With the No. 25 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers selected cornerback Jason Verrett out of Texas Christian University. Verrett is ranked as the No. 18 player on SB Nation's top 200 big board, making him the top cornerback appearing on the list.
Verrett does not have great size at 5'9 and 189 pounds, but he makes up for it with strength and athleticism. Verrett started at Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College before transferring to TCU for the 2011 campaign. Verrett played in all 13 games for the Horned Frogs that year, starting in 10 of them.
Bolts from the Blue's John Gennaro admits that Verrett comes with question marks, but he's got the talent to start immediately
Personally, I didn't love Verrett's size or injury history, but it is impossible not to love his instincts and his performance on the field. He was the fourth CB taken in the first round, and the sixth DB, after Darqueze Dennard was taken with the 24th pick. Verrett was probably the last chance the team had of getting a CB ready to start right away.
In 2012, Verrett led the Big 12 in interceptions with six before coming into his senior season as a legitimate star. Verrett lived up to the expectations, notching a pair of interceptions and 31 tackles on his way to earning a co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds
Vertical jump: 39 inches
Broad jump: 128 inches
3-cone drill: 6.69 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.00 secods
In our SB Nation scouting report of Verrett, Matthew Fairburn wrote about his coverage skills:
While some are concerned about his size, Verrett's compact frame gives him some of the quickest hips in this class of cornerbacks. He mirrors receivers with ease and anticipates routes very well. His ability to change direction is a huge asset in coverage, especially when he was asked to play on an island, which was often. While press coverage isn't Verrett's strength, he has the speed to turn and run with receivers when he has to. More than anything, Verrett is a cornerback who shows tremendous instincts and anticipation. His aggressive style led to a lot of big plays for TCU over the last few seasons.
In the NFL, Verrett may make more sense for a team that runs zone coverage or more off-man coverage. When playing close to the line of scrimmage, Verrett doesn't have the physical tools to dominate. He has average length and isn't very strong on contact when attempting to jam a receiver at the line. Verrett wins when he can read and react using his short-area quickness, not when he's playing press coverage.