5'9 Jason Verrett shows the flawed logic of the NFL & scouts who use "height" as a factor. It's an assumption if Verrett was 2 inches taller he'd be a lock to go top 10. Here's the thing about corner, arm length/explosion/anticipation>height. It's how you play the ball, not how big you are. Here's a look at his combine measureables & how he stacked up against other corners.
|Measurable||Verrett||Average CB at the Combine|
|Arm Length||30 5/8"||31.51"|
|10 yard Split||1.47(!!)||1.53|
|40 Yard Dash||4.38||4.5|
|20 yard Short Shuttle||4||4.16|
|60 Yard Shuttle||N//A||11.43|
Nobody at the combine ran a faster 10 yard split that Verrett. Nobody. Verrett also had the 9th best short shuttle time and 5th fastest 40 yard dash, at any position. That's not what makes Verrett the player he is, though.
I'm going to do things a little different with Verrett, using a 6 game sample, I'll breakdown each game and how it went for him. Cian Fahey is the one who came up with the idea, he does great work, and I don't want to make it seem like it's my idea. I'm making a few tweaks, I'm including any coverage where Verrett is the primary target, or, has man responsibilities.
This will give us a better idea of what routes give Verrett trouble, what routes he excels in, etc etc. Here's a quick run down of what the spreadsheet will include. Keep in mind, this is all subjective. It should also be noted that this isn't just plays he was targeted, as that never paints the whole picture.
- Failed Coverages-When you see 2/3, that 1 missing means there was a failed coverage. Where Verrett was beat at some point in the route, aka not arms length away from the receiver. This doesn't have to be a target to be a failure. Also, a catch doesn't necessarily equal a failed coverage.
- Shutdown Coverage-These are when the receiver would have to make a miraculous, 1-handed catch in order for a completion.
- In Position-This is where the corner is in position to make a contested play on the ball.
Here's the how he fared in coverage:
|Receiver||5 yard In||Curl||Drag||Post-Corner||Comeback||Fade|
|5 Shut Down|
|7 In Position|
Honestly, his coverage wasn't the most impressive thing this game. It was his open field tackling, which as you know, is terrible in San Diego. He made a handful of tackles in space this game. It was very impressive.
Overall it was an impressive performance for Verrett, who finshed with a couple passes defended, allowing 2 catches.
Here's the how he fared:
|4 Shut Down|
|4 In Position|
Texas got out to a big lead, so Verrett only had 10 qualifiable coverages. It was another very good outing for him. He did however miss an open field tackle, and showed what happens when you stare into the backfield too long.
At some point in the route, Verrett needs to locate the receiver, that's why he was beat here.
Later on in the game he was able to stay on top of the receiver and this time there was a different result.
Versus Kansas State
How he fared:
|Curl(& Go)||Slant||Out||5 Yard In||Dig||Fade|
|5 Shut Down|
|5 In Position|
Kansas State was an impressive performance. He had 2 failed coverages early in the game, and bounced back in a way that you want to see great players do so, with short term memory. The first failed coverage, is in the below GIF where you'd expect "size/strength" arguments to happen.
The next failed coverage, happened when he bit on a double move.
After Verrett gave up this touchdown, he was a perfect 9/9 in coverage. He also forced a fumble on a ball carrier for a huge turnover. It's good to see players not let 1 play affect them the rest of the game.
How well he plays the slant pattern, compliments his short shuttle time at the combine. His change of direction is very impressive, he can "click & close" as well as any corner in the class.
Versus Oklahoma State
How he fared:
|Curl||5 yard in||Out||Skinny Post||Fade||Dig|
|8 Shut Down|
|8 In Position|
Oklahoma State had a pair of 6'2 receivers and it seemed pretty clear that they wanted to attack Verrett downfield in jump ball situations, as you can tell by the 7 fade routes. The one route he was beat on was more of a combination route where he bit on a fake. But as the picture below will explain, it's more about arm length & your leaping ability than it is your true height.
Verrett did have 2 defensive pass interferences where he was late getting his head around. One of them was an iffy call, but a penalty nonetheless. He also had 2 tackles for loss this game. This performance would help silence critics about how he would fare downfield versus bigger receivers. He finished the game giving up 2 catches, but he was in position for both, and also had 2 passes defended this game.
|Curl||Slant||Fade||5 yard in|
|3 Shut Down|
|7 In Position|
Because Baylor's offense runs a lot of stack formations and differnt bunch sets, TCU was forced to run more zone. Verrett was only in primary coverage 10 times this game. The 1 catch he allowed, is another area that highlights Verrett's lack of strength.
Strength is only an issue when Verrett has to go through a receiver. He's showcased in every game he's quick enough to break up a pass by going around the receiver.
|Curl||5 Yard In||Dig||Comeback||Fade(Wheel)|
|2 Shut Down|
|8 In Position|
This was the main event. LSU was by far the most talented group of receivers Verrett faced. This game showed Verrett's versatility and competitiveness. He has 2 pass interference calls against him, one was
bullshit a questionable call.
The only negative play would be, again, a lack of strength play. But if this isn't offensive pass interference, then there is none.
Altogether, Verrett played a very good game, he broke up 2 passes, he did allow 2 catches, but was primarily in position to make a play.
|Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10||8.5 – 9.0|
|Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round||8.0 – 8.4|
|Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round||7.8 – 7.9|
|Reliable Starter, 2nd Round||7.5 – 7.7|
|Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round||7.0 – 7.4|
|Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round||6.5 – 6.9|
|Productive Backup, 5th Round||6.0 – 6.4|
|Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round||5.5 – 5.9|
|Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round||5.0 – 5.4|
|Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round||4.5 – 4.9|
|Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations||4.0 – 4.4|
|Change of Direction/Feet||3||2.9|
Verrett grades out to an 8.136. or a late 1st rounder. His ability to change directions, and react to the play is incredible. Combine that with his athleticism and awareness and it's easy to see why Verrett gets compared to Brent Grimes, which is a strong compliment. Verrett will need to stop peaking in the backfield as often as he does, and his strength at the catch point is certainly a concern.
How He Fits as a Charger
Verrett fits well because of where he excels at, off man coverage. He's also very good in zone coverage. Perhaps even bigger than those two traits, he can slide inside to the slot on 3 receiver sets, where more and more teams are putting their best receivers to create mismatches. It's rare when a rookie corner comes in and excels, but Verrett has the skill set to do just that.