Name: Marlon Humphrey
Position fit: Outside cornerback, potential for a switch to safety
Stats to know: Allowed 50.0 percent of targets to be completed into his coverage though he gave up 16.9 yards per reception over the last two years.
What he does best:
- Good fit in zone coverage. Excels when the play is in front of him — big part of the reason why a switch to safety might make the most sense.
- Fantastic at reading and working off of blocks on wide receiver screens. Gave up just three yards on wide receiver screens in 2016.
- Can hit in a big way and knows how to use his body to subtly cut off receivers from the ball. 20 of the 30 incompletions on throws into his coverage came via an interception, pass breakup, cutting a receiver off or getting close enough in coverage to force a more difficult catch.
- Fairly sure tackler, missing just six tackles throughout 2016.
- At 6-feet-1, has the size that NFL team will covet to develop as a press man corner
- As good as he is with the play in front of him, he definitely struggled on deep passes. Gave up an average of 16.3 yards per catch in 2016, and 17.4 in 2015.
- Struggles to find the ball in the air and play through the receiver’s hands, leading to too many big plays
- Long speed is an issue. Humphrey is not slow, but also not blazing fast. How will he hold up against speedsters in the NFL?
- Played left cornerback almost exclusively over the past two seasons, so no experience in the slot or tracking receivers.
- His most natural position might not actually be at cornerback. Given how much he has impressed with the play in front of him, and his struggles on deep balls, Humphrey may be a better fit at safety in the NFL.
Bottom line: Humphrey played a big role on a very good Alabama defense, but will face some questions as he transitions to the next level. He has the size and length to play press coverage, but he loses far too often at the catch point, particularly down the field. Humphrey’s best work often comes in zone coverage and he may be able to help a team as a safety. Despite the question marks, make no mistake about it, if Humphrey lands at the right spot, he can be a very good player in the NFL.