Overview: Although he was often injured during his tenure at TCU, that did not stop Jason Verrett from playing through the pain and posting some impressive numbers during his college career. He was tied for the Big 12 lead for interceptions as a junior in 2012 with 6, while also recording 63 tackles and a blocked kick that season. The diminutive but feisty Horned Frog was named co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 after tallying 39 tackles with 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in 11 starts.
- Excellent footwork. Breaks on the ball when it is thrown, immediately and with purpose. No wasted steps.
- Solid ball skills. Makes a lot of plays on the ball. Knows when he should go for the interception and when he should just tip it.
- Plays bigger than he is. Unafraid to get physical with bigger wide receivers and uses his exceptional leaping ability to its full capacity.
- Good instincts. Reads the play well and reacts without hesitation.
- Mirrors receivers well. Has the athleticism necessary to slip into the receiver’s hip pocket and stick there.
- Willing Tackler. Doesn’t shy away from contact.
- Small. Standing 5-9 and weighing in at 189 lbs., he doesn’t fit the prototype of what NFL teams are looking for these days at all.
- Tackling miscues. Tends to dive low at his targets and doesn’t look at what he’s hitting, leading to missed tackles.
- Durability issues. Had a slew of injuries in college and doesn’t have the frame to inspire hope for the future.
NFL Player Comparison: Antoine Winfield, retired. Yes, Antoine Winfield is retired so this is not really a “current” NFL Player Comparison, but he only retired last year so the vast majority of you should know who I’m talking about. Winfield was a dominant player for many years with the Minnesota Vikings, despite being extremely undersized for the cornerback position. Jason Verrett has the physical ability to have a similar career.
The Way I See It: Verrett has the potential to be a very good player at the NFL level. My biggest concern is his injury history. 14 is awfully high to be picking a player who already has a surgically repaired knee and shoulder. He could be a target in a trade down, but I don’t think he’ll make it to the Bears’ second pick at 51 and if he did, I would be even more wary of his injuries since so many teams already passed on him. Trading up in the second could also be an option, but I’m not sure about how I would feel about the Bears giving up multiple picks for a player with his injury history either.