more impressive corners in all of college football. He gets to the ball and a lot of his knocks are similar to Logan Ryan's entering the draft (tremendous college production, but a question of how it would translate to the next level). Verrett could contend to be a starter on Day 1. Regardless of what secondary he takes, he deserves to be on the field as the controlled cannonball he plays on the field. The Patriots could like his ability to stick in the hip of opposing receivers, without having to press and leave the defense susceptible to a deep play.
Why not the Patriots? Those times that Verrett is beaten, the receiver will be far down the field and a good quarterback will be able to take advantage. His size will be taken advantage of at the next level as teams start trying to get larger on the outside. He'll have to translate his skills to the slot if he wants to play with the Patriots and Kyle Arrington was extended for a reason. Verrett has game, but it doesn't match with the Patriots needs.
Verdict: I highly recommend this breakdown by Greg Peshek. Verrett has some of the best ball skills in the draft and it's proven in the pudding. However, while he's great at the line of scrimmage, he leaves something to be desired on mid-depth passes, which is a point of interest in the NFL. As he's a willing, and possibly elite, run defender, Verrett has the make-up for an elite slot defender. He's scheme transcendent, but he's far from a given at the next level. With Kyle Arrington signed for the slot and Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan holding down CB2 and CB3, there doesn't look like there's space for Verrett on the Patriots.