Jordan Poyer | Cornerback | Oregon State | 5'11'', 190 pounds
Cornerbacks are in high demand. More and more NFL teams are using three cornerback defenses as their base set to counteract the three wide receiver looks offenses are employing with more regularity.
NFL teams need to have at least three solid cornerbacks to slow down the high-powered passing attacks that continue to pop up around the league. For that reason, Oregon State's Jordan Poyer could sneak into the top 40-50 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Poyer is a charismatic individual. He hosted his own segment on the local news and was one of the leaders of the Beavers' defense this season. Poyer's energy on the field is evident and he found ways to make an impact every Saturday. A three-year starter at Oregon State, Poyer was also drafted by the Florida Marlins out of high school.
Pros: Jordan Poyer's best trait is his quickness in short areas. He has a smooth back pedal and can change directions on a dime. Poyer often appears to be even quicker than he is because of how quickly he diagnoses plays and recognizes what the quarterback and receiver are trying to do. He always understands his assignment and made very few mistakes in the games I watched. Poyer isn't often responsible for a big play in the passing game or even very many catches.
Poyer's quickness translates well to the return game, where he excelled at Oregon State. Once again, Poyer's vision and feet come in handy in this area. He finds holes in the coverage and can get through them in a hurry.
NFL scouts will also like what Poyer brings to the table with his toughness and competitiveness. Even in areas that aren't particular strong aspects of his game (press coverage, run defense), Poyer shows a willingness to be physical and get his hands dirty to make plays. In addition, he has solid ball skills and leaping ability to break up plays down the field.
Poyer's best fit may be as a slot cornerback, because he won't have any trouble reading plays. He also has the short area quickness to lineup against shifty slot wide receivers.
NFL teams will be concerned about Poyer's straight line speed. He struggles a bit in press coverage because his doesn't have a ton of strength and can struggle to turn and run with some of the faster receivers he matches up against. Poyer will have to be ready for the scouting combine and his pro day, because how he times out in the 40-yard dash could be an indicator of where his stock ends up.
Without big-time speed, Poyer may not have the upside of a shutdown boundary cornerback in the NFL. That will limit his ceiling a bit on draft day, but as mentioned above, NFL teams go three deep with starting cornerbacks these days. The nickel cornerback is a starter for a lot of teams, so Poyer will have value on day two of the NFL Draft.
Conclusion: Poyer isn't an elite cornerback prospect, but he possesses a lot of traits that will make him a valuable player in the eyes of many NFL scouts. He fits the mold of what a team wants in a secondary player. he's quick, he's tough and he is smart.
Pro Comparison: Brice McCain, Houston Texas
The trait that stands out in both McCain and Poyer is the quickness inside to match up against slot receivers. Like most comparisons, it is not perfect, though. McCain has better deep speed, but Poyer is a much smarter player.
Video from Draftbreakdown.com: