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Aaron Colvin 2014 NFL Draft preseason scouting report

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Safety or cornerback? That's the question evaluators will face when breaking down Colvin.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Colvin | 6'0, 182 pounds | Cornerback | Oklahoma | Senior

Big 12 wide receivers have been dealing with Aaron Colvin for three years, and they'll have to put up with him for one more. Despite giving serious consideration to the 2013 NFL Draft, Colvin opted to return to Oklahoma for his senior season.

Playing in every game since arriving on campus and starting for two years at different spots in the Sooner defense, Colvin enters 2013 as one of the most experienced defensive backs in the nation. Colvin has been recognize on preseason watch lists and will have plenty of eyes on him as NFL talent evaluators make their trips through Norman.

But after spending time at both safety and cornerback during his college career, which position gives him the best chance to succeed in the NFL?

What he does well

Colvin thrives on his length and physicality in coverage. He has long arms and isn't afraid to bump receivers as he runs with them down the field. That physicality translate to run defense, where Colvin is not afraid to stick his nose in and make plays. He's a sound tackler for the most part and closes on the ball in a hurry.

Given the amount of experience he has at both safety and cornerback, Colvin's ability to read a quarterback's eyes and recognize route patterns should come as no surprise. Some of his best plays in 2012 came as a result of his anticipating routes and breaking on the football. His ball skills are solid, partly due to his physical style. He attacks the football at its highest point and doesn't often get outmuscled for the football.

What he needs to improve on

A lot of Colvin's technical flaws point to him being a better safety in the NFL than cornerback. He isn't the quickest at changing direction, despite his ability to anticipate and react. His feet just aren't the quickest in coverage and he lacks straight-line speed to recover once he's been beat. This was most evident against West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who is not a burner by any means but a fabulous route runner. Bailey exploited Colvin for his lack of quickness and was able to get behind him on multiple occasions.

Colvin is a physical player, but when playing close to the line of scrimmage, he needs to use his hands to get a better jam on receivers. Without the fluid hips and recovery speed, the jam becomes all the more important. Considering the physicality he shows downfield, which could be an issue for him in the NFL, he shouldn't have a problem attacking more at the snap.

Bottom line

Oklahoma's secondary will lean on Colvin's skill set and experience. He's versatile, and that will intrigue NFL teams. But he's not the top senior at his position at this point in the process. Colvin was wise to return for his senior season. He will either iron out some of the deficiencies he's shown as a cornerback or be viewed more as a safety heading into the NFL, which may not be the worst thing for his future.

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