Walter Thurmond III
5'10 3/8, 189 pounds | Cornerback | Oregon
Strengths: Oregon ran a lot of man coverage and Thurmond flourished. He has a fantastic backpedal and stays low. He can flip with ease and changes direction on a dime. Excellent agility, pre-injury. Has good top-end speed and has the extra gear to track down in the open field. Plays with good toughness. Doesn't mind getting physical as a tackler and supports the run fairly well. Closes fast. Experienced. Played on special teams.
Weaknesses: For a man cover corner, Thurmond doesn't have that great of a jam. He can be overpowered at the line. Needs to get stronger. Struggles to redirect receivers. Tries to jump routes too much and can get burned. Suffered a serious knee injury in September. It was officially called a sprain but it's been reported as being much worse. Has a history of injuries.
Final word: Make no mistake about it, when Thurmond was healthy, he was one of the more dynamic playmakers on defense in the country. Consider that as a sophomore he defended 23 passes. That went along with 103 tackles, with 75 unassisted, and five interceptions.
But staying healthy has been an issue for Thurmond. He was slowed during the 2008 season with a pelvis injury. Combine that with the 2009 injury and Thurmond unfortunately gets the injury prone label.