Re: Devin McCourty
posted at 4/22/2010 10:50 PM EDT
CBSSports has good things to say about McCourty:
Read & React: Reads receiver's body language to see if his man is the primary target. Quick to jump routes because he reads the quarterback well. Doesn't bite on stop-and-go routes. Supports the run quickly, even when the play is between the tackles or on the other side of the field.
Man Coverage: Can press or play off effectively. Has fluid hips, transitions smoothly and stays low and is quick in his backpedal. Sticks to receivers on their routes, showing excellent change of direction. Plays more physically than you would expect for his size, using his hands to jam on the line and maintain contact downfield. Larger receivers will use their size to shield him from slants and crossing patterns.
Zone Coverage: Should make a very good zone corner in the NFL. Good awareness, keeping one eye on the short receiver and another on any players trying to hit the hole behind him. Comes off his man to react to a ball in the air. Makes the easy interception, goes up to get the ball and has strong hands. Will freelance when no receiver lines up on his side, leaving his zone open.
Closing/Recovery: Baits quarterbacks into throwing in his direction, closing very well when the ball is in front of him. Good plant and drive with body control. Takes the proper angle to the receiver. Lacks elite speed, but can recover quickly enough when picked on crossing or drag routes to make the tackle.
Run Support: Very willing (and able) to support the run. Attacks running backs coming into his area, bringing them down with veracity. Holds up his man to force plays inside. Hustles across the field to plays on the opposite sideline. Tough player, but still lacks the size to consistently get off downfield blocks from larger receivers.
Tackling: Wiry strong and solid in his tackling technique. Brings his hips and wraps ballcarriers when straight-on in his sights. Doesn't give up many yards after catch. Attacks screens, even after push off from larger receivers. Avoids blocks in the open field, usually wrapping a leg instead of cutting. Rarely misses completely, even against elusive runners. Should be one of the better special teams players in his class.
Intangibles: Reliable veteran who loves to play the game. Took a leadership role in 2009 with Jason McCourty and safety Courtney Greene in the NFL. Very good student who made multiple Big East All-Academic teams.
NFL Comparison: Ronde Barber, Buccaneers