There is a lot to like about Virginia Cavaliers cornerback Chase Minnifield as he heads into the 2012 NFL Draft.
His former teammates, Ras-I Dowling and Chris Cook were both top 35 picks in the draft and Minnifield is better than both. As a junior, Minnifield was fourth nationally and second in the ACC with six interceptions. He submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft advisory board following his junior season but decided to return for his senior campaign.
Minnifield's strength is in zone coverage where he can use his quickness and body control to make a play on the ball. For a corner who is only listed at 185 pounds, he plays with a lot of grit and power. To rise up draft boards, though, Minnifield will need to get better in man situations. His jam is suspect and he can be beaten over the top.
Minnifield is coming off knee arthroscopy to address floating cartilage particles that nagged him for most of the 2011 season but is expected to recover in full.