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Marshon Lattimore (right)

Marshon Lattimore (right)

Welcome to the final installment of who the New York Jets should take with the 6th pick. In the last two articles I went over the quarterback and safety prospects for the Jets. Here I’ll discuss the corners.

Originally, when planning this article, there were going to be three cornerback prospects the New York Jets could possibly take in the first round. However, one of those prospects was Gareon Conley, the cornerback from Ohio State who was recently accused of sexual assault earlier this week. From recent reports he will be dropping to the third round, so he is no longer in contention for the Jets’ first round pick.

With Conley gone, we are left with two prospects, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore and Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey. I’ll be looking at five categories to determine which cornerback is the best fit for the Jets. First, I’ll look at their basics. That includes their height, weight, athletic ability and accolades. Secondly is their ability in coverage. Next is their ability against the run. Fourth is their playmaking ability. Lastly, I’ll be looking at any intangibles, overall grade and scheme fit.

Basics

Both Lattimore and Humphrey are pretty much the same size. Both come in at 6’0 and weighing between 193-197 pounds. However, Humphrey has a bit more length. His wingspan came in 76 ¼” and his arm came in 32 ¼”. Lattimore, on the other hand, has a wingspan of 74 7/8” and an arm length of 32 ¼”. 

Both were also healthy at the time of the combine, so we can judge their athletic ability, not just by what we saw on film, but also by their combine numbers. Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore is an elite athlete. His ability to change direction was excellent on film and his deep speed is elite, which his 4.36 40 yard dash confirmed. However, it’s not like Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey is slow by any means. His 40 yard dash time was 4.41. He also showed elite athletic ability on film as well as receiver like ball skills. Both of them have also had to deal with hamstring issues.

The one thing that does really separate them apart is their accolades. Lattimore was 1st Team All-Big Ten in 2016 in his first year of starting. Humphrey started the last two seasons and was never named to an All-Conference team. 

Coverage

What’s strange about Humphrey’s lack of production and accolades is that he’s an elite cover guy on film. He could play zone coverage, off-man coverage and press coverage to an elite level on film. He’s what you look for when you want a balanced elite corner. However, his accolades just don’t match up. According to ProFootballFocus, he let up averages of 16.3 yards per catch last year and 17.1 yards per catch the year before.

Lattimore is more of a press coverage specialist. He can play off-man and zone, but he looked most comfortable and natural at the line of scrimmage. Of the four films I watched this year on him, he was only beaten once when in press coverage. 

Ability vs. the Run

Common thought is that corners that are better at press coverage are also decent in the run game. It makes sense. Press cover corners are usually tougher and are more used to contact. That theory does not apply to Marshon Lattimore. He does not get involved in the run game and he is easily blocked. However, he didn’t miss a tackle all year.

 

2016 Defensive Stats

Player

Team

Pos.

Comb. Tkl

TFL

Lattimore, Marshon

Ohio St

CB

41

1.0

Humphrey, Marlon

Alabama

CB

36

3.0

(Statistics from cfbstats.com)

Humphrey, on the other hand, loves to get involved in stopping the run. He attacks the ball carrier like a strong safety and he’ll fight through any block a receiver throws at him. He hits hard when tackling, but he didn’t wrap up enough in 2016. That led to a bunch of missed tackles in space.

Playmaking Ability

2016 Defensive Stats

Player

Team

Pos.

PBUs

INTs

Lattimore, Marshon

Ohio St

CB

9

4

Humphrey, Marlon

Alabama

CB

5

2

(Statistics from cfbstats.com)

Like in every other area of their game, both of these players are very similar. Both of them have excellent closing speed and hand placement when going for a pass breakup. Where they differ is in turnovers. Humphrey has better hands than Lattimore but Lattimore has more interceptions. 

Summary

Both of these players are very similar. There are a few things here and there that separate them, but either way the Jets are going to get a phenomenal corner with either one of these prospects. So which one should they take with the sixth pick? 

This was a tough decision. Like we saw, they are very similar. I personally like Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey more than Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, but I think Lattimore should be the pick. I like what I saw with Humphrey but his lack of production is a red flag when taking a player in the Top 10. At the end of the day, that red flag was enough to choose Lattimore over him.

Thanks for reading the article. Make sure to follow me on Twitter at @MStopsky so we can talk during the draft.

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